Total $0.00


By Megan Harr

Earlier this week, Google launched further into the world of travel with the release of Google Trips, a smartphone app that serves as a personalized tour guide. The app, which is available for Android or Apple devices, has the potential to shift travel data in a new direction by way of acting as a new front-end for existing information. By pulling data from Google Maps, Flights, and Places and marrying that information with travel information stored in your e-mail, Google is encouraging habitual use and ultimately shifting the way travelers utilize relevant information on-the-go. Not only does the app store reservation details in one place even without access to an Internet connection, it also suggests activities for what to do at a particular location based on weather, time of day, and past behavior.

Should tour guides and hoteliers be worried? Not necessarily. Google’s commitment to providing services and products that aid users across a variety of tasks makes their further exploration into the travel and hospitality sector an inevitability when considering the frequency with which we travel. According to the U.S. Travel Association in 2015, U.S. residents logged 1.7 billion person-trips for leisure purposes with the intent of visiting relatives, shopping, visiting friends, going to the beach and many other activities. Other types of travel are growing too, with U.S. residents logging 459 million person-trips for business related purposed in 2015. With $2.1 trillion in economic output generated by domestic and international visitors in that same year, we should not expect to see Google retreat from this sector any time soon.

Google Trips makes it easy to see which attractions are open and estimate how long it will take travelers to get from one destination to another, helping individuals make the most of their time. However, when travelers find a match to a restaurant, bar, hotel or area attraction that matches their itinerary, they cannot make a reservation without contacting the provider directly. By virtue of its design, Google Trips is more appropriately marketed as a place to store information about a trip once plans have already been made. For those in vacation mode, the app serves a very specialized function despite its early limitations.

Today, the app serves as a purely organic product and Google’s main priority appears to be building a positive user experience before exploring advertising functionalities within Google Trips. To be seen and remain competitive in a digital landscape, hoteliers should ensure that they have developed a robust digital marketing strategy that not only attracts customers at every point in the purchase funnel but also is personalized to their target markets. Since Google Trip’s algorithm appears to have a solely organic function, hoteliers should ensure that they have a mobile-friendly website that offers fresh, unique content that is search engine optimized. Further, hoteliers should focus on strategies that drive traffic and bookings directly to their site including setting up local listings and directories to maintain a consistent local search presence, encouraging and responding to user reviews, and focusing on off-page SEO strategies to impact the many ranking signals that Google considers.

Google has succeeded in developing a product that will likely be part of the travel experience for many. In addition to focusing attention to their own digital marketing strategies, hoteliers can supplement the information that travelers find on Google Trips with an editorial voice to provide their clients with the human touch that travel often demands. In that capacity, hoteliers can help guests craft truly personalized experience, helping them find places to go and things to do that travelers and the app may have not necessarily have known to look for. How can independent and branded properties begin to accomplish this this? A good place to start is with engaging content. 

About the Author and HeBS Digital

Megan Harr is Manager, Copy & SEO at HeBS Digital. Founded in 2001, HeBS Digital helps hoteliers drastically increase direct bookings and lower overall distribution costs by deploying industry best-of-breed digital technology, consulting and marketing (

The firm has won more than 350 prestigious industry awards for its digital technology, website design and marketing services, including numerous Adrian Awards, Stevie Award in the American Business Awards, W3 Awards, WebAwards, Magellan Awards, Summit International Awards, Interactive Media Awards, and IAC Awards.

A diverse client portfolio of top-tier major luxury and boutique hotel chains, independent hotels, resorts and casinos, franchised properties and hotel management companies, convention centers, spas, restaurants and bars, DMO and CVBs are all benefiting from HeBS Digital’s direct online channel strategy and digital marketing expertise. Contact HeBS Digital’s consultants at (212) 752-8186 or

Contact: Mariana Mechoso Safer / 212-782-3775

Related News

Your Top 10 Digital Marketing New Year's Resolutions

Mariana Safer of HEBS Digital to Be Honored at HSMAI's 2018 Adrian Awards as a Top 25 Extraordinary Mind in Hospitality

A Top Priority in 2018: 7 Steps to Achieve Hotel Website Accessibility and ADA Compliance

HEBS Digital’s Sister Company, Serenata IntraWare, Voted World’s Leading Hotel CRM Technology Provider by the World Travel Awards 2017

HEBS Digital Celebrates 2017: A Year of Broadening the Global Footprint, Technology Innovations and Industry Recognition

HEBS Digital Wins Record-Breaking 21 HSMAI Adrian Awards, Including 10 Gold

HEBS Digital Wins Six Silver W3 Awards for Conversion-Focused Website Design and Technology, and Compelling Digital Creative

A New Fort Collins Destination Shines on The Elizabeth Hotel’s Custom Website

HEBS Digital’s “Closing the Loop on the Travel Journey” Article Featured in The Hotel Yearbook 2018 – Technology

HEBS Digital Launches A New Website for Loews Hotels, Bringing their Signature Luxury Experience to Life with Stunning Design & Innovative Technology

HEBS Digital Guarantees Hoteliers a Boost in Direct Bookings with a 40% Website Conversion Rate Uplift

HEBS Digital Awarded Nine Travel Weekly Magellan Awards for its Website Design & Technology Solutions Built to Boost Customer Engagement and Direct Bookings

HEBS Digital Wins 5 WebAwards for Industry-Leading Technology and Design

Must-Read Whitepaper Available: The Smart Hotelier’s Guide to 2018 Digital Marketing & Technology Budget Planning

A New Look for a Historic Chicago Hotel’s Website

Hotelier’s Action Plan to Maximize Revenues from the Google Ecosystem

HEBS Digital Makes Inc. 5000 List of Fastest Growing Private Companies in America

Getting into the Mind Set of Budget Planning Season for 2018

Join Us for a Webinar: “How to Increase Customer Loyalty by Fully Integrating Guest Acquisition & Engagement”

Now Available for Download: HEBStrategy Q3 2017 Hotel Digital Marketing, Technology, and Trends Whitepaper

All News »

Please login or register to post a comment.