Google´s active entry into the travel market is a game changer for the hospitality industry. Today, the majority of independent Hotels & Resorts still heavily rely on OTA´s like booking.com especially here in Europe. However, as we are beginning to see, even Booking.com now concentrating on other ways to source income with their recent launch of Booking Suite.
So lets take a look at why we believe hotels and resorts should be concentrating on how to promote and sell themselves via Google.
1.Google is your guests first port of call Whether we like it or not, Google is the first stop to find anything they need online. If users are able to find the hotel information that they need in a quick, easy and familiar format through one site “Google”, they are less likely to need to go through a middle man.
2.Hotels Love/Hate relationship with OTA’s OTA’s have almost become like the modern equivalent of steroids for many hotels. They hate paying the huge percentage fees but can’t bring themselves away from relying on the bookings provided by such channels. Google advertising through maps could help hotels to lower their dependancy on OTA and other expensive XML channels.
3.Google Maps information is consistently improving Google have been rapidly improving the quality of information available to the user from the Maps interface. Two of the most important features are available now, both location and of course best prices for selected dates. The hotel can now actively manage their maps profile and optimize this for conversion. In addition I can easily view user generated content, reviews pulled in from TripAdvisor, Local Metro stops, web articles / news about the hotel, videos, photos and even a 3D model of the hotel. In fact I can find pretty much anything I want from one easy and central place. We can only see the quality of this information improving with time and more so as the hotels take serious ownership of their maps listings as well as connectivity through Google HPA, which still at this present time very few channel manager providers offer this connection to Google.
4.Google Maps the standard choice for Mobile Phones With mobile web usage (and even mobile hotel transactions) forecast to increase immensely over the next few years, it’s hard not to notice that Google Maps tends to be the default location based search across multiple mobile platforms. It’s almost become the standard. Searching and booking a hotel would be easy using location based services and a simple and effective maps interface with pricing. Google can really capitalize on there share of the mobile market with Google maps. Why download multiple additional apps when all the info that you need is in one place?
Of course, I’m not saying that the OTA’s like booking.com will disappear overnight, they likely won’t disappear at all, but they are already paying attention to Google’s advances in the marketplace. Booking.com has reacted with its recent purchase of Buuteeq, that has been rebranded to Booking Suite (suite.booking.com), which demonstrates that even they believe that direct hotel bookings will become an even greater revenue stream for them over the next few years. Hotels marketing departments should also be aware of the opportunities available to them, they can maximise benefits from the changes and also become more proactive about managing their Google Maps profiles.
Hotelient can help your hotel or resort connect to google. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.