Some rumors die hard — Will Google become an online travel agency? [VIDEO]
He is, of course, not alone in his theory.
Perez cites Google’s recent launch of Google Hotel Finder and says Google would merely need to insert a “Book It” button to become an OTA.
“That’s it,” Perez says.
Take a look and listen:
Skeptics argue that Google would not want to turn its advertising model on its head and build the infrastructure necessary to become a merchant of record and to provide customer service to delayed or sometimes-disgruntled travelers.
And, with the Federal Trade Commission, US Senate, state attorneys general and European regulators intensely scrutinizing Google’s practices, this would hardly be the moment for Google to radically restructure its mission by becoming an OTA.
Following up on the video, Perez says Google has the potential, capacity and “desire for revenues” to become an OTA.
He says Google could charge hotels lower “booking fees” than OTAs do if Google enables hotels to enroll for Hotel Finder online.
“Google’s excursion into the travel industry follows the company’s trend of challenging established markets,” Perez says. “The recent launch of Google+ to take on social media sites like Facebook, Google Offers encroaching on Groupon’s territory — the track record is definitely there.”
Perez points to some Google commercial setbacks such as Google Wave and Google Video Player, but opines that “the OTA opportunity for Google is just too great for it to ignore.”
In the run-up to its acquisition of ITA Software, of course, Google pledged that it would not be selling airline tickets.
Google undoubtedly is already heavily involved in travel, one of its largest sectors by anyone’s count.
But will the temptation to get even further involved in the glamorous travel industry just be too great a temptation for Google?
Dennis Schaal was North American editor for Tnooz.