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Google has introduced a new travel app called Google Trips. And it appears to be a potential winner. It’s about planning and itinerary management vs reservations or travel booking.
Google characterizes Trips as a “personalized tour guide in your pocket.” It mashes up Google data and various capabilities. The app automatically populates flight, hotel, rental car and restaurant reservations from Gmail (like Google Now). Google also says that the entire app is available offline.
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The app also comes pre-populated with popular itineraries based on aggregated user-visitation data. This is a potential threat to widely used travel apps such as TripAdvisor — though apparently not the booking aspect.
Based on the design, content and features, Google may have delivered its first truly differentiated travel tool for consumers.
Leisure travel spending in the US alone was worth well over $600 billion last year, according to the US Travel Association. Therefore, in addition to the potential value of new consumer experiences, there’s lots of travel marketing dollars that such an app might eventually attract.