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Google introduces Things to do feature

Google introduces Things to do feature
February 14, 2022

In a development having major implications for attractions bookings as well as many types of ticket sales, the phasing out of its ‘Reserve with Google’ (RwG) function by search engine giant Google and its replacement with the new Google ‘Things to do’ feature offers significant new opportunities for attractions and tour operators.

Currently going through its soft launch, Google explain the development of ‘Things to do’ is based on making "the travel research and booking experience as user-friendly as possible".

As first reported by Australasian Leisure Management last year, Google has, as it explains, developed the new function "to help users discover new and unique things to do and to make it easier for partners to promote their tours, attractions and activities and connect with interested consumers.

"With Things to do, partners can surface their inventory via free listings and through a dynamic ad format. We encourage attractions, tour operators, and activity providers to work directly with their restech (reservations technology, not the company, ed.) provider to take part.

Google highlights the benefits of ‘Things to do’ being:

1. Reach millions of people who do travel-related searches on Google each day
• Build compelling experiences for travellers and connect them to attractions, tour operators, and activity providers in destinations around the world
• Help partners easily surface activities and things to do for users, increasing reach and driving new customer acquisition
• Show individual products in a more easily scannable way

2. Highlight your tours, attractions, and activities across Google
• Get products in front of the hundreds of millions of people who come to Google every day for their travel needs. 
• Expand reach with Things to do ads. Advertise on Google to promote your activities. Put your products in front of travellers looking for activities, tours, and attractions. Users only pay when someone clicks one of their ads.

Integrating with Google 
For attractions, tour operators, activity provider and other businesses, Google encourages connecting to Google via one of its connectivity partners.

However, to integrate with Google directly, operators need to complete the following:

• Ensure you can meet the Things to do development requirements
• Contact the Things to do partnerships team and indicate interest in participating

Once approved, sign a content license agreement with Google and provide a designated technical contact who can be contacted by a Google technical account manager to provide support through the onboarding process

Approved connectivity providers
For individual attractions, tour operators  and activity providers, or a reservation system that represents fewer than 100 operators, Google strongly recommends working with one of its connectivity providers to get shown, rather than integrating directly. 

Current global connectivity partners include (this list is not comprehensive):

Google also advises "if you're already working with a connectivity partner that is not listed above, encourage them to review the developer guide."

Click here for more information.

About the author

Nigel Benton

Co-owner / Publisher, Australasian Leisure Management

Nigel Benton is the co-owner and publisher of Australasian Leisure Management, Australia and New Zealand’s only magazine for professionals in all areas of the leisure industry. Having established the magazine in 1997, shortly after his relocation to Australia, he has managed its readership rising to over 11,500 and its acceptance as the industry journal for professionals in aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues.

As of 2020, he has launched the new Asian Leisure Business website.

Among a range of published works and features, his comments on a Blog (blogspot) from 2007 to 2011, when this website went live in its current form, may be interesting to reflect back on.

Click here to connect with him via LinkedIn.

Read more from this author

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