Dec 14, 2021 / Livn PR

Google transitions to 'Things to do' and brings Livn on as its connectivity partner

As Google ends its 'Reserve with Google' (RwG) function, replacing it with a new pilot program called 'Things to do', travel connectivity hub Livn has been confirmed as a global partner to facilitate the move. 

Previously, online bookings for tour, activity and attractions operators were captured in Google business listings through the "Buy Tickets" button. Online travel agencies (OTAs) processed the bookings for Google on the back end, leaving operators with high commissions of up to 30%. Operators did not have the opportunity to participate in this model outside of an OTA partner.

With the 'Things to Do' pilot program, operators can now list their own website’ product booking pages alongside the other listings to get direct bookings straight from Google search results for free, avoid intermediates/commission and regain control over distribution, content, and customer journey.

Google announced its new approach to the sector back in March 2021 stating, "This is part of our larger effort to ensure people have access to all offers available to them by providing free and easy ways for businesses to connect with people on Google. We made it free for partners to participate in Google Flights early last year, and in April we opened our Shopping tab to free listings for online retail. Over time, we'll continue building this open platform, so that all partners will have even more opportunities to highlight their information and help people book a flight, find a place to stay, or explore a new destination."

Google Things to do

From sports stadiums and themed entertainment tickets to historical activities and nature and wildlife tours, 'Things to Do' will allow users to easily compare options for visiting their favourite attractions and will be able to click through to the operator's website to complete the transaction. It means more booking options to customers and puts control back in the hands of small, medium, and large tour operators.

Livn's role is to claim, create and power the 'OFFICIAL SITE' button that takes potential customers directly to the operator's website from Google Search results. This provides a level playing field between operators and large OTAs, minimises intermediaries, reduces cost of sale, and increase operators’ bottom line. 

Steve Martinez, Founder and CCO of Livn has been instrumental in making the partnership happen, says, "It's exciting to see the result of years of engagement with a Livn and Google partnership that can give tours, activities and attractions operators better brand control over distribution as well as a much-needed boost given the events over the last 18 months".

As Livn is not a reservation system or an Online Travel Agency (OTA) they take no commission, but instead act as a connection between operator and consumer. Operators retain ownership of the official site tickets button, the customer, and end-to-end analytics to better manage the entire customer booking journey and experience. 

The result for operators? Lower costs, increased direct bookings, and full ownership of customer acquisition. Additionally, with 83% of mobile bookings being completed after a smartphone search, 'Things to Do' allows operators to be where their audience is. 

Livn CEO Mark Rizzuto expressed the partnership as a highlight for 2021 stating, "We are thrilled that Livn can help play a part in the revival of travel and help attraction and tour operators be ready for the bounce back and resurgence of digital bookings."

Tour, activities and attractions operators can be part of Google Things to do by registering for a free trial with Livn. 

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