The Wolves Are Coming For Reserve With Google!

Despite the news this week, that the booking function will be wound down. Steve Jackson of tours and activities technology provider Toristy says operators shouldn’t give up on Reserve with Google (RwG).

Reading Time: 2 minute 24 seconds
Reserve with Google (RwG) today

RwG allows tourists that find your Google MyBusiness page to book a ticket directly from Google Maps by clicking on a buy ticket button. 

You need to be connected to a reservation system that partners with Google to use this function. Alternatively, you can list your product on an OTA that is a Reserve partner.

To me, this defeats the objective of getting more direct bookings. If you’re connected to RwG through an OTA, you still have to pay their commission, despite being found on Google for your brand. Even this can be a challenge due to an OTAs ability to show real-time availability updates. 

Arival recently shared the news that Reserve with Google would be shutting down. You may wonder why I am still suggesting that you make the leap to RwG if it’s going to be deprecated. I asked the Arival team if I could put forward our view here. Having signed confidentiality agreements with Google, we have information that, while we can’t share everything, we can try to alleviate any worries operators may have.

Why bother if it’s being wound down?

Firstly, it’s going to be the end of 2021 before anything changes. There is an entire season between now and then.

If your visitors are in-destination and search for something to do “near me” in Google Maps, then you want to be visible. In this situation, you don’t want to miss out on that booking to a competitor.

Why Become an Arival Insider Pro Access Member?

20% discount on Arival In-person events

Access to the Arival Research Library including new research and reports

Free access to all Arival 360 Online events

Over 350+ on-demand videos featuring our industry’s thought leaders and instructional sessions to grow your business.

Free consulting seminar on optimizing Google’s Things to Do

More …

Sign Up

Secondly, if your branding has nearly done its job, but a potential guest can’t quite remember your web address, they may search for you or your services, and that will bring up the possibility to buy directly from Google search or maps. That’s better than not being found.

Thirdly, in my opinion, it’s going to get better than before.

Reserve with Google (RwG) tomorrow

It will change for sure, but I believe for the better, based on what I understand is being developed. 

How you book directly from Google will change, but operators who have connected with the right tech partners to take advantage of this channel won’t be simply dropped. 

The new Things to Do will be a positive evolutionary step, meaning that operators have way more control of what goes where. 

Yes, there may be Google tools to advertise these new listings in the Things to Do section. 

Google will need to make money, or it won’t be worth their time. However, much like Adwords, that choice will be left to the supplier, and because Google will be making money at it, it means it won’t go away; it will become a stronger offering. 

The OTAs that Arival pointed out would be a beneficiary of this change is not the entire story. They will still be serviced but not in the same way as I described earlier. 

My opinion is that the OTAs will lose the initiative to the supplier, not the other way around. Again, I can’t go into details, but I feel that Google is taking steps to level the smaller supplier’s playing field, not the OTA. Personally, I am excited about the possibilities these changes open up for suppliers. 

So now I got that out of the way; what about the wolves?

Ok, wolves. 

Many people use Google Maps when they are in-destination to discover things to do. 

Imagine the scene…

You’re on a camping holiday in Lapland, Finland, also known as The Land of the Midnight Sun. 

Being keen on nature, you’ve rented a car and traveled to a campsite in a place called Ranua in Northern Finland. 

After getting settled in your camp on a beautiful lake (Ranuajärvi), doing a spot of hiking in the area, you settle in for the night and are wondering what to do the next day.  

Things to do in Ranua

You can be forgiven for not knowing what’s going down in Ranua. 

It’s a stunning part of the world, but part of its charm is its remoteness and tranquility. So, you Google “things to do in Ranua” on Google Maps from your phone. 

Something on the map called Susimaa catches your eye. You click and see a picture of a wolf. Yes, of all the things to do in Ranua, there is a wolf sanctuary. 

How cool is that? I didn’t get into this business to wax lyrical about Reserve with Google and the benefits of using it; I got into the business to make operators like Susimaa famous. 

So there you have it, my two cents on why and how you should connect to one of the most powerful destination tools there is.

ABOUT TORISTY

Steve Jackson, CEO of Toristy

Steve Jackson is a veteran of the Analytics, Digital marketing, and search engine optimization field having over 20 years’ experience working for “Big Travel”. He now is focusing his efforts on making tour and activity operators in the experiences sector of the travel industry famous. He does this using Toristy’s tour operator booking software and in-destination sales network. If you’re looking for a reservation tool create a free trial account at the Toristy portal to find out for yourself if we can help you.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
Tags: Toristy

Trending

already a member?

