Is Google Travel the next to launch?

Just posted something to my Globe and Mail blog about Google’s possible entry into the travel game, which stemmed from a recent post by Russell Shaw over at ZDNet. Seems he noticed an ad on mediabistro.com for “Google: Senior Account Executive, Travel Vertical.” Among other things, it said that the successful applicant would:

“Drive new business revenue growth with our Fortune 1000 advertisers in a specified vertical in one or more regions… work collaboratively with your team to grow revenue with new and existing vertical customers [and] utilize strong knowledge of vertical client base and agencies in your region(s) to develop high-level relationships.”

One former travel industry insider told me recently that he figured it was only a matter of time before Google got into the travel game, since it is a classic example of a business in which timely information is the key to getting a good deal — and one in which the travel agents and airlines used to control the information flow. Expedia.com and Travelocity.com helped “disintermediate” the industry, and in a sense the entry of Google would just extend that process even further.

“A lot of the value that a reseller adds is shopping around for the best deal, which is to a large extent search — and Google can search the pants off just about anybody,” said this former travel exec. For Google, being a search-engine company doesn’t just mean helping people find websites. It wants to help you find just about any kind of information, anywhere — including in books and real estate.

Against that kind of backdrop, searching for flights and hotels seems like a no-brainer, and Yahoo is already moving in that area with its FareChase service (which the NYT has an article about). Russell says that he thinks Google might strike up a partnership with Orbitz, since Travelocity is partners with Yahoo Travel and Expedia is owned by Barry Diller’s Interactive Corp., which also owns Ask.com.

Update:

My friend Stuart MacDonald, an ex-travel guy himself, has these thoughts.

Social sharing options
This entry was posted in Uncategorized by mathewi. Bookmark the permalink.

About mathewi

I'm the chief digital writer at the Columbia Journalism Review in New York, and a former writer for Fortune magazine and the Globe and Mail newspaper.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *