Google is updating its travel tools to make it easier for travelers to identify and choose climate-friendly options when planning trips.
For the first time, travelers interested in rail travel in and around Germany, Spain, Italy and Japan can shop directly on Google Search.
“Do you want to change the car or the plane for a train? For some trips, taking a train may be the most sustainable option, but finding prices and times to get from A to B may require some separate searching,” Google vice president of travel products Richard Holden says in a blog post. ad explaining the need for the new tools.
For Germany, Google has a direct partnership with Deutsche Bahn, the country’s national railway. For the other three countries, timetable and price data comes from Travelfusion for reservations with Renfe in Spain, Trenitalia and Italo in Italy, and Japan Rail.
The ticketing option is visible globally, but only for travel in and around those countries, and more coverage will be added over time through partnerships with rail operators, aggregators and third-party booking sites. Google says a similar feature will be added for bus tickets in the near future.
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Prior to this, Google only showed train times, not prices or booking links, for rail travel, except in the UK, where last fall it began an integration with Trainline only on Google Maps showing train options and the ability to shop with Google Pay. .
Google is also updating its tools related to accommodation and flights.
Last fall, the search giant added a green certification badge to hotels that met the sustainability standards of certain independent organizations, and a few weeks later it added an estimate of carbon emissions to Google Flights results.
Travelers can now use a filter to limit the results shown to only those eco-certified in the case of hotels and only flights that have emissions below the average of a similar trip.
Holden says the company is working with organizations like the US Green Building Council and the World Council for Sustainable Tourism to improve the accuracy of its hotel certification data.
“Over time, we want to make sure the environmental impact of your travel choices is always part of the equation. And while there is still a long way to go on this journey, we believe these new tools bring us one step closer in that direction,” says Holden.
In August, Google was criticized for the accuracy of its flight emissions data. As a member of the Travalyst Coalition, Google has helped develop the organization’s sustainability framework and is a provider of technology to help other platforms display emissions data.
Sebnem Erzan, Head of Travel Sustainability, Global Partnerships at Google, participated in a panel discussion on the industry’s efforts towards sustainability during a session at Phocuswright Europe. Watch the full discussion, which also includes Travalyst CEO Sally Davey, Booking.com Chief Sustainability Officer Danielle D’Silva, and Byway Travel Founder and CEO Cat Jones, below.
Executive Roundtable: Making Sustainability Sustainable – Phocuswright Europe 2022