Google is now offering a direct reservation facility for hotels through it’s Google places listings. Showing instant pricing information that is integrated with a number of travel providers and the owners site where relevant. What does this mean for the travel industry.
Transparent Local Hotel Pricing
This facility offers the user price comparison on hotel bookings at the point of search meaning that no longer do you have to hunt round all the individual travel sites to find the best prices.
Users can select the dates they are looking to book and will be immediately presented with the lowest pricing as well as a pull down list of pricing options through the various providers offering reservations for that location.
Along with previous customer reviews and transport information, Google now offers a comprehensive solution to booking your hