Google shows its potential to ruin the dreams of travel destination apps

True to form, Google is putting the industry on red alert with the upcoming release of a new travel app known as Trips.

The company began testing the application through a group of users of its Local Guides programme last week.

In short, Google Trips works a little bit like TripIt (now owned by Concur), but a lot like countless in-destination mobile services.

Therefore, enough to trigger the pressure that some may feel is likely to be heading the way of startups hoping to produce (or have products in the market) that allow users to explore a destination using maps and find out information about a location.

Here is a tweet from Travelport-owned MTT mobile expert Glenville Morris that summarises how many are feeling about Trips, even before it is widely available so users can play around.

Combining existing Google services, such as Maps, Trips allows lets a user discover things to do (using GPS on the handset), including attractions, restaurants, etc.

Users of the app can save different services for checking at a later date, as well as plot routes between locations, covering public transport such as buses, metros and trains, ride-sharing and taxis.

But where Trips has the potential to challenge the trip planners is in its use of the existing scraping technology to obtain a user’s travel schedule.

Similar to TripIt, Trips will pull in content (air tickets, hotel stays, etc) from the user’s email confirmations (as it does from GMail and Calendar to populate hotel stays on Maps) to create the schedule within the application.

The challenge that many similar services have that Google will never need to trouble itself with concerns getting users.

Whilst many have to contend with combining their user acquisition strategy with marketing spend, Google potentially can run the application with very little in terms of financial outlay for brand awareness and downloads (similar to its user strategy for Hotel Finder and Flights).

Here are some screen shots provided to Tnooz from one of the testers (thanks!):












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Kevin May

About the Writer :: Kevin May

Kevin May was a co-founder and member of the editorial team from September 2009 to June 2017.



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  1. Charles Elias

    As a google local guide, I’ve been able to test and I don’t see it as a Game Changer. It’s true that many apps will be seriously affected by this launching as google has the capability to aggregate in one single app all its travel-related services. However, few of these apps were successful and none of them was able to differentiate from the others… Then google is going to close those ones which already were terminal… Nevertheless, Google still doesn’t solve the main problems travelers have: Too much information, too many doubts, hard choices, FOMO, lost of time…

  2. Restado

    Not the warmth you expect to see from a travel product.

    Interesting to see if this will be a Google Maps vs MapQuest or a Google Plus vs Facebook

  3. gezifesto

    Thanks for the review, Kevin.
    It seems to be game changer, and a great challenge to existing players.
    Or it will be yet another dissapointment from a tech giant 🙂

    Do you know where can we get the app, as i couldnt find it on googleplay?
    is there a way to reach the beta?

    • Kevin May

      Kevin May

      @gezifesto – thanks for the comment… it’s not widely available yet, only to beta tester who have been selected from its existing Google Field Trip project…


    Thats phenomenal

  5. Gucgogo1

    It is unbelievable that it takes that long for Google to come up conservatively with an app like that after many similar attempts. Google talents are migrating away.

  6. Patrick Mulder

    Very interesting development. Google is pulling we’ve all been delivering to the “beast” for the past decade and serving it to its users based upon what they need (at least what the Algorithm is predicting). But what is in it for a DMC/destination? How to promote the “Gastronomy year Q4-2016” theme? How would Google be aware? I think the destinations still need other marketing companies to help them promoting destinations.

    OTA’s, flights or hotels sites should be more on a red alert as you call it Kevin, I agree. Google might take conversions from them or charge them for delevering bookings in an AdWords platform model


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