If you are still under any illusions about the potential power of Google Hotel Finder, and its possible impact on the likes if Priceline and other OTA’s, read the article below. This brilliant article in Tnooz by Thibault Lecuyer, Vice President of Ecommerce, Marketing and Communication, Fastbooking, very clearly lays out his take on the way of the future with regard to online bookings.
He believes that it is “platforms” which will far out perform “intermediaries” in the battle for search traffic. Users have a desire to compare and book, after researching possible alternatives. Comparison (online) shopping and user reviews hold far more weight with search users than sites which act as intermediaries and hold you on their site, not allowing the user to move off and gather information about other options.
This is where meta-search becomes invaluable, and Google Hotel Finder with its detailed and relevant search result, stands out against the competition.
In Thibault’s view “intermediaries” such as Priceline risk “going the way of the dinosaurs” with this trend in search. He believes that Priceline understands this and this is behind their purchase of the likes of Buteeq and Kayak, to try to help them adjust to these new search trends.
Be warned though – adding hotel websites and a booking engine to the OTA website (using the likes of Buteeq), really just increases the OTA’s control over hotels that were just managing to get some semblance of independence back.
As a Tnooz reader commented:
“Basically they (Buteeq) were the people rescuing us from being kidnapped, and like some surreal horror movie the people rescuing us are taking us back to the kidnappers”.
by Sally Baumber
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