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Google announces new tools for travel partners

The news comes a year after Google eliminated fees for hotel booking links on its travel portal

Google has announced extensive updates and additions to its current travel tools with the aim of supporting travel trade professionals by expanding the visibility of hotel listings.

The free hotel booking links will now also appear in the search results page as well as on Google Maps.

In a blog post published earlier this month, Julie Farago, Google engineering director for travel, said the update was intended to help travel partners extend their reach and give consumers a more comprehensive set of options. 

According to Farago, the updates are part of Google’s mission to be a trusted source of travel information

Google is also creating new data visualisations to help hotels and online travel agencies understand the traffic they are receiving through the free booking links.

Initially, the reporting will provide data on number of clicks. Providing further data on impressions and booking value is in the pipeline, expected to launch in the coming weeks.  

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The search engine is also simplifying the process for hoteliers to share rates and availability with potential guests.

Starting in April, hotels that have a verified business profile on Google and can accept online bookings, will be able to manually input rates to enable free booking links.

The final update enables hotels to use the “Local Post” feature in their Google Business Profile to share up-to-date information about their property, such as any changes to Covid-19 policies, descriptions of hotel features, photos and videos.

For more information, visit www.blog.google/products/travel/more-choice-travelers-free-hotel-booking-links

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