Touring Bird, announced last September, is a simple website that curates city-by-city things that travelers can do. Next month, as the Touring Bird team enters Google’s unified travel initiative, the Area 120 project will shut down.
Area 120 is the internal incubator Google provides employees with the opportunity to begin and work on a new full-time project. Touring Bird’s team set out to build a “new tool that addresses the need for a centralized destination to plan your next vacation.”
Touring Bird’s key lists ticketing and reservation providers in relation to curating popular sites to visit and things to do. This simplifies the traveler’s buying experience while also providing Google with a potential source of monetization. There are hundreds of free places and events, with locals also contributing to popular destinations.
It first launched in early 2018 with a Paris guide before expanding later that year to 20 cities. It grew to cover 200 destinations at the start of 2019.
Today’s visit to the site announces the forthcoming 17 November deprecation. Until then, saved tasks will be available as Touring Bird officially “folding into Google’s travel team.”
Touring Bird shutting down ultimately makes sense given how Google Trips and Maps have been killed in favor of a unified Google Travel offer. Hopefully, in other first-party products, this rich corpus of data and refined implementation lives on.