Dnata-owned online travel agent Travel Republic has massively reduced its dependency on Google to give it much more balanced distribution.
Iain Andrew, divisional senior vice president of dnata Travel, revealed: “We have been spending time looking how to handle different channels and have managed to shift our Google spend to other channels like Facebook and the metas.
“Google is still a monster but I’m pleased at how we’ve managed to get a better balance across our channels.”
Andrew was speaking to Travolution at the annual Institute of Travel and Tourism conference in Ras Al Khaimah, the neigbouring Emirate to dnata’s home in Dubai.
He said he had thought it could have taken years to move away from Google, but that his Travel Republic team had actually managed it in just nine months.
Travel Republic had “probably” sacrificed a bit of volume as a result of the move but this had been more than offset by a significant lowering of its spend and cost per acquisition through the search engine, Andrew explained.
He said: “If you pay enough, you can grow your top line massively, but we want top line and bottom line growth.
“Only one of the Indian OTAs has ever turned a profit. Call us traditional but bottom line growth is what we’re all about.”
Andrew said he will now be pushing all his other business in the group to follow Travel Republic’s lead.
“I have had plenty of businesses telling me they absolutely cannot risk it, but Travel Republic has proved it can be done so they can now follow its model.”
And he added: “It’s so dominant, I can’t believe why the whole travel industry isn’t moving away from Google.”