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.
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.
— Glenville Morris (@glenvillemorris) May 3, 2016
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!):
Kevin is senior editor and a co-founder at Tnooz. He was previously editor of UK-based magazine Travolution and web editor of Media Week UK from 2003 to 2005.
He has worked in regional newspapers (Essex Enquirer) and started his career at the Police Gazette at New Scotland Yard in London. He has a degree in criminology, a postgraduate diploma in magazine journalism and publishes his first book - a biography about Depeche Mode - in early-2017.