As the pandemic hit, most of us were caught off guard. No one, especially the hospitality industry professionals, knew how to manage the situation, and the majority looked for help from various sources: some have turned their sight to the government, others – to banks, yet others – to international travel and tourism bodies. Meanwhile, the digital industry largely thrived compared to the other sectors of human activity, and tried to do its best to transform the traditionally offline endeavors into the online projects and events. Now it is time to go even further – focus specifically on the travel and tourism industry’s needs and address its recovery.
This is exactly what Google APAC branch decided to do. With their recently announced initiative - Travel Insights with Google – the tech giant hopes to help the travel sector weather difficult times. There are currently three separate instruments aimed at different audiences: Destination Insights, Hotel Insights, and Travel Analytics Center. While the first two are available to anyone interested, the latter one is reserved for Google’s commercial partners in the travel sector (which in itself could be a good investment for many tech-savvy properties).
The Destination Insights tool is targeted mostly at governments, travel businesses and tourism boards, and provides information on where the demand – both international and domestic – for a specific geographical location is coming from. Google hopes this will give the decision-makers a chance to plan the successful resumption of travel on specific routes and communicate the best options to the public. Meanwhile, Hotel Insights instrument gives property owners and managers an opportunity to better understand the demand for their specific hotel, and thus plan their marketing and sales activities more effectively and with a higher degree of precision. In the atmosphere of global confusion, a bit of data-driven evidence to support decision making definitely would not hurt. Finally, the Travel Analytics Center gives Google’s commercial partners a chance to combine their own property-generated data with broader Google insights in order to arrive to a fuller picture and benefit from a deeper analysis.
The initiative was also supported by UNWTO, which hopes to see a swift industry recovery, once the vaccine rollout is successful. Overall, Google plans to expand its database of resources and offer similar experiences to the business in other parts of the world. As much as this is an applaudable move, tech can not and will not be the panacea to the sector’s sustainable comeback, where governments and financiers will have a big role to play. Nevertheless, any help is appreciated at times like this and will likely be surrounded by positive sentiment from the industry leaders. Let’s hope the results will be no less reassuring.
Pictures credit: Google