In September last year, Google developed a search engine for tours and activities, initially covering 20 destinations. The platform, TouringBird.com allows travellers to search and book activities, and includes recommendations from locals.
In April this year, Google announced that it had been increased to 200 destinations. Some of those covered include Cape Town, Johannesburg and Nairobi. Safari experiences are not included in the offering.
Google touts the platform’s ‘Local Trips’, which curated local experiences, similar to Airbnb Experiences, which Airbnb introduced in 2016.
In February this year, Airbnb hinted at plans to add flights to its offering, moving one step closer to establishing itself as an end-to-end travel platform.
Technology platforms Airbnb, Google Travel and TripAdvisor are all investing in broadening the scope of their offering. Tessa Reed reports
In this move, the company has appointed an aviation industry heavyweight, Fred Reid, as Global Head of Transportation.
Announcing the appointment, the company said: “We are focused on reimagining travel by building an end-to-end travel platform that combines where you stay, what you do, and how you get there, all in one place.”
“Whether in the air or on the ground, there are tremendous opportunities to create products and forge partnerships with other companies that make travel easier and even fun,” Reid commented.
Finally, in November last year, TripAdvisor unveiled a newly designed platform with unique feeds for users, based on previous searches and reviews, as well as giving users access to “relevant advice from the people and experts they trust”.
The new platform allows users to follow other users, create trip itineraries, either collaboratively or privately, as well as share ideas with friends and family.
"We're excited to be changing travel yet again. Just as you have your go-to site or app for music and shopping, we are making sure TripAdvisor is now your go-to resource for travel," Stephen Kaufer, TripAdvisor President and CEO, said at the time.
"The new TripAdvisor provides its members with great content from the people, brands and influencers they rely on for travel and in-destination advice before and during their trip.”