Excerpt from Travel Market Report
What is Google doing in travel? Is Google trying to replace traditional travel agents? Will Google seek to buy a large travel agency group?
Those were some of the questions travel advisors were asking last week at the annual Virtuoso Symposium, held in Cape Town, South Africa, as Dave Pavelko, partnerships director for Travel Google Inc., took the stage to provide an update on what the search-engine giant is doing in the travel industry. He also offered suggestions on what travel agents and suppliers should do to meet the complex new challenges of a digital world.
Pavelko appeared at a time when the media is replete with stories speculating about what the search engine giant is doing in travel and whether its goal is to automate the function travel agents now serve.
But I have to admit I didn’t come away with the idea that Google is doing that—or even wants to do that. Indeed, Google may very well view travel agents as customers for its own services instead of as competitors. Many travel agencies today are firmly linked into the digital world and are already using Google tools and products to boost their business.
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