As Google ends its ‘Reserve with Google’ function, replacing it with a new pilot program called ‘Things to Do’, travel connectivity hub Livn has been confirmed as the latest partner to facilitate the move.
Previously, online bookings for tour, activity and attractions operators were captured in Google business listings through the ‘buy tickets’ button.
Online travel agencies (OTAs) processed the bookings for Google on the back end, leaving operators with high commissions of up to 30 per cent. Operators did not have the opportunity to participate in this model outside of an OTA partner.
With the Things to Do pilot program, operators can now list their own website’s product booking pages alongside the other listings to get direct bookings straight from Google search results for free, avoid intermediates/commission and regain control over distribution, content and the customer journey.
Google announced its new approach to the sector back in March 2021, saying: “This is part of our larger effort to ensure people have access to all offers available to them by providing free and easy ways for businesses to connect with people on Google.
“We made it free for partners to participate in Google Flights early last year, and in April we opened our Shopping tab to free listings for online retail.
“Over time, we’ll continue building this open platform, so that all partners will have even more opportunities to highlight their information and help people book a flight, find a place to stay, or explore a new destination.”
From sports stadiums and themed entertainment tickets to historical activities and nature and wildlife tours, Things to Do will allow users to easily compare options for visiting their favourite attractions, and click through to the operator’s website to complete the transaction.
Livn’s role involves claiming, creating and powering the ‘official site’ button that takes potential customers directly to the operator’s website from Google Search results.
Steve Martinez, founder and CCO of Livn, said: “It’s exciting to see the result of years of engagement with a Livn and Google partnership that can give tours, activities and attractions operators better brand control over distribution, as well as a much-needed boost, given the events over the last 18 months.”
Livn CEO Mark Rizzuto added: “We are thrilled that Livn can help play a part in the revival of travel and help attraction and tour operators be ready for the bounce back and resurgence of digital bookings.”