Bing vs Google for the Online Travel Industry

Posted on Jun 30th 2010

The travel industry is being taking over by internet giants. First Google infiltrated the travel industry with its Google maps, its partnership with online travel guide Ruba and rumoured acquisition of ITA, and now Microsoft is set to enter the industry with Bing Travel.

Bing Travel was successfully launched in US last year, providing services comparing prices on air fares, hotel rates and other travel needs.  The service also offers predictions of airfare and hotel rates based on the time of year travellers are wishing to book, and can inform them of the best times to get the best deals.

Microsoft is said to be conducting focus groups with customers to gauge the adaptability of its travel search engine for the UK market. Caroline Mastoras, travel category development manager for Microsoft, said “The UK travel market is very different to the US, so we are holding focus groups with customers to establish how it could work.”

Microsoft has always been in steady competition with Google, and as Mastoras hinted, Bing could afford to be more customer-led than revenue focused.
Although no date has been set for the Launch of Bing Travel UK, it is likely to appear within months rather than years in the UK market.

Microsoft gained the technology for Bing Travel after a $115 million acquisition of travel website Farecast last year. It has been rumoured that they might seek to find a similar deal with an existing UK provider.

With the ongoing technological struggle between the technology giants Google and Microsoft, it will be interesting to see who comes out on top, and what advancements can be made to the ever evolving online travel industry.

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