Google is updating its travel tools to make it easier for
travelers to identify and choose climate-friendly options when they plan trips.
For the first time, travelers interested in traveling by train in
and around Germany, Spain, Italy and Japan can shop directly in Google Search.
“Want to swap the car or plane for a train? For some trips, taking
a train might be the more sustainable option, but finding the prices and
schedules to get from A to B can take a few separate searches,” says Google
vice president of travel product Richard Holden in an announcement explaining
the need for the new tools.
For Germany, Google has a direct partnership with Deutsche Bahn,
the country’s national railway. For the other three countries, the schedule and
price data comes from Travelfusion for bookings with Renfe in Spain, Trenitalia
and Italo in Italy and Japan Rail.
The ticketing option is visible globally but only for travel in
and around those countries, with more coverage being added over time through
partnerships with rail operators, aggregators and third-party booking sites.
Google says a similar feature for bus tickets will be added in the near future.
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Prior to this, Google only surfaced train schedules – not prices
or booking links – for train travel, except in the United Kingdom where last
fall it began an integration with Trainline only in Google Maps that
displays train options and the ability to purchase with Google Pay.
Google is also updating its tools related to accommodations and
Last fall, the search giant added an
eco-certified badge to hotels that have met sustainability standards from
certain independent organizations, and a few weeks later it added an estimate
of carbon emissions for results on Google Flights.
Now travelers can use a filter to limit the displayed results to only those
eco-certified in the case of hotels and only flights that have emissions lower
than the average for a similar trip.
says the company is working with organizations such as the U.S. Green Building
Council and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council to improve the accuracy of
its hotel certification data.
time, we want to make sure that the environmental impact of your travel options
is always part of the equation. And while there is still a long road ahead on
this journey, we believe these new tools bring us one step closer in that direction,”
August, Google came under fire regarding the accuracy
of its flight emission data. As a member of the Travalyst Coalition, Google
has helped to develop the organization’s sustainability framework and is a
technology provider to help other platforms display emission data.
head of travel sustainability, global partnerships, Sebnem Erzan participated
in a panel discussion on the industry’s efforts toward sustainability during a session
at Phocuswright Europe. Watch the full discussion, which also includes Travalyst
CEO Sally Davey, Booking.com head of sustainability Danielle D’Silva and
Byway Travel founder and CEO Cat Jones, below.
Executive Roundtable: Making Sustainability Sustainable - Phocuswright Europe 2022