TRAVEL TECHNOLOGY

Google Travel Now Includes Vacation Rentals in its Search Results Alongside Hotels

Google Travel | June 01, 2021

Google Travel Now Includes Vacation Rentals in its Search Results Alongside Hotels
Google is making moves that further blur the line between hotels and private accommodations.

The search giant says searches for “beach rentals” and “staycations” grew by more than 100% globally in the last year. It wants to better serve that interest by combining vacation rentals and hotels in one comprehensive search result for a destination.

The “vacation rentals” filter – launched in 2019 – remains for users that want to limit results to only non-hotel properties. Still, without that filter, the default display will show both types of accommodations.

Google says results are ranked organically based on relevance to the user’s query. The company would not provide a list of current supply partners, but searches on the site show listings from Tripadvisor, Vacasa, Red Awning, Sonder, Rentals United, and others.

Vrbo listings had been on the site for nearly two years but in its earnings call in February, Expedia Group CEO Peter Kern announced the company had pulled them, saying, “We didn’t find investment in the Google vacation rental product particularly incremental, we didn’t think the customer experience was precious, and we are of course also having a period where we see great direct traffic for Vrbo. So we found other ways, and I’d argue more profitable ways, to drive traffic.”

It’s unclear at this stage whether properties from Booking.com and Airbnb are participating in the vacation rental search.

Google announced the new combined hotels and vacation rental search product Thursday morning during its Google Marketing Live online event.

“We’ve seen growing and sustained interest in vacation rentals since the start of the pandemic and have evolved our product accordingly to meet those user preferences. This launch is the first time that we’re showing results that combine both hotels and vacation rentals when a user is trying to find a place to stay,” says a company spokesperson via email.

Spotlight

Online hotel booking is a classic example of a market that heavily relies on intermediaries. This creates overheads at the expense of both customers and businesses while third parties keep control of customer data in silos and hinder customer relationships. We propose a new decentralized ecosystem - Trippi - that substantially reduces platform commissions and enables direct relationships between the customer and the business. 

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Spotlight

Online hotel booking is a classic example of a market that heavily relies on intermediaries. This creates overheads at the expense of both customers and businesses while third parties keep control of customer data in silos and hinder customer relationships. We propose a new decentralized ecosystem - Trippi - that substantially reduces platform commissions and enables direct relationships between the customer and the business.