Google Acquiring Frommer’s Travel Guidebooks

Google is buying the Frommer’s line of travel guidebooks, the latest move to amass a trove of publishing content that could strengthen the No 1 internet search company’s push to become a major online travel broker.

The sale by John Wiley & Sons comes nearly a year after Google’s $151 million purchase of Zagat Survey, which offers reviews of restaurants, hotels and nightclubs in cities around the world.

The deal will meld the 55-year-old travel publisher’s deep database of hotels and sights into a search giant that is seeking to position its services across the entire trip-planning process, from searching for a holiday destination and looking up hotel reviews to booking tours and restaurants in far-flung cities.

US online travel sales are expected to reach $119.2 billion this year, up from $107.4 billion in 2011, according to eMarketer.

For an acquirer like Google, the most valuable part of Frommer’s is its extensive database of business listings and tourist hotspots that have been maintained and curated for years and can be integrated into Google’s deep pools of data, analysts said.

Google is likely to integrate the content acquired from Frommer’s with that of Zagat. But initially, Google will continue to offer the reviews of hotels, restaurants and sights across the world on the web under the Frommer’s brand name.

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