Currently Google Places displays rates in almost all countries, this has been available in the US as a beta for a while. But only recently did it start showing up in Europe. What does this mean for hotels?
There is a good and a bad, the good, a better qualifications filter for people visiting the website. What I mean is that a person that visits a website will know even before entering the website if this is in his budget. So it may reduce the visits to some degree, but on the other hand it bring visitors that are ready to buy. This is not a small point, even though it may hurt our ego to see the visits go down.
The bad is that currently it’s only OTA (Online Travel Agents) prices which means… big commissions to the OTAs and little to no profit for the hotels.
I have it from some sources that a booking engine called Bookassist, sent out an email to their customers saying they are adding the “official website prices” into the places page. If that is correct, that’s great news.
Since hotels are normally cheaper through their own site, this is to the hotel’s advantage (and guests).
I’ve looked around in Google Forums to try and find more information on this but haven’t seen anything yet. If you have information on how to connect one’s booking engine to Google Places please post a link in the comments.
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