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Google debuted a trio of new tools to help destinations and hotels use search data to identify and analyze travel demand — but the company is being careful to encourage trips in Asia-Pacific only for now.
The launch is geared toward APAC, where a travel recovery is showing some promise and eagerness to travel was back to about half of pre-Covid levels, because Google does not want to appear to be encouraging people to travel in pandemic-ravaged regions, Richard Holden, vice president, product management, for Google’s travel features, told Skift.
Google, which offers an array of travel advertising products for flights, hotels, vacation rentals, and things to do, opened two of the new tools, Destination Insights and Hotel Insights, to any businesses, including non-advertisers, as a way to help them, but also to plumb for customers among the plethora of small companies that don’t currently market through Google.
The company hosts the tools on a new Travel Insights with Google website.
Aimed toward small- and medium-size businesses, Destination Insights uses anonymized Google search data to help tourism board identify their top sources of demand, and the locales and attractions within their borders that travelers are most keen on visiting. Most tourism boards are likely to already have analytics to decipher demand trends, and Google’s insights might supplement or hone such understandings when pandemic-tinged decisions need to be made quickly.
Singapore’s minister for national development Desmond Lee said the city-state hopes to use the Google tool to inform border reopenings.
“As we look towards reopening our borders safely, we hope that Google’s Destination Insights will provide valuable insights into people’s travel aspirations to facilitate data-driven decisions as we work together to welcome the world to our shores again,” Google quoted Lee as saying.
Hotel Insights, which is especially geared toward small or independent hotels that might not have sophisticated tools to assess demand, offers “extensive insights’ about hotel demand, according to Google.
The idea is for both tourism boards and hotels to better target their potential visitors and guests.
The Travel Analytics Center is the only one of the three new tools that’s restricted to Google partners, and in theory enables them to combine their own data with Google’s data and insights. It builds on Demand Explorer, a Google data tool to help airlines use search data to tap into and manage route possibilities.
Google is expected to expand the data insights to other regions as travel recovers.