Warmer weather is nearly here, and that creates many opportunities for hotels in popular travel destinations and airlines that travel to these locations. Online searchers who are planning a vacation are often looking for the best deals for travel and lodging. In a move that will help searchers and business owners, Google has introduced several new features that can help consumers save on flights and hotels this spring.
For a start, Google is helping people decide where to travel by showcasing popular locations where prices are low. The travel insights tool highlights flight price trends for popular routes and shows which cities have hotel deals during spring break. This move will increase visitors to travel destinations that are nice, but still reasonably priced. There’s also the possibility that airlines and local travel boards will lower prices to take advantage of this new feature.
There’s also a new feature to help travelers on a budget. Essentially, you can set your budget for travel and Google will find flights that meet your need.
Here’s how Google described the new feature, “For example, say you’re in San Francisco and want to spend less than $150 on a flight. For either specific or flexible dates, you can use a price filter on desktops to set your price limit and see only the destinations you can fly to within this range.”
Another feature has been updated that is great for people who are worried about getting unfair prices when shopping on airline sites, where pricing can fluctuate based on many factors. Travel searchers will now see a price insight for most trips which shows you whether the prices you see for flights are high, typical or low compared to what you’d usually find. In some situations, the tool will let you know when it’s likely that the price won’t get any lower or if it’s expected to increase soon. This tool helps ensure you’re getting the best value for your travel dollar.
Traveling is only one of the equation for a vacation, which is why the updated Google features include something to find deals on lodging. A “Deals” tab in the hotel search uses machine learning to find hotels where one or more of Google’s partners offer rates that are significantly lower than the usual price for that hotel or similar hotels nearby. This feature creates a strong incentive to work with a Google partner to run specials on a hotel room.
There are also some general marketing improvements that make the platform better suited for showcasing hotels. There are now hotel highlights that let users know if there is a fancy pool, if the location is a luxury hotel, and how family-friendly the place is. This feature comes with expanded pages for photos and reviews. However, businesses won’t be able to choose the pictures and reviews; the Google algorithm determines these. However, since it’s Google’s goal to get people to buy hotel rooms, the algorithm is sure to pick the best photos that will get generate a steady conversion rate.
These are great features to have with spring break right around the corner. There’s not much a business can do to take advantage of these features, other than to make sure Google lists their business (airline or hotel). Also, creating offers through one of Google’s partners will significantly increase your exposure online during the spring.
For more recent news about Google, read this article on the updates to Google’s Test My Site tool.