Google Steps Further into Travel With Tour & Activity Advertising

August 24, 2020

While Google’s slow roll into the vacation rental space is no secret some were surprised by a Tours and Activities advertising unit making its debut. This advertising block features five activities and it’s being tested above paid ads and organic search results. One source states that for providers to participate they must agree to long term licensing agreements with Google.  Anyone not participating will most likely lose valuable traffic to their websites. Like Google’s main travel application, these ads bring the user directly to a Google made details page of the product or activity that they are advertising and the user experiences less of that companies’ brand.

The 2019 launch of Google Travel allowed travelers to organize a trip in one application. Users can filter flights, places to stay, and now things to do all in one product. Instead of consumers going directly to sites like Expedia, Google will show you lists of deals on hotels or vacation rentals, then take you to their site directly to book. While consumers are still booking through OTAs, this severely limits traffic to their sites directly.

Google claims their travel products were made to serve the user, with more eye-catching designs and layout. The design of the new product is intended to let the user know that Google has it all there at their fingertips. The CEO of GetYourGuide states that Google’s ultimate goal is to integrate booking into its travel platform. If they do this, Google will become similar to Amazon where providers are listed, but everyone must go through Google to access the product.

Ultimately guest experience remains at the heart of the travel industry. In order to stay relevant to travelers, you can take a page from the Google playbook. They found a need to make destination information, places to stay, and things to do in an area more accessible to provide a connected experience through search. You can do the same by building your brand and your online presence to be more inclusive.

  • Strengthen your website by including area information, fun things to do, and you can even endorse popular travel products that you think could help your guests.
  • Stay engaged on social media. Your company will be more searchable and will make it easier for your guests to find out information about your property and what you’re offering.
  • Build and create partnerships to help your properties stand out among others in your area.
  • Feature local tours and attractions on your website and social media.
  • If you have 3rd party partnerships that differentiate your properties make sure you are advertising them.

Create a one-stop-shop for travelers so they start to associate your brand with having everything they will need to plan a full and exciting vacation.