How Google Uses AI And Big Data To Make Travel Better
Since its acquisition of ITA Matrix Software eight years ago, Google has been quietly rolling out new tools for travelers. Its progress has been even more notable over the past months and weeks as it began unveiling tools to help predict flight delays, plan trips, and manage itineraries—among other things.
These changes have some wondering: Is Google making a run at total domination in the travel space? If it is, there’s a strong case to be made for its potential to disrupt the travel and hospitality sector with a similar approach to Amazon’s run at retail, and more recently grocery.
Consider how Amazon grew to the retail gargantuan it is today. Step one, see an opportunity to provide a better service by removing friction points. Step two, incremental growth through adoption and retention of loyal customers. Step three, data, data, and more data. Step four, harness data into action – innovate, enhance, and repeat.
With an already loyal band of customers and data stores that rival those of Amazon, Google is perfectly positioned to take a dominant position in the marketplace as it dives into travel. Its platform has the largely unrivaled ability to see when consumers are searching, it knows when they’re away from home.
It even has flight and hotel reservations pouring in through Gmail. Leveraging its vast data network and app integrations, Google is uniquely poised to give consumers a seamless and tailored travel experience from the moment they decide to take a trip (and really, even before that), to the moment they return (and really, even after that).
Picture this – it’s a cold winter day, and Julia is going about her usual business. She sees an ad (or maybe an article, email, or push notification) displaying a beautiful beach in Bali that she’s always wanted to visit. Clicking through, she finds a unique package offer for discounted airfare, hotel stay, and even scuba equipment rentals (she got her certification last year). Of course, Julia books it.