There are many companies a consumer will interact with throughout their travel journey, and virtually all of those companies want to own the direct connection with travelers, according to a panel of tech executives at the 2019 NYU International Hospitality Industry Investment Conference.

Speaking during “The battle for the customer and the growing influence of ‘Big Tech’” session, Rob Torres, industry leader for Google Travel, said his company is keying in more on the travel sector because it thinks it can improve.

“We think we can simplify how the (booking) experience goes, regardless of whether it’s the top of the funnel or the bottom,” he said. “The whole system needs to be simplified. Nobody wants to scroll through 100 properties to find what they want.”