So is this the end of third party websites as Expedia, ebookers etc.., is Google taking over the online distribution channels? This may be a bit premature but at least we can say that Google is taking a big step towards dominating the market of information. For instance, they have integrated the quick flight search, which has already had a big impact on the flight industry.
In addition to this, Google has now integrated Google places for the hotel rates for all third party suppliers as ebookers, Expedia, lastminute, etc… and soon they will start distributing directly without passing through the third parties so they will monetize the hotel search with the same PPC model.
Nevertheless, we should not forget that Google is playing the double game, as third parties are their best customers so they need to play along with them.
What does this mean for the hotels? As Google has not deployed their deal to independent hotels, it doesn’t really mean much except if you are using Trust International as your CRS, in this case you can definitely start working with them as they are the only ones in the market to propose this services currently.
It should not take too long until their main competitor Micros will propose the same services. But what is more interesting is that in some destinations Google is giving this service to the individual hotel properties so they can access to the interface without passing by other suppliers. Soon we will be able to benefit from a new distribution channel without third parties with a smaller commission compared to the one of the third parties. The hotels themselves will be able to administer this new channel, which will rely on the quality of pictures and contents of the destinations. This will also be a perfect way of checking your rate parity as you will be next to the other third party sites.