Hotels

Google sneakily adds hotel booking

Daisy Melwani

Search isn’t enough for this giant, it’s now looking into allowing users to book and pay for hotel rooms directly on Google.

According to reports, Google is beta testing a new feature to allow visitors to find and book hotel rooms without having to leave the familiar desktop interface.

The “Book on Google” initiative is reportedly running through a partnership with Sabre in North America, which is also beta testing a commission programme to allow hotel partners to choose to pay commissions to Google and the GDS for credit card transactions that Google handles on its Google platforms.

Rolling out with a limited number of US properties, Tnooz reports, customers can reserve a room directly with the hotel through Google+, Google Maps or Google Search, instead of going to OTA’s like Expedia or Booking.com.

Users can search for hotels via location and can scour the results for lowest rates or star ratings and reviews, similar to what’s available by using an OTA site or the hotel’s own website and then click the ‘Book’ button to enter personal information, including credit card details, to complete the reservation – all without being redirected to an external website.

Despite hotels having to pay commissions on confirmed bookings, it is expected to be a coo as properties are anticipating to win with a reduction in abandonment rates commonly seen when consumers have to switch websites to complete a transaction, according to Sabre.

The next step is for when Google integrates flights with its hotel booking functionality, a move analysts expects to be introduced soon.

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