Start your (search) engines...

Mike Hayes, 20 Mar 2013 15:08


You’re reading this and already you’re thinking, ‘Come on, get on with it… get to the point’.

And that’s why Google is the world’s primary internet search engine; nothing is faster.

In fact, Google often has the answer before you’ve finished asking the question – with its Instant Search tool continually (ok, occasionally annoyingly) suggesting potential queries while you’re typing.

Over the past decade, Google has been an essential piece of kit for travellers – and if you think that’s overstating the case, let’s look at some of the traveller-focused innovations the company has already launched…

2005 – Google Earth
2006 – Google Maps
2007 – Google Street View
2009 – Google Maps Navigation
2011 – Google Hotel Finder
2011 – Google Flight Search
2012 – Google 3D Maps

The company also launched the first Android phone in 2008, as well as acquiring major travel innovations such as YouTube in 2006, ITA Software and Zagat in 2011, and Frommer’s last year.

OK, so why am I going on about Google in the run-up to ATM? Primarily because, in something of a coup, Google has agreed to run seminars in ATM’s Technology Theatre and share its unique insights on the travel industry under the umbrella theme of Think Travel.

I don’t always bang the drum for ATM seminars. In fact, very often, when companies are presenting at events, I find myself wondering how many people actually responded to the survey on which the seminar is based.

But when Google says “Our survey said…” you can be pretty sure it reached a significant number of internet users.

Summing up, the fact that Google is making its presence felt at ATM means they are taking another serious look at this industry. That means they’ll have:
a) something to say about its future that’s worth hearing,
b) believable numbers to back up their words, and
c) a very cool Powerpoint presentation.

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