Lost your password?

NEED TO REGISTER?

Become an Arival Insider
THE ARIVAL INSIDER PRO ACCESS MEMBERSHIP; YOU GET ALL THIS TO HELP YOU ADVANCE YOUR BUSINESS.

Included in Free Membership

Included in Arival Pro Membership

The Arival on-demand video library archive
Access to the entire library of over 150 video sessions and webinars

Arival.guides
Short, digestible research & trends reports delivering insights into our industry, such as The Tour Operator Outlook for 2021.

Arival.travel articles
Topical articles about marketing, tech, operator business and operator stories in all areas of tours, activities & attractions & experiences

Job board access
Find a job from our regular listings, post a resume to the talent network and learn strategies from the job resources articles

New webinars
Helpful, instructional sessions covering subjects such as Mastering Facebook Ads, Grow Your Business and How To Work With OTAs — topics to help advance your business.

Discounts on all Arival in-person events
20% Discount on all Arival in-person events (save up to $300)* based on business type

Arival ProShield – Insurance program
Access to tailored insurance solutions by Granite Insurance is available exclusively for Arival Insider Pro Access Members. Insider Pro Access Members also have access to a suite of resources from Granite Insurance including templates, forms and other informative documents.

Insiders Pro Access member exclusive webinars
Paid membership-only webinars to deepen your understanding of important industry topics.

Job postings & talent directory
Post jobs & connect with candidates most applicable to your business.

Private roundtables to connect, learn and engage
Small, focused and intimate discussions exclusive to Arival Insider Pro Access members.

Full access to Arival’s library of in-depth reports
Up to date, deep analysis of tourism topics ranging from Self-guided Tours to Sales & Distribution Trends and Outlooks, based on the data that defines the industry.

The latest on-demand videos
Over 350+ on-demand videos featuring hot topics in tours, activities & attractions

Insider discounts in digital marketing, tech, e-learning, and more
Save money on additional tools, services and learnings you need to run your business. Exclusive to paid members.

Membership Overview
ARIVAL CODE OF CONDUCT​
CONFERENCES AND COMMUNITY SPACES​

At Arival, we believe travel can make the world a better place. Our mission is to establish and inspire a diverse community of individuals and companies in the In-destination Industry by providing opportunities to gain insight, share knowledge and build connections. To make it possible for true collaboration, creativity, innovation, and idea exchange to thrive, we are committed to facilitating a welcoming and respectful community for all. This Conference Code of Conduct shares our community expectations and applies to all attendees, employees, exhibitors, speakers, sponsors, volunteers, and other participants at Arival- produced and sponsored events. We empower all participants in our community to actively engage in creating a friendly, inclusive and safe environment for all.

Arival’s core values include the following, and create an expectation for conduct at our events and in online community spaces:

We demonstrate a deep respect for human beings inside and outside our company and for the communities in which they live.
We value integrity and strive to consistently interact with others in ways that are authentic, ethical, and fair.
We are dedicated to transparency, committing to clear, open and honest communication.
We actively pursue and advocate for inclusion, diversity and representation of varying cultural backgrounds, perspectives and ideas

Arival welcomes people from all cultural backgrounds, and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, creed, gender (including pregnancy, perceived pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender identity, religion (including religious dress and grooming), marital status, domestic partner status, genetic information, age, national origin or ancestry, military or veteran status, sexual orientation, physical or mental disability, or any other basis protected by federal, state, or local laws.

Accordingly, participants must refrain from displaying any demeaning, harassing, aggressive, or intimidating behavior or materials that would interfere with others’ experience and participation in our community.

If you witness or are subjected to inappropriate or disruptive behavior or have any other concerns, notify an Arival staff member as soon as possible.

Inappropriate or disruptive behavior will not be tolerated. Arival reserves the right to refuse entry to or remove any party from any event or community space at any time when participation or behavior create a disruption or hinder the event or enjoyment of the event by other participants. All determinations are at the sole discretion of Arival, and the decision of the Arival team will be final. Severe breaches of this Conference Code of Conduct may result in disqualification from participating in future events. Individuals expelled due to violating this Conference Code of Conduct will not be eligible for a refund or other consolation.

If you have questions regarding this Conference Code of Conduct or its implementation, please contact us at [email protected].