Will 2017 be the year Book on Google’s intentions are fully revealed?

January 24, 2017
Reading Time: 2 minutes

With the beginning of each new year comes the urge to contemplate the past and make predictions about what lies ahead.

In the technology and hospitality distribution categories, there is no shortage of potential disruptors to ponder.

As we head into 2017, one top-of-mind issue has been pending for a while: the Book on Google program, where Google offers the option of placing live booking links on hotel ads in exchange for an “industry-standard commission.”

Although Google’s entrance into online booking dominated headlines and prompted much industry speculation last year, many are hoping 2017 is the year the internet search giant reveals its long-term intentions.

Google’s first move from pay-per-click advertising to hotel ads and commissions dates back to 2015, but its progress since has been quiet and cautious.

Each move has generated plenty of industry buzz, but it remains unclear just how big of a game-changer Google may be for hotels and travel agencies. In fact, one of the biggest debates hinges on whether the company is or trying to become an online travel agency.

Switching to a commission model means Google effectively has entered the travel industry as an online agent, and that entrance offers what is arguably the first major challenge to the previously unstoppable, decades-long growth of OTAs.

Still, many are unsure what the Book on Google commission-earning model will mean for hotels, OTAs and travel management companies or how they can respond.

What we do know is that the arrival of a major player like Google is almost certain to change hotel distribution forever. Acknowledging that reality and factoring it into your business planning is the first step toward preparing for the future.

These questions are why we’ve put together a short white paper that explains what we know about Google’s moves to date and its potential impact on the different players in the hotel and travel ecosystem. We also put together some thought-starters to help you adapt your business model and mindset to compete in the fast-changing world of hospitality distribution technology.

We hope you take the time to read it and share your own thoughts about Google and other disruptors on the horizon for 2017.


–Trond Sorensen, Chief Sales Officer, Onyx Agency Services


What’s your view? 

What do you think about Google’s new model for hotel selling? Is it a threat or an opportunity? What strategies are needed to address the changes it will make to the marketplace? Whether you work for a hotel, TMC, OTA or any other kind of player in the travel industry, please share your opinion.