Google Places Check In? Google Adds Hotel Booking

Google is now offering a direct reservation facility for hotels through it’s Google places listings. Showing instant pricing information that is integrated with a number of travel providers and the owners site where relevant. What does this mean for the travel industry.

Transparent Local Hotel Pricing

This facility offers the user price comparison on hotel bookings at the point of search meaning that no longer do you have to hunt round all the individual travel sites to find the best prices.

Users can select the dates they are looking to book and will be immediately presented with the lowest pricing as well as a pull down list of pricing options through the various providers offering reservations for that location.

Along with previous customer reviews and transport information, Google now offers a comprehensive solution to booking your hotel. Providers who provide reservations include Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda and others. The facility is provided as a form of sponsored link and no doubt will increase competition for hotel bookings with such transparency of pricing. Notably in our research Agoda.com and Booking.com regularly came out as the best priced options.

Better hotel booking for the Consumer?

These sponsored listings present travel providers with a quandary in that if they are to compete in this arena they need to ensure that they are the lowest cost offering. Hotels that offer better customer service and facilities may find it more difficult to compete if they are unable to clearly articulate to the consumer why their rate is worth paying for since the results very clearly present price as the main comparator.

In order to view the hotel comparison users need to use the maps.google.com or maps.google.co.uk search URLs.

Andrew Rayner is the Director and Founder of online marketing consultancy E-mphasis. Andrew’s expertise lies within the technological side of marketing, through utilising computers and the Internet to create the best office and business environments. He works closely with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO), claiming that this is no ‘black art’ – it takes appropriate applied skill and knowledge. He is highly regarded as an expert in the field of natural SEO and is regularly invited to speak on the topic at conferences and events. Andrew and the team at E-mphasis have pioneered an innovative use of Google Maps and online business listings to create highly targeted Local Internet Marketing strategies. Local Internet Marketing is a hugely untapped area of marketing strategy and one which is now beginning to generate interest and excitement from major UK retail brands.