Skift Take

Given Google's global market clout, none of its product introductions and activities should be dismissed. But Expedia's CEO Peter Kern got feisty and made a good point that Expedia has transaction data, which can be more useful for hotels and tourism boards, than mere search data. Unless Google ups its booking game, and then all bets are off.

Series: Dennis' Online Travel Briefing

Dennis' Online Travel Briefing

Editor’s Note:¬†Every Wednesday, Executive Editor and online travel rockstar Dennis Schaal will bring readers exclusive reporting and insight into the business of online travel and digital booking, and how this sector has an impact across the travel industry.

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Online Travel This Week In some quarters, it seemed as though the world might be ending for online travel agencies because Google launched new data tools for hotels and tourism boards in Asia-Pacific to help them track and analyze travel demand. The tools are free for partners and non-customers alike, which is designed to help them, but also to assist Google in foraging for new potential advertisers from the long- tail of candidates. One investor note, from Bernstein opined that the Google tools are a market share threat to online travel agencies, contending that "the new products encroach on another material source of OTA revenues: data support to B2B partners." The Bernstein note smells like overkill to me, but as they say in baseball, the player lineups may look like is one thing, "but that's why they play the games."