Google’s further expansion into travel services isn’t limited to trip planning via the launch of its new Google Trips mobile app – the company has also quietly launched its “Destinations” trip planning feature in Google Search on the web. Originally designed for mobile users only, Google Destinations is focused on connecting web searchers looking for travel information with more information on their destinations, including flight and hotel prices.
This feature seemingly puts Google in more direct competition with the major travel service providers, but Google has not yet launched its own booking service for accommodations. Instead, Destinations connects web searchers with partner sites like Hotels.com or Booking.com, among others, as well as with Google Flights for comparing airline ticket prices.
At launch, the company said that Destinations is primarily aimed at the leisure traveler who’s researching vacations spots in advance of their planned trip. It’s something of the precursor to the new Google Trips app, as a web search is often the first step in planning a vacation.
On the Destinations website, Google will recommend the most popular trips based on your search query. For example, a search for “Europe vacation” may show you destination suggestions like “Paris,” “London,” “Rome,” and others. It also displays when flights are cheapest, ticket prices, hotel rates, and other activities you can do at your destination, like camping, sailing, skiing, hiking, golfing, the beach, architecture, and more.
You can explore the destinations in more detail by reading through Wikipedia-sourced informational descriptions, while also learning about the climate, watching videos, and viewing popular travel dates for tourists.
The company first brought Google Destinations to the mobile web in March of this year, saying that it had seen a 50 percent spike in travel-related questions on mobile devices last year.
Now, the service is expanding to the desktop web, too. Google declined to comment on the move, but we understand this is a global rollout of the service, which was previously only available in the U.S.
The desktop site has all the same features that were previously available only on mobile, and it now supports English, French, Italian, German, and Spanish.