As the battle for direct bookings becomes ever more competitive for hotels, Google is increasing its dominance to reach customers for travel information and bookings.
Google Maps has recently undergone an upgrade in an attempt to enhance the experience for their users. These features include enhanced in-map information, voice navigation and incognito mode.
Hoteliers should take note of the challenges and opportunities these developments bring and consider investing in testing out the performance of these new features.
Earlier in the year, Google Maps rolled out enhanced features that allow users to obtain more information about hotel properties without needing to perform a traditional search.
Dane Glasgow, vice president, product, for Google Maps, told Skift that Google is "seeing that our users are looking to Google Maps for more than just navigation. They’re using it to explore the world around them. To address that need, we recently revamped our Explore tab and introduced a number of new ways to help people more easily find things to do and places to eat, wherever they are in the world.”
Within the Google Maps app, it is now possible to visualize which featured hotel has certain amenities like gym, spa, free breakfast, and free Wi-Fi or what hotels accept pets and are kid-friendly. The listings look more like what you would expect from an OTA, including images and reviews, rather than the old text-only search results.