We have recently seen a big change in Google Maps when searching for accommodation providers such as hotels, B&B’s and holiday parks.
Previously, the map view just shows icons and pins of where the hotels are located. Now, for certain businesses, Google Maps is displaying clickable prices as well for your chosen holiday dates and destination.
As shown in the screen shots below, when you search for ‘dorset hotels’ you are able to refine your search by the date of your holiday. You can then filter your search even further to show only hotels with deals, free Wi-Fi, free parking, restaurant, bar, air-conditioning and fitness centres.
This new way to easily see differences in price and location at the same time will empower users further to be able to make informed decisions before booking their holiday.
The big accommodation booking providers companies known as OTAs (online travel agencies) are already on-board with this feature. Booking.com, TripAdvisor Pitch-up, Kayak, Hotel.com etc. They have the Hotel Prices Application Programming Interface (API) integrated with their systems.
Travel sector game changer
We think this is a big game changer for businesses in the travel and tourism sector. For hotels that are already partnered with a booking provider they may start to see more website traffic and booking enquiries via this feature.
Business that are not partnered with a large booking engine will struggle to make themselves heard here. They will still appear in the map results however a price flag will not display above their location. Instead a blue dot will appear. However this is dependent on the how up to date the Google My Business details are for that hotel.
Interestingly it appears that AirB&B properties are not showing up at the moment. Maybe this is a way for the other booking engines to claw back some ground recently lost to AirB&B?
Whatever the case, this is another example of Google being able to demonstrate a very clever new feature. Interestingly it has been launched at a time with a devalued pound so many people are looking to book a staycation this year instead of a more expensive holiday abroad.