Microsoft Bing has launched a new travel search experience, the company said on Friday. The new experience consists of travel-focused search results pages for destinations as well as a new travel planning and booking center known simply as the Travel Guide.
Why we care For years, search engines have expanded their travel offerings to the chagrin of online travel agencies – Bing’s new travel features only continue this trend.
New destination search results pages are very visual, which can make them more appealing to users. Many search features, such as hotel results or the Explore Destination carousel, direct users to other Bing properties. And, because they’re more visually appealing than a standard search listing, it can be even harder for OTAs to compete in search results.
The new travel guide is quite similar to Google’s travel portal, but Bing’s travel guide and its destination search results appear to be designed for discovery, which can help it serve customers who need it. first steps in their planning.
Redesigned destination search results. Searching for a destination on Bing may trigger its new travel search experience (pictured below for the query “honolulu”).
This search results page format includes a large search function that contains a link to the travel guide (more information below) for the destination, as well as carousels for attractions and local news. Best time of year to visit and hotel listings are also prominently featured on the page, along with tour and activity announcements.
Presentation of the Bing travel guide. “The travel guide serves as a starting point for your travel planning needs,” Microsoft said in the announcement. The guide’s home page features many destinations and gives users ideas on what kind of trip they want to take (solo, romantic, or on a budget, for example). It also features flights to various locations, coupons and deals, sample itineraries and travel packages.
Users can also search for a particular destination to see potential routes, attractions, and information on flights and hotels. By clicking on the “Book Flights” or “Book Hotels” links, users can access Bing’s flight and hotel results, respectively.
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