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Google Travel's Positioning

Former Head of Google Travel Vertical Search

IP Interview
Published on May 30, 2020

Why is this interview interesting?

  • How Google aims to bring supply and demand closer together to drive information efficiency
Executive Bio

Javier Delgado Muerza

Former Head of Google Travel Vertical Search

Javier is a leading travel executive with experience across the whole travel value chain. He started his career at Iberia, the flag carrier of Spain, before moving to Expedia in 2003 where he spent 8 years leading the Southern European Affiliate Network. Javier then joined Google as Head of Travel in Spain before moving to Lead Travel within the Vertical Search team where he was in the team building Google Flights and HotelAds. Javier is now the Chief Commercial Officer at Iberostar, a Spanish chain with over 1,200 hotels globally, where he is responsible for marketing and distribution.

Interview Transcript

I’m curious about the fun that you had at Google and rolling out that Hotel Ads product. Maybe, just how you saw Google’s role in the ecosystem evolve, since you were there. How would you explain that, today?

It’s a great question. There’s a lot of talk and controversy about this in the press, in the industry, in general. Google’s mission is really to organize and make available the information I the world and that’s still current and that’s why the company was founded and that’s what still keeps the company going. If you think about travel, travel is extremely rich, in terms of data and, in many cases, unstructured data. The airline world is probably the most structured, because they have GDS and regulations and the different entities that govern the IATAs of the world. But if you think about hotels, they are structured, but less structured than airlines. If you think about destination services and excursions, that’s really completely unstructured.

So Google really has a lot to do, in that space, by bringing efficiency and helping suppliers to reach demand better. That is exactly what Google is trying to do – get supply and demand closer, in a more efficient way. Many people say that Google has hidden agendas and they want to control the world. I do not think that that is the case, at all. Google is a great company. They are trying to do good for every industry they operate in. In travel, they are heavily invested, because they can add a lot of value and they’ve been adding a lot of value. If you think about the OTAs, Booking.com was always heavily focused on SEM and understanding Google and working very closely with Google. To a great extent, they built the Booking’s holding empire, based on that. Not only because of that, but that was an important of the recipe, I would say.

Google is trying to do that. It’s trying to bring supply and demand to be as close and as efficient as possible. I think that’s the agenda. I still work very closely with them, on my current gig.

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