Google has launched an Android & iOS app called Google Trip to help users plan and organize travel. As of now the app lists 200 cities across the world, and shows a variety of plans featuring daily itineraries of what to do at each location.
The app requires a Google account login, post which it automatically finds tickets booked in the user’s mail. It then displays ‘your trips’ listing each trip the user has taken with the details of the tickets, things to do, and restaurants, food places and pubs are listed in separate categories.
The ‘things to do’ section lists monuments and other tourist attractions, with map directions and review (sourced from Google Maps). Similarly, the food listings are sourced from Maps and include reviews from users. Users can save places which can be accessed in a separate tab under the relevant city.
While these features are available on all locations (as data is sourced from Maps and Gmail), Google has provided ‘day plans’, ‘need to know’ and ‘getting around’ section to some cities as well. The ‘getting around’ section provides information on ticket prices, driving rules, about taxi/ride services, walking & biking etc., while the ‘need to know’ section lists emergency services other than shopping, money and internet information sections.
The ‘day plans’ are exactly what they sound like – various plans, typically including 4-8 nearby locations, with directions, timings, mapping and pictures. Other than this, users can save locations offline so as not to incur data charges when travelling. Overall, the app takes information already available with Google, and provides it to users in a more streamlined and useful fashion. As such, despite being a new launch, Google Trip has an advantage over its competitors.
– In July, Ixigo rolled out Ixibaba, an artificial intelligence (AI) based chatbot which answers simple questions related to all travel planning and booking queries.
– In June, Cleartrip revamped its Activities segment as Cleartrip Local, which focuses on local experiences within a city. Note that, Google’s Trip does not yet tie-up with local agencies for activities, rather lists known tourist destinations from Maps.
– Earlier this year, Yatra acqui-hired the trip planning startup Travel-logs for an undisclosed amount. Post the acquisition, the company said it would launch a new segment called Metro X, which is expected to be similar to Cleartrip’s Activities.
– In July last year, Microsoft launched a preview release of Bing Maps for the web, which would focus more on travel planning rather than route mapping.