Online travel agencies (OTAs), reeling under Covid’s impact, face further strain from the growing presence of Google in the market, and how the tech giant’s control could impact competitivity and, therefore, consumer choice.

According to GlobalData, the OTA market value decreased by a woe-some 60.4% year-on-year (YoY) in 2020.

Ralph Hollister, Travel and Tourism Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Google’s growing presence in online travel will be ominous for OTAs that have no choice but to rely on the search engine for web traffic. Regulators are starting to control Google’s practices, but the company has to be treated differently due to its position as a dominant search engine, as well as the fact that it is not offering directly competing services. Low competition can lead to rising prices, so it is vital for all travelers that the right balance is achieved.”

Laura Petrone, Thematic Analyst at GlobalData, comments: “Google certainly has a huge responsibility when it comes to…

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