Google has announced that it will add support for buying train tickets in Japan, Germany, Italy and Spain, while also incorporating sustainability features into its existing travel search options for hotels and flights. The company, which is owned by Alphabet, also revealed that it will allow users to choose “ecolabel” filters when searching for flights and hotels. The company has also announced that it will eventually integrate bus ticket support with its search platform.
The company stated in a blog post that the launch of the option to buy train tickets in select countries is also an effort to encourage users to choose more emission-conscious travel options. When users in Japan, Germany, Italy, and Spain search for a route between two or more destinations on Google or Google Flights, and a train is available for the same route, it will appear in the results. A click on a direct link then takes users to the partner website to purchase train tickets.
While the feature is currently limited to certain countries, Google has confirmed that it plans to expand the train ticket option to other countries as it builds on rail partnerships.
Google also announced new filters that limit search results to low-emission flights only and eco-certified hotels. While users have been able to search for flights and hotels since 2011, the company introduced carbon tracking for the first time in 2021. , including suggestions for fuel-efficient driving routes in Google Maps and information about the CO2 emissions of flights.
Alphabet’s company said it has ties with organizations such as the US Green Building Council and the Global Sustainable Tourism Council to monitor their databases that will be used to prioritize search results from eco-certified hotels. Eco-friendly hotel labels depend on hotels choosing to self-report their sustainability practices, according to the Google Travel Help support page.
Meanwhile, on Google Flights, users now have the option to filter results by “low emissions only” or sort by carbon emissions. Google says it uses the European Environment Agency’s (EEA) emissions estimates with the most up-to-date algorithmic model from 2019.