Could hotel search get any more competitive than it is already? Well apparently, err, yes it can. The newly released HotelSweep is the latest fledgling in a long line of hotel search tools to hit the web, promising to make looking for a hotel even more convenient than it is already.
Google Hotel Finder has finally rolled out some of its much-anticipated ‘innovation’, in the form of a new search parameter than allows us to search for hotels by travel time from key attractions and destinations
Last week, Danny King over at Travel Weekly hit the nail on the head with his assessment of Expedia’s so called “verified” review system. Expedia Verified Reviews attempts to qualify hotel reviews using “use” of Expedia as a criteria. Having pushed TripAdvisor from the OTA nest on its own, Expedia seems intent on milking the last drop from the user review teat.
An article on Tnooz last Friday peaked our interest, Xotels boss Patrick Landman offering up key variables in what will become the biggest online trade war ever. When Google, all the big corporate OTAs, and key independent online travel entities lock horns for a final round, a few will not be left standing.
It was inevitable once Google announced they were to acquire Zagat, the race for lost applications to engage travel. TechCrunch already reported on Gowalla, so did GigaOm, PC Mag, anyone “interested” in Gowalla. Chief Executive Josh Williams, according to PC Magazine, the Gowalla site will “re-focus” primarily on travel now. The selling point being, in depth guides, travel stories, relating the experience of travel – all conveniently on Gowalla.
President Obama’s projection about travel agents, and the potential for them becoming obscolete brought on a firestorm of criticism from who else? The ASTA of course. The American Society of Travel Agents took great offense and injury at comments that. Comments that. Were effectively accurate, that’s what.
Okay, just because Google bought ITA, just because flight search stuff got put onto the search page, just because they have 50 billion reasons to take over online travel, does not mean Sergey Brin, Larry Page, Eric Schmidt, and the rest at Google will. AND, launching the unbelievably fast Google Hotel Finder aspect for online travel? Nah, Google will never take over the multi-billion dollar online travel scene. Yeah! They will.