LAS VEGAS—Personalization is key to enhancing the customer journey. Through technology, innovators like Google are making this happen for travelers.
During the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the company revealed enhancements for Google Assistant including a real-time translation feature for smartphones and a smart display or smart speaker, enabling people to have free-flowing conversations with each other—even if they don’t speak the same language.
Now, businesses around the world can bring interpreter mode to their guests through its partners Volara and SONIFI. As part of this new solution, Google is expanding the technology to new hotels, airports, sports stadiums, organizations aiding humanitarian efforts and more.
In addition, Google has launched a new online feature that will allow travelers to get personalized recommendations when searching for hotels and exploring destinations. Users can now find the best times to travel or typical hotel prices for specific dates right above the hotel results on desktop at google.com/travel.
On the “When to visit” tab, users will see how weather, crowds and pricing vary across the year. In addition, the “What you’ll pay” tab will show if prices are low, typical or high for the dates being considered (grouped by hotels’ star ratings).
Travelers can narrow results down by neighborhood, too. Google provides a summary of top neighborhoods, including what each area is known for, its location score, and the average cost of hotels there.
The data drilldown goes a step further with personalization results for the individual user. In a user’s hotel results, Google can determine if the traveler has searched for or stayed at a hotel before or if there are similar options to places they’ve stayed in other cities. It also calls out hotels that are close to points of interest the traveler has searched for. For example, if the user has been researching Tokyo Tower, it will highlight how far it is from hotels nearby. These personalized results are only visible to the individual user, and can be disabled in the account settings.
Google is also being transparent about the total cost of the stay. Now, it will display both the nightly and total price for the entire stay including taxes and fees. In the U.S. and Canada, users can also see the nightly price without taxes and fees. On the “Overview” or “Prices” tab users can choose to see either view when they check availability.
Currently, major hotel brands such as InterContinental Hotels, AccorHotels, Choice Hotels and OTAs like Priceline, Expedia offer hotel booking through Google Assistant on Android and iOS devices. Last year, Expedia launched hotel booking for the virtual assistant for customers with linked accounts to the Expedia Action, a Google Assistant app.