As with anything Google does, you can expect Google Trips to be very much a work in progress that goes through numerous iterations before it becomes available to the public. But its beta release expands Google's footprint in the travel ecosystem especially since so many consumers begin their trip planning in the search engine and explore destinations with the Maps app.
Google’s new travel app, Google Trips, mines Gmail for your reservations and pairs them with city guide-like information, things to do and attractions in travelers’ upcoming destinations.
Dutch site Android World leaked details about the new app.
The beta of what Google previously described as a travel assistant app was made available to certain members of Google Local Guides and seems to combine itinerary management features, similar to TripIt or Worldmate, paired with city guide information such as that released in November in Google’s Destinations feature or you might find on TripAdvisor.
Google officials said a few weeks ago that Destinations, which pairs destination information with integrated booking capabilities from Google Flights and Google Hotel Ads, didn’t scoop up information from users’ Gmails to personalize the Destinations’ experience — but the new Google Trips app apparently indeed mines Gmail, presumably after users opt-in.
We haven’t seen Google Trips firsthand or had an opportunity to test it because it is invitation-only. It isn’t clear whether the app’s Things To Do feature, which breaks down into tabs called Top Spots, For You, Indoor, Outdoor, Farther Away, and Places A to Z, also includes tours and activities or other booking functionality.
The For You tab could be especially interesting, depending on how well it personalizes the wealth of information that Google already has about users.
The Google Trips app, which is currently in beta, appears to be more tours and activities-oriented than Google’s Destinations, which is available via the mobile Web.
For your trip to a destination, according to the screenshots of the app that Android World posted, users can access Reservations, Things to do, Food and drink, Need to know, and Saved places.
The Google Trips app offers users offline access to their reservations — no Internet required.
As with anything Google does, you can expect Google Trips to be very much a work in progress that goes through numerous iterations before it becomes available to the public.
Google is slowly blending many of of its travel-oriented features, including Google Maps, Google Hotel Ads, Google Flights, Destinations, and now potentially Google Trips. The latter’s beta release to a closed group expands Google’s footprint in the travel ecosystem especially since so many consumers begin their trip planning on Google.
Following the proliferation of tours and activities startups, TripAdvisor’s acquisition of Viator and Expedia’s relatively new focus on the sector, Google Trips is another signal that tours and activities is coming into its own.
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Photo credit: Screen shots of Google's Trips app. Android World