The latest addendum would likely offer a expedient means to research travel, but would be unlikely to offer fares, or allow reservations made through the site. However, in March, Google included hotel links to its Maps application, listing hotels with room rates available to some users.
According to news published in the USA Today, states that Google is reportedly in talks to pay $1 billion to acquire ITA Software, which develops fare-shopping software for online travel agencies, airlines and fare-search-only sites, such as Bing Travel and Kayak. Those search sites offer a fare-only service to compare rates on flights and hotels, as opposed to sites like Orbitz and Expedia, which take consumers through the reservation process as well.
Currently, search engines are the major source for directing people to online travel sites – when travelers enter in their dates and cities, Google pops up with links to booking sites. That might change, but Google is keeping mum on their plans for world travel domination, since it may not offer bookings.
“Google declined to comment about the acquisition talks. But, says Google spokeswoman Victoria Katsarou, “We always have travel in mind. We are trying to make it easier for our users.”
Incorporating fares into Google search results would keep customers glued in its applications while they plan for travel, a prospect that could unnerve other fare sites. Users would be able to type in their destination and travel dates, and see flights and prices.
The likely acquisition, if materialized, “would turn the table around and a clear signal of Google's interest in travel,” says Steve Kaufer, CEO of TripAdvisor.
Analysts claim that Google is curious to offer information but not offering bookings. Google depends on advertising revenue from online travel agencies and has stated in the past that it does not want to involve in transactions. “I doubt Google would ever want to take a reservation,” Kaufer says.
In the meantime, Google's mobile phone operating system, Android, is being widely admired. And Google Maps empowers users to customize it for their trips and provides public transportation information.