Google has sounded out its intention to move into the on-line travel market by launching a hotel search engine.
Although the move is just an experiment at this stage, it shows how the internet giants are ready to compete with the big travel agents.
The Hotel Finder service will only be available in the United States during its experimental run, but will go worldwide if it proves to be a success.
Travellers can use the tool drawing a shape on a map and then search within all the options shown in that area.
They can easily reduce the number of hotels narrowing the choice by price range, hotel class, user rating, or hotels offering prices lower than their average.
And, just like holiday feedback services, customers can see photos, descriptions and reviews of the hotel before booking. Then travellers have the option of booking direct with the property or booking with sites such as Expedia, Booking.com, Hotels.com and Priceline, which have taken out adverts on Google’s search page.
It is the second big move Google has made this year to signal their intentions of increasing their size and services. They bought flight software company ITA last April and experts think it is just a matter of time before they make their mark in the travel industry.