Google is becoming a stronger player in the online travel agency scene

first_imgWhy not use Google when planning a trip and searching for a hotel? There are many more reviews and photos taken by users in Google’s hotel search redesign. Also, they can access guest reviews from Booking, Expedition and TripAdvisor, and from now on they have the ability to view user photos of hotels and rooms, not just promotional ones. “Google balances the user experience with the content of accommodation providers much better, which is great news for us hoteliers. This could, along with platforms like Fliggy and Airbnb’s acquisition of HotelTonight, shake things up in the world of online travel planning“, Concluded Chetan Patel, Vice President of Strategic Marketing and E-Commerce for Onyx Hospitality Group. Example of searching through Google Hotel Search Alternative accommodation among the results Search filters With its booking service, Google is moving towards the idea of ​​becoming a quasi-online travel agency. However, Google does not offer, for example, cancellations, but only reservations and ways to pay for accommodation by credit card or Google Pay. So, with the strengthening of Google booking, many users will prefer to make all their travel-related purchases directly through Google. When you click on a photo of a hotel in Google search, it redirects you to a page at the top of which, just below the photos of the accommodation, are the hotel name, address, categorization, phone number and a link to the official page. But consider the links highlighted in blue (DEAL $ 88, 17% less than usual) on the example of Yotel New York in the image above. These links do not redirect to the hotel website, but to Google Hotel Search. Google’s “homage” to HotelTonight There are many new attractive settings in the redesign. For example, from now on you can search for hotels by user ratings, budget amount options, luxury and the like. User generated photos and reviews The first two sentences of user reviews appear on Google, and when users click on it, it redirects them to the web page where it is located. Example of hotel accommodation on Google Hotel Search / Skift Google Hotel Search is a “double-edged sword” for hoteliers Pretty nice and intuitive design Google still prefers its own hotel search and booking feature to the detriment of competitors ’businesses. That has not changed. Paid ads are at the top of the accommodation search, and organic links are at the bottom of the page. Search results are sorted by paid ads Over the past few years, Google has experimented with hotel reservations on behalf of online travel agencies and hotel partners, but would have to spend hours searching for accommodation. It is easier to visit the online accommodation reservation service directly. In the redesign of the entire hotel search and accommodation reservation, there are more views while browsing the hotel via Google booking, reports Shift. The redesign contains photos of hotels and destinations, but also Google Maps with hotel prices, visible in Google search results. The design is quite attractive. Here are seven features of Google Hotel Search. “We are developing the way our hotel search engine works on smartphones to help customers search for options and make decisions on mobile phones. The new hotel search experience includes better price filtering, easier information on offers, and the ability to book directly from Google”, Said Eric Zimmerman, director of product management for Google’s travel, in an earlier blog. Although quite complicated, Google’s booking competitors, such as Expedition, Booking, and TripAdvisor, don’t benefit from free links on Google to the extent they had in previous years, but they still make money as paid advertisers in the Google Hotel Search app. Google explains in its blog that it also offers a filter for private accommodation in the search engine. A message may pop up for users: “Private accommodation is also available for the period you have selected.” Google has thus become a full-fledged accommodation booking service and has potential implications for booking sites like Airbnb. On the other hand, Google claims that they are only trying to improve the user experience of the search, and that hotels, which appear at the top of search results, appear there organically. Richard Holden, vice president of travel product management for Google, wrote about the new features of Google Hotels Search in a blog post last week and subtly mentioned the development of a complete hotel meta-search page and accommodation booking engine. There is even a new hotel search filter “for tonight” in Google’s redesign. When a user selects that filter and selects a hotel, Google automatically selects today’s arrival date and tomorrow’s departure date, making it easier for the user to search for overnight accommodation. Users can then book a hotel in two ways: by going to that hotel’s website, or by booking directly from Google through companies that partner with Google, such as Orbitz or Travelocity.last_img read more

