The travel industry has been booming for the longest time possible, thanks to some of the largest online advertisers. Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google has also played a vital role in being global advertising network. Thus it is not hard to understand how it has been making its money from ads promoting business. However, despite the cordial relationship that has existed between the search engine and online travel agents, there is looming war between Google vs. Kayak.
Paul English CEO and co-founder of Kayak, one of the widely successful travel agency thinks that the tourism sector’s home turf is experiencing both direct and indirect invasion from the Mountain View-based tech giant. English was speaking at the Phocuswright Conference held in Los Angeles where he bluntly described his thinking about Google as annoying. Kayak is part of Priceline Group Inc.
Google vs. Kayak: Are concerns from the travel agencies justified?
Google has been involved in more or less what travel agents do the likes of showing flights and hotel listings to travelers. Other features include allowing the purchase of tickets directly from airlines without necessarily having to visit third-party sites. One of its many partnerships allows consumers to book hotels in a similar fashion with payment details having been filled out if Google using a credit card. But do all these justify the cold war between Google vs. Kayak?
Google says they do not in any way intend to become a travel agent. Dismissing what seems like a larger threat, Google’s travel executive Oliver Heckmann says, “If I look at the industry, everybody is sort of collaborating and competing with each other. I want to get a margarita every time I have to clarify that misunderstanding.”
Google has done the math: They have more to gain than lose
Google is an advertising platform, and its revenue is still stable. However, its latest moves are the most aggressive and are likely to push online travel agents into parking. They must have realized the possibility of being able to tap into the rise of mobile devices and voice-based digital assistants; a new look into how travelers research and book travel online.
However, the bitterness between Google vs. Kayak is far from being over as Google seems to be risking some of the top 10 search advertisers the likes of Expedia and Priceline who claim to invest more than $1 billion every quarter to get customers to visit their sites directly. Nonetheless, they have the option of turning to Facebook.
Alphabet’s stock was trading at $785.00 an increase of $0.20 or 0.03%.
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