In a world where locking doors and staying at home is the safest thing for many, the tourism and hospitality industry has been particularly severely affected. The coronavirus pandemic has changed almost everything about how we move in our lives, delaying or canceling big trips and the little things alike. However, that doesn’t mean we’re completely powerless — or waiting for a vaccine is the only way through COVID.
Google has just announced a number of updates to its Travel services, in addition to things like taking travel advice notes or locking orders in destination search results. The company is digging into its vast search reserves for features, such as an estimate that “the percentage of hotels open with empty rooms and flights operating at the city or county level is based on Google Flights and Hotels data from last week.”
The search engine is also adding more services to its results pages to help you save money on booking. That includes being able to filter out hotels and rental properties that allow for free cancellations. Not only that, Google will get local data about COVID conditions for your destination, so you can understand how things are practical when planning your trip.
Some companies are taking their policies seriously and not always for the better: For example, some airlines have reduced some health and safety precautions taken on flights for passengers and crew. But putting more information at your fingertips can give you better information about what’s ahead. If that can make your life move again, these changes may be moving in the right direction.