Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Travel.Google.Com is Closer to Becoming a Reality

I mentioned the potential for Google to get in the travel vertical of search previously in my blog. Here is a blog post from the Tech Beat blog at Business Week discussing more in depth Google's plans to get into the very lucrative travel search arena. That's a $90 billion market to quote numbers from the BW post.

The interview with Rob Torres, Google's Managing Director for Travel, exposes some of the search giants plans for travel. One item mentioned was the integration of destination videos from YouTube on their travel pages. This allows Google to monetize YouTube indirectly.

It is interesting to note that they are going to be staying out of the booking business all together.
It’s worth noting one thing that any future Google offering won’t have—airline fares or hotel bookings. Even Google is unwilling to try its hand at the part of the beleaguered industry’s business. The customer service investment is huge, explains Torres.
More likely is that they would sacrifice major ad revenue from some of the major online travel agencies who spend BIG TIME with them right now. I could see Google purchasing a travel meta search site like Kayak to get into this area down the road though.

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