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Google launches new tool for travel industry

As the Indian travel industry comes together to chart a path towards recovery, Google has launched Travel Insights with Google. A website that provides demand trends to sector participants, be they a chain of hotels, a small travel startup, or a booking  agent, Travel Insights with Google will help better understand pent-up travel demand and leverage insights from these tools for businesses to position themselves for recovery.

Based on user search data, the Travel Insights with Google tool can point to two kinds of time-specific trends, increasing confidence in decision making in this dynamic period. These are: 

Destination Insights - This tool will give a clear picture of the top sources of demand for a destination, and the destinations within countries that travellers are most interested in visiting - helping the industry map out a possible resumption of travel on specific routes and make choices about where to communicate with potential future travelers.

Hotel Insights - Hotel Insights is designed to help properties of all sizes, especially small and independent hotels, understand where travel demand for their geography may be coming from, and get tools, advice and tips for making their businesses stand out online.

For instance, in the month of November, growth in search interest for domestic travel to cities such as Shirdi, Chandigarh, and Bagdogra was strong. In this same period, travellers in Maharashtra, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu, Delhi, and Gujarat top the searches for accommodation options. The tool also provides granular insights into travel demand for single geographies split by Air travel demand and demand for accommodation.

During the same period, the tool shows that the top demand for outbound travel from India by air came for Male, Bangkok and Dubai, while the top growing cities by search interest were Male, Genoa and Boston.

In addition, the website also hosts the Travel Analytics Center. Available to Google’s commercial partners in the travel sector, this will enable these organizations to combine their own Google account data with broader Google demand data and insights to give a clearer picture of how to manage their operations and find opportunities to reach potential visitors.

Commenting on the launch, Roma Datta Chobey, Director - Travel, Google India, said, “The pandemic has had a direct, immediate and continuing impact on the travel industry. But it is also one of the industries that has been at the forefront of digitisation. Our Travel Insights with Google tool recognizes that, and amidst this volatility, provides players real-time, actionable analysis of travel intention and sentiment, domestically and from overseas, for better and more agile decision making. We hope that the utility of this tool will also accelerate the digitisation of those in the industry that have been operating offline as going online is now an essential requirement for recovery.”

The launch of the website follows Google’s other digitization initiatives. In August this year, Google partnered with FICCI towards upskilling Travel MSMEs on digital, sharing insights on  changing consumer trends, and providing a roadmap to help the travel and tourism sector digitize their business.

In addition to the Travel Insights tools, the website will also be a one-stop destination for other Google resources, including skills training courses through Grow with Google, Digital Garage and  Google for Small Business, and our tourism Acceleration Programme with the UN World Tourism Organization.

Throughout 2020, Google has launched a range of new tools and features to support the global travel industry. Some of these include surfacing travel advisories on Google Search, the discounted rates available for first responders, and changing hotel and airline cancellation policies.

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