The total travel planning app space is getting crowded. In September, Google released an app — also called Trips — designed to be a one-stop-shop that curates hotel reservations, itinerary planning and suggestions for restaurants, drinks and day trips. Google Trips also ties into Gmail, Google Maps and other back-end data sources, giving it a potential advantage over the new Airbnb offerings.
But Airbnb’s residential rental model has proven it’s more than capable of standing on its own against traditional businesses, as recent Hitwise research shows visits to sites like Airbnb are up 70.3% over the past three years, while traffic to aggregators like Hotels.com and Bookings.com are down.
Airbnb recently acquired trip4real, a move that indicated the booking app was expanding its original core service. The Trips feature makes that move more complete in offering users access to activity suggestions and local guidebooks, with what looks to be travel planning coming soon.
Potential competition between Airbnb Trips and Google Trips is particularly interesting because Google parent Alphabet recently invested in Airbnb through its venture arm CapitalG.