Tags: Google Maps
Google announced on Monday that it will feature hotel rates in the ‘balloons’ on Google maps. This is currently in the Beta stage.
Currently, they will seek rate feeds from advertisers and will be flagged as Sponsored Results. They will not pick up rates from the GDS and other distribution channels but rely on feeds from the hotels themselves. Below is an example of how it will look for a Search for hotels in NYC.
Google has stated that it will not change search results. This new feature will not change the way that hotels are ranked in Google Maps, the company says. Google Maps ranks business listings based on their relevance to the search terms entered, along with geographic distance (where indicated) and other factors, regardless of whether there is an associated price. (HotelMarketing.com, 3/24/10)
With this feature, when you search for hotels on Google Maps you’ll be able to enter the dates you plan to stay and see real prices on selected listings. You can click on the price to see a list of advertisers who have provided pricing information for that hotel, indicated by the “Sponsored” text, and click through to reserve a room on the advertiser’s site. (HotelMarketing.com, 3/24/10)
My concern is that this feature will only perpetuate competitive rate cutting and discounting, making the industry more rate driven than before. It may have an impact on rate parity and integrity and also become a threat to the aggregators who may feel they are in bed with the 500 pound gorilla named Google!
Let me know what you think!