If you aren’t paying attention to Google’s movement in the Travel arena, here’s an update. If you want to talk about the future of Travel, start with Google, because every consumer, guest, business, and everyone else already does.

 

1st: considering the below, there’s absolutely no way that Google Plus won’t pick up steam. The Google Local tied in with Zagat have started gaining momentum alongside review sites like Yelp and Tripadvisor (still no Facebook review component?). When people search Google, it is so natural to click on the map or what is in front of you. As it’s been said before – if you rely on Google Search for people to find you, or Google maps for people to get to you, you shouldn’t be ignoring google reviews, google local, etc.

2nd:
Google “Now” which combines search w/ personal data, IE:

 

If I search a restaurant on my desktop, it automatically tells my phone to show me a map, and show me travel time from my current location.

 

If I have a “boarding pass” for a flight come to my email, my phone automatically suggests transit options, shows a map, shows traffic time to the airport, and shows departure time, and if it’s on time.

 

If I have a package being shipped to me, my phone knows to tell me when it should arrive, and whether I need to be at the address, where it is in transit, etc.

 

If there’s a concert on my calendar, it tells me when, where, and whether I have my tickets.

 

That’s just the beginning….

 

Here is a simple video:

 

 

Travopia mentions that “The revolution has begun” – how google will wrap all it’s products together. Google Flight search and Google Hotel Finder are the best in the biz, I think.
This is from the Travopia article, regarding how the intuitive nature of Google Now will capture travelers, guests, business people, and the like:”After yesterday’s product refresh, Google Now displays cards for below 21 scenarios:

  1. Appointment
  2. Weather
  3. Traffic
  4. Flight -Displays your flight schedules, gate changes, traffic information to airport
  5. Hotel -Shows directions to your hotel when you arrive in a new city, Google knows where you stay
  6. Restaurant -Reminders you when to leave to reach the restaurant with live estimated travel time
  7. Events – Reminders about your event tickets that you purchased for, pulls event details too
  8. Packages – Displays your product shipping status, allows you to track it
  9. Sports
  10. Movies
  11. Concerts
  12. Stocks
  13. Public Alerts
  14. Developing Stories & Breaking News
  15. Public Transit- Displays the next bus / train (with ETA) when you are at a bus / tube / train station
  16. Places -Depending on your location, it suggests nearby places of interest, bars and restaurants
  17. Nearby Attractions -Displays near by attractions to visit [pulled from Zagat]
  18. Nearby Photo spots -Displays the photo spots nearby with ETA
  19. Translations
  20. Currency
  21. Time At Home”
 
TNooz talks about it… Google Now pushes itineraries, translates, shows photo spots
 
TechCrunch raves – “Contextual Results w/ real time reminders and data”
Wired: Google Now delivers boarding passes, travel forecasts prior to search

 

(this was the first time I really got it, traveling over the holidays. It knew I was about to search for our rental car confirmation, it knew I was going to search for flight info, our hotel info, etc. It kept telling me before I searched)
(The search assistant like Apple’s Siri is smart, and funny… and can post directly to Google Plus, etc)

 

Here’s a guy walking through how it would help book something like Oktoberfest….
Google Now is an integral next step for Google’s entry into controlling travel. It’s fairly amazing. Let me know your experiences. When I got over the startling creepy vibe, it’s become a bit of a sentient friend (and I am ashamed to talk like that, but it’s true. I guess Jobs was right).

 

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