Skift Take

It doesn't surprise any soul who knows the travel industry that Google Hotel Ads is the breadwinner and Google Flights takes a back seat revenue-wise, but it's nice to hear Google finally say it.

Google doesn’t talk about travel strategy very often but it’s clear from a recent interview that Hotel Ads is the breadwinner in travel among Google’s offerings while flights is the “upper- funnel product” that’s less lucrative but the starting point for consumer research.

“From our perspective, we see flight search as an upper-funnel product and hotels as a lower-funnel product and our revenue story is that Hotel Ads is the key revenue driver in the travel space,” said Oliver Heckmann, who heads Google’s travel product and is a vice president of engineering, during an on-stage interview at the inaugural Skift Forum Europe in London April 4.

Heckmann said the precise dynamics vary by country but that both Google Hotel Ads and Google Flights are showing “high momentum now in Europe.”

Heckmann said Google’s product people can focus on developing strategy even as regulatory issues may be swirling. “If you focus on the user you have a very defensible position to prove what you’ve done, you done the right thing for consumers,” he said.

You can watch the full discussion below.

Note: Initial planning is in full-swing for our flagship event Skift Global Forum, which will be held September 26-27 in New York City. We wanted to make sure our most loyal Skift readers were able to purchase their tickets early and were rewarded for doing so. That’s why we’ve re-opened up our previously sold out early bird discount for an additional 35 tickets. Attendees can now save $800 per ticket on the largest creative business conference in travel.

Read more coverage of Skift Forum Europe 2017.

At this year’s inaugural Skift Forum Europe in London, travel leaders from around the world gathered for a day of inspiration, information, and conversation on the future of travel.

Visit our Skift Global Forum site for more details about 2017 events, including our New York City event September 26-27.

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Tags: google, skift forum europe

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