September 05, 2018

Google continues to encroach gradually on OTA turf

The tech giant's most recent move was to begin offering exclusive hotel discounts via its Google One cloud storage platform, at the same time announcing the development of a "hotel-plus-flight product."

Google's hotel discounts are currently offered only to paying users of Google One, a cloud storage product that offers paid plans starting at $2 a month for 100 gigabytes.

But Phocuswright research manager Alice Jong said that despite their relatively limited rollout, the discounts still pose a "strategic risk" to OTAs and travel metasearch competitors.

"Google keeps launching all these little features, and if you look at each one independently, it's not as if they're going to turn Google into the next travel-deal website overnight," Jong said. "But they keep taking more and more little pieces out of the travel pie, and in many cases, these pieces are differentiating value propositions for other online players."

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