Google has quietly launched a hotels booking website with listings from around the world. The destination site which is currently part of its flights finder, could potentially disrupt the hospitality booking industry.
The feature was not introduced with much fanfare. In a blog published last week, Richard Holden, Google’s vice president of product management, travel, wrote about the new feature. In the blog, titled ‘There’s still time to plan your perfect spring break trip’, he said that the tech giant has launched a full-fledged site for hotel meta search site and booking engine.
Google had first introduced a limited version of their hotels feature in October last year. However travelers still needed to turn to a hotel or online travel agency site for bookings. The new update of Google’s hotel finder has new filters such as looking for hotel deals instead of only searching by the nightly rate. You can also search by amenity types, star ratings and a maximum or minimum price window.
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The hotel booking site could have the same disruptive effect as the popular Google Flights, according to travel intelligence website, Skift. Once the users goes to Google’s hotel site and selects a hotel, a “Book a room” button is very prominent, said Skift in a report. “When the user selects one of the online travel agency or other metasearch advertisers, the traveler navigates to the third-party site for booking. But there is often an option to book right on Google for Travelocity or Agoda, for example,” reported Skift.
Another novel feature of the website is its ability search for travel ideas based on budgets. This will allow travelers who are undecieded about where to go but have a fixed budget in mind. Holden’s blog says that the new Google feature allows you to explore the world map on Google Flights to see all the destinations you can fly to on your budget.
A quick check by Inc42 on the website, showed that Google’s booking option is active for most of the major cities in India as well other popular tourist destinations in South Asia.