Google has unveiled new methods to help attraction
and tour operators reach more travelers.
“In the last year, we’ve seen searches for ‘fun activities’ reach an all-time
high in the U.S.,” Richard Holden, the company’s vice president of travel products, says in a blog post. “That’s why we’re continuing to make it easier for people to
discover things to do on Google, and for businesses to connect with these new
potential customers as they plan their trips.”
In a “significant
expansion,” Google Maps now displays ticket prices for attractions to help people
quickly compare prices across different partners, according to a spokesperson. The company began displaying ticket
prices in Search last year.
Google Maps has more than one billion
monthly active users, and more than 50% of Maps usage is mobile, according to
Google Maps will soon display prices and booking links for “experiences” connected to a
particular attraction, for example, a combined Statue of Liberty and Ellis
Island tour. (Prices and booking links for experiences already appear on Search.)
Also in the near future, Search and Maps will begin
showing prices and booking links for
tour and activity operators when people search their business name.
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broadening now into this whole other set of possible ‘things to do,’” says a
Google spokesperson. “We want to [enable] people to look up the prices for and ultimately
book … things that are not necessarily connected to a particular attraction.”
addition, attraction owners now can directly edit their ticket prices on Search
and Maps through their Google business profile; the
functionality will soon be available for tour and activity operators as well.
“This is a simple
and free pathway to showing your ticket prices and booking links on your
attraction listing without needing a third party or a complicated setup,” the
Until now, business
operators wanting to participate in ad formats were required to work with a “connectivity provider,” a third-party travel tech
company which helps businesses distribute prices through various channels. Owners
and operators will still have the option of working with connectivity
are a lot of benefits to working with connectivity providers – not having to
manually up your information; they can also help with troubleshooting; they bring
their expertise in helping their other clients to bear,” the spokesperson says. "But we think folks should do whatever’s best for their business.”
Lastly, Google is expanding its ad format in Search to
include more countries and languages and allow ads to appear on individual
attraction listings so business owners can “extend [their] reach with paid marketing.”
For Google, the aim in making these updates is to get “the most complete and full picture of information to show to users ... so that users feel confident that they’re choosing from the widest variety of options,” says the spokesperson.
Earlier this year,
Google started showing free, organically-ranked hotel booking links in the Search results page and Google Maps.
The company also added
“interest layers” to Maps to help users narrow down where to stay in a
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