Hotels

Google adds vacation rentals to its evolving hotel platform

Christian Fleetwood

Christian Fleetwood

Just weeks after announcing its first foray into the hotel space, Google has expanded into alternative accommodations.

The tech giant’s next venture, currently only available for mobile, will push Google Hotel Search into the hotel rentals space, including a greater expansion of its vacation rentals, which have been available in hotel searches since 2018.

The company will now add more options in the vacation rentals space, potentially putting the tech giant in competition with Airbnb – a company that banks on alternative, user-run accommodations and mobile bookings.

Announced on Tuesday, the tech company revealed that the move would also allow mobile users to book entire lodgings, with the emphasis on enabling travellers to make “fast, effortless decisions”.

“In the hotel search experience, you can surface vacation rental properties – be it a cabin in Lake Tahoe or a beach house in Sydney– by applying the vacation rentals filter or clicking on the vacation rentals tip,” Google’s travel product manager, Pratip Banerji, said.

“You can narrow your search with price and amenity filters, plus browse photos, read reviews and see rates and availability of the vacation rental property. When you’re ready to book, click ‘Book’ to complete your transaction on the travel partner’s page. All property information and bookings are provided and done by the travel partner.”

The company is on the path to making its Google Hotel Search a hub for bookings, with the news its vacation rentals platform will be pooled by a wealth of booking partners, including Expedia, HomeAway, Hotels.com, NextPax, RedAwning, Rentals United, TripAdvisor, VRBO and more.

In this respect, users will have the ability to search and assess from a number of booking options, then make informed booking choices – all on a single search platform. When combined with Google’s suite of search technologies like Google Trends and Google Flights, it’s a pretty powerful and accessible way to make bookings.

Google plans to bring its vacation rental tool to desktop within the next month.

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