West Indies lose third ODI despite Russell’s heroics

first_img Share Tweet NewsSports West Indies lose third ODI despite Russell’s heroics by: – June 14, 2011 19 Views   no discussions Sharing is caring!center_img West Indies Team. Photo credit: southasiabiz.comST JOHN’S, Antigua — Andre Russell played a superb back-to-the-wall innings for West Indies but they fell to defeat at the hands of India in the Third Digicel Pearls One-Day International.The young allrounder from St Catherine in Jamaica came to the crease at Number 9 and saved the West Indies from disaster. He blasted an amazing 92 not out from 64 balls as the home side reached 224-8 from 50 overs. The Windies bowlers then went to work and had the Indians deep in trouble but they rebounded to reach 228-7 to win by three wickets with 22 balls to spare.The right-hander smashed the balls all parts of the field and way out of the ground as he counted eight fours and five sixes to beat his previous ODI topscore of 49, made against England in Chennai in the recent ICC Cricket World Cup.“When I went in I was not nervous. I actually ran all the way to the crease. I was pumped up from the start and I knew the team needed me today in a big way. I was batting with a senior partner so I knew I just had enough time to get myself settled, build an innings and get a good score for the team,” he said.Playing in just his seventh One-Day International, Russell featured in two significant partnerships. He added 78 for the eighth wicket with keeper Carlton Baugh (35) and an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 51 in five overs with tailender Kemar Roach.“I felt I played really well. What made this innings special for me was the fact that it was under great pressure and it came against India, who are the world champions. As a young man, trying to make a name for myself, I just want to continue to do well for West Indies and work hard on my game. This innings has given me a lot of confidence and self-belief. I would have to say, the only regret is that we ended on the losing side.”Even though Russell’s batting brought him to prominence on Saturday he still sees himself as a bowling allrounder.“I see myself as a bowler first. That is the skill I work on the hardest, so I know I have to make some big contribution to the team with the ball as well. When I go to the nets I work on my bowling first and after that I look to get a knock. But I always work on m batting as I always look to play my part in the team. When I retire from international cricket, I want to be called a legend. I want to stay here and contribute as much as I can.”The win gave India an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match rubber. The Fourth Digicel Pearls ODI will be at the Sir Vivian Richards Grounds on Monday, a public holiday.Caribbean News Now Share Sharelast_img read more

Grenada government charters aircraft to bring nationals home from Venezuela

first_img Sharing is caring! Image via: mapsofworld.comST GEORGE’S, Grenada — A government effort, involving long hours of negotiations and thousands of dollars in costs, has resulted in the safe return to Grenada of more than 35 passengers, including children, who went adrift off the Venezuelan coast.The MV Amelia A, which was travelling on September 15 from Trinidad to Grenada, experienced engine failure and went off its intended route.The vessel was tracked through a joint undertaking of Grenadian, Trinidadian and Venezuelan coast guard officers.All passengers, including a handful of non-nationals, were eventually flown back to Grenada from Venezuela on Saturday, September 24, on board a chartered Conviasa airline.They expressed appreciation for the assistance given to them during their ordeal, including help from the Grenada government.Benedict Phillip was among the thankful passengers excited to be back on Grenadian soil.“When we realized we were adrift we thought we would have been rescued sooner,’’ he said. “However, we met hospitable people on an island off Venezuela and I want to express my thanks to both the governments of Grenada and Venezuela. We just couldn’t desire better.’’The stranded passengers reported how worried they were on not being able to contact family members in Grenada. But, they kept their hopes high through prayer services.“At first we couldn’t get phone calls to our families and we were worried,’’ one female passenger said. “I was scared; we were between nowhere. We turned left, we saw water; we turn right, we saw water. It was only water and clouds and that was scary. But, people came together and consoled one other, and they advised us not to panic.’’ Christine Bartholomew, who was accompanied on the vessel by her 11-year-old granddaughter, described it as “nerve-wracking experience’’ that has changed her life. She said she and her fellow passengers had faith in God.Bartholomew, a resident of St Mark, added that she was more worried about her family back home than about herself.The passengers were met at Maurice Bishop International Airport in St George’s by family and friends, as well as representatives of the Grenadian and Venezuelan governments. They included Senator Denneth Modeste, Grenada’s Minister of State for the Environment, Foreign Trade and Export Development; and Venezuela’s Ambassador to Grenada, Carlos Amador Perez Silva.Modeste praised the then acting prime minister, Patrick Simmons, for his commitment in getting the passengers back to Grenada.“I wish to thank the acting prime minister for the manner in which he handled this issue. We are pleased with the way things worked out,’’ said Modeste. “This is an indication of the growing relations between Grenada and Venezuela.’’The Venezuelan ambassador said he was pleased to see the passengers back home.“I believe the happy conclusion is evidence of the good relations between Grenada and Venezuela, in that we can work very close in situations like this. We try to do our best in circumstances as those,’’ he said.Perez said he was also delighted in the accommodation afforded the passengers by the Venezuelan authorities, “and the way they have taken care of you during your stay there.’’The MV Amelia A was towed into Port St George on Monday. Caribbean News Now Share Share 13 Views   no discussionscenter_img NewsRegional Grenada government charters aircraft to bring nationals home from Venezuela by: – September 28, 2011 Tweet Sharelast_img read more

Montserrat deputy commissioner of police resigns

first_img Share Tweet NewsRegional Montserrat deputy commissioner of police resigns by: – March 1, 2012 Share Sharing is caring!center_img Share 119 Views   no discussions BRADES, Montserrat (GIU) — The governor of Montserrat, Adrian Davis, has confirmed that Deputy Commissioner of Police Paul Morris has resigned from the Royal Montserrat Police Service.Deputy Commissioner Paul Morris (left). Photo credit: gov.msDavis said Morris gave no grounds for his resignation. He said, however, that Morris was entitled to make such a decision under the terms of his contract.When asked to comment further, Davis says he is considering all aspects of the administration of the Royal Montserrat Police Service in light of the findings of a report on police misconduct within the police service. Davis said that the details of the report prepared by police officers from the Cayman Islands and Bermuda are being reviewed by the Director of Public Prosecution Kathy-Ann Pyke.Morris, who was appointed deputy commissioner of police in 2008, was given the responsibility during his tenure for the overall administration of the RMPS to include training, development and budget. He previously served a four-year stint as superintendent of police from 2000-2004.His resignation comes on the heels of RMPS officer, Sergeant Ottley Laborde being charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm, wounding, disorderly conduct, and threatening language, stemming from a December 2011 incident.The former commissioner led the investigation into the police brutality case and worked with the visiting police officers to complete the final Nerissa GoldenCaribbean News Nowlast_img read more

Five things we learned from the Champions League

first_imgIn a full-blown crisis under previous coach Julen Lopetegui, Real Madrid look a new side under caretaker manager Santiago Solari. The European champions’ third win in three matches since Solari took charge was a 5-0 hammering of Viktoria Plzen.The Czechs were not the strongest opposition but Wednesday night’s display was Madrid at their swaggering best.Real are set to qualify from Group G alongside Roma and a continuing of this form will put the rest of the competition on red alert.– Italy roaring back –After years in the doldrums Italian clubs other than Juventus are starting to make a mark on the competition and going toe-to-toe again with the world’s best.Napoli, who have mostly failed to transfer their recent domestic revival to the European stage, were unlucky to not have won at least one of their two clashes with megabucks PSG and on Tuesday gave as good as they got in their 1-1 draw with Thomas Tuchel’s side.Inter Milan were dominated by Barcelona and saved from defeat by an inspired performance from goalkeeper Samir Handanovic and a poacher’s finish from striker Mauro Icardi, who snatched a late draw that makes Luciano Spalletti’s side favourites to qualify ahead of Tottenham Hotspur.Roma meanwhile are keeping pace with Real Madrid in Group G thanks to a hard-fought 2-1 win at CSKA Moscow, Eusebio Di Francesco’s side performing better in Europe than in Serie A.– PSG continue to falter –Crushing everything that moves in Ligue 1, Paris Saint-Germain can’t seem to establish themselves as a European powerhouse.PSG are third in Group C after their battling 1-1 draw with Napoli in the Stadio San Paolo cauldron, and while they are only one point behind leaders Liverpool, Tuchel’s side have only managed to beat Red Star Belgrade in four matches.The French champions’ Qatari owners have spent huge sums in order to try to barge their way into the European elite, but have so far failed to convince away from the relative safety of Ligue 1.Share on: WhatsApp Mata takes a free kick for United last nightParis, France | AFP | Under-fire Jose Mourinho and Manchester United revelled in an incredible smash and grab victory at Juventus, while Real Madrid continue their revival and Cristiano Ronaldo watches on as his magnificent volley counts for nothing.AFP Sport looks at five things we learned in the Champions League this week:– Mourinho in his element –Under pressure following a series of dismal performances, Manchester United Jose Mourinho pulled off a hugely important 2-1 away victory at Juventus reminiscent of his past as the “Special One” that gives United a huge boost ahead of the Manchester derby at the weekend.The Portuguese was in his element winning at the home of his former fierce Serie A rivals, charging onto the pitch to taunt the home fans in Turin by cupping his ear as United players and supporters celebrated a win gained by Mourinho’s decisions from the bench.He brought on Juan Mata and Marouane Fellaini with 11 minutes left and United deservedly behind to a Cristiano Ronaldo wonder goal, and both were instrumental in the turnaround, Mata whipping home the equaliser and Fellaini flicking on a cross that Leonardo Bonucci eventually nodded into his own net.The 55-year-old could do with some more of that golden touch at the weekend.– Ronaldo not enough for Juventus –Having reached two of the last four finals, Juventus looked like genuine challengers for their first Champions League in over two decades when Ronaldo lashed home his 65th-minute volley.Juve looked set to win Group H with two games to spare when Ronaldo rifled in Leonardo Bonucci’s magnificent long pass just at it dropped over his shoulder, giving the Serie A leaders a thoroughly deserved lead.However despite their impressive winning record Juventus have shown weakness this season. They almost let United back into it at Old Trafford after switching off and this time they were punished for missing gilt-edge chances by a cynical away side.Juve are still odds on to qualify for the knockout stages but if Massimiliano Allegri is to bring the club their third European Cup he will have to make sure they can keep up their impressive displays for the full 90 minutes.– Real reborn –last_img read more