Travellers can now book some hotels straight from Google Search, Google Maps and Google+.
The “Book on Google” initiative arrives through a partnership with Sabre, which has launched in North America a beta test of the new hotel digital marketing program from Google designed to help drive more bookings.
The initiative lets hotel partners choose to pay commissions to Google and Sabre for credit card transactions that Google handles on Google platforms, US reports state.
As a Sabre release put it recently: “When travellers search for a hotel on Google Search, Google Maps or Google+, they will be able to select the property and rate they want, and then book the room directly with the hotel without ever leaving the page, reducing the abandonment rate commonly seen when consumers have to switch sites to complete a transaction.”
It seems to be part of the Google grand plan to control as much as it can. The giant US corporation has unlimited money and has been buying a swag of robotics companies recently.
Skift expects other hotel central reservations systems to sign up for the Google program. 20,000 hotels hooked up to its system, “although it will be up to the hotels whether they want to participate in the Google Hotel Ads commission program”, Skift says.
Hotels may respond by doing all they can to get bookings directly. Most are doing that already. They otherwise have to share revenue with third parties such as Google and Sabre.
Skift draws attention to an aspect that affects agents. It points out that the new program may give Google the potential “to become even more of a central hub for the travel industry”.
Sabre is delighted with its role in the Google project.
“Our ability to be the first CRS provider to offer the Google Hotel Ads Commission Program shows the influence of the Sabre brand in the industry as well as our commitment to deliver new and valuable opportunities to our hotel customers,” Sabre Hospitality Solutions President Alex Alt commented.
“This is just the latest example of how we are continually investing in innovative solutions that deliver unique value to hotels and the travellers they serve.”
Written by Peter Needham