Google is beta testing a new feature that will allow users to instantly book a hotel room without leaving the search page.
Instead of simply delivering results for a particular hotel, the search page aggregates room rates from popular sites such as Hotwire.com, Booking.com and Hotels.com, as well as rates from the hotel itself.
When booking directly with the hotel, however, instead of being redirected to the property's website, users will complete the reservation – dates, rates and payment – on the Google page for a more convenient booking experience.
The new service is being launched in partnership with travel technology company Sabre and is currently in beta.
For users, the new feature is touted as more convenient as it eliminates the need to leave the website and navigate different web pages.
For hotels, the new service reduces the "abandonment rate" commonly seen when consumers have to switch sites to complete a transaction, says Sabre.
The concept is similar to hotel aggregator sites such as Trivago and TripAdvisor, which likewise pull up rates from several different booking sites.
The biggest difference, however, is that while Trivago and TripAdvisor hand off the completion of the transaction to the booking site, users can check out directly from the Google page if booking directly with the hotel. – AFP Relaxnews