Industry observers have said it for years: Eventually, travel metasearch will evolve beyond being price comparison and click-through sites. The change is already nipping at the heels of the old metasearch model with Google tightening its grip around the travel search-and-refer game and with online travel agencies under pressure to reform “lowest-price” practices.

Lowest-price marketing may be coming to a head. Within the past two months, consumer and competition watchdogs from Singapore, Japan, and the United Kingdom have called on travel booking sites to clean up their act on misleading price and discount displays.