Merchant Innovation

Google Announces Search-Based Mobile Travel Bookings


Google is trying to make it easier for consumers to use their smartphones to directly book travel from a Google search.

The firm announced yesterday that hotel and flight reservations can now be scheduled directly from a search result on mobile — without the user ever having to leave their results list.

Results, Google noted, that will include photos of hotels as well as ways to customize for dates and prices. Booking flights offers similar functionality — and according to Google, the upgrades were focused on making it easier for users to toggle more easily between flights and hotels with a new tab layout.

Google also allows users to search for specific destinations with a variety of flight and hotel options to chose from. Improvements include the “More Destinations” tab, which offers suggestions on nearby trips for that original destination. Google also choses to highlight which trusted partners their users might want to stop with on the way.

Market watchers noted that the move by Google to roll out these mobile improvements indicates that the search giant is increasingly seeming customers using phones instead of computers to sit and plan travel events. And “sit to plan” might be a bit of a misnomer, since plan on-the-go on mobile would be a more apt description.

The upgrade to the app on mobile, Google noted, is also ideally suited to users who are looking to make a spontaneous, last minute trip.



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