Google is combining all of its travel-related products, including the Google Trips App, Google Flights, and its hotel search engine, into one platform called Trips. The move spells out trouble for other online travel agencies, says Wedbush Securities.
Analyst James Hardiman predicts especially choppy waters for Trivago. He believes it is most vulnerable to losing traffic to the Alphabet division and likely to see revenue pressure. Hardiman sliced his price target on Trivago to $3.60 from $4.90 while maintaining a Neutral rating.
The news isn’t much better for fellow metasearch engine companies TripAdvisor, Booking Holdings, and Expedia Group, though their resources and size give them a better chance than Trivago, Hardiman said in a recent note to clients.
The one-stop Trips site is dangerous on several levels, starting with an option that lets consumers go straight to the Google Hotel Ads system and bypass metasearch engines. This hurts TripAdvisor and Trivago, who have invested in Google Hotel Ads to gain traffic.
“The latest innovations by Google in the travel sector signal that the Google threat is becoming harder and harder to ignore,” Hardiman writes. “We believe, with over 1.5 billion active people already using Gmail, Google has a distinct advantage over its competitors in providing these relevant and helpful tools for its users.”
Read more here