According to Google, search replaced OTAs as the #1 typically used resource for travel planning in the spring of 2009 and continues to increase in importance. 64% of personal leisure travelers and 65% of business travelers use search engines to begin their travel planning.
EyeForTravel spoke with Rob Torres, managing director for Travel at Google, about improving search as an experience for its users, search advertising solutions, search on the mobile device, and Google TV.
EFT: Google has been working on improving search as an experience for its users and also making the web richer. How do you think this will have an impact on the travel industry on the whole?
Rob Torres: The continuing focus that Google places on improving search is both because of and for the benefit of the travel consumer. A recent study that we published with OTX reaffirms the importance of search as a component in the travel planning process; Search replaced OTAs as the #1 typically used resource for travel planning in the spring of 2009 and continues to increase in importance, according to the OTX data. 64% of personal leisure travellers use search engines to begin their travel planning, a 2% increase from last year and 10% more than the next most used source, hotel supplier sites. Business travellers also rely on search as a go-to source for travel information more than they have in the past. 65% of business travellers indicate that they begin the travel purchasing process with search and 72% say that they