Google Introduces Travel Trend Percentages For Hotels, Flights

A new Google update will display travel trends on the search engine when one searches for a hotel or flight, according to a press release.

The new service will let users know the percentage of open hotel rooms and available flights when they are preparing to travel.

This comes in addition to other tools over the past few months, like the COVID-19 travel alert, telling users when restrictions related to the virus will be in place, and the driving alert to show people when a checkpoint will be coming up.

By showing the percentages for the travel trends, Google hopes to help people adapt to the flexibility needed to live in the pandemic, the release stated. The tech giant will provide links to other additional resources and the number of COVID-19 cases in a given area, too.

The hotel industry has faced a particularly difficult challenge during the pandemic, as the health crisis flew directly in the face of how the industry operates via in-person traffic. Hotels are introducing new hygiene and sanitization guidelines in order to make people want to check in and order room service again, PYMNTS reported.

Meanwhile, vacationers are largely booking their travel online and are staying closer to home. The numbers for Airbnb have included a spike in bookings for country getaways, too, as opposed to the more urban spaces.

The uncertainty has caused many hotels and vacation rentals to offer free cancellation to keep up with the virus’s unpredictable nature, hoping to boost customer confidence by removing the threat of looming fees, the release stated. There will be filter options available so people can only see those locations with free cancel options.

“The uncertainty of COVID-19 makes it hard to navigate travel decisions,” the company said in the release. “We’ll continue to share the most relevant information so you can make informed decisions and travel safely when the time comes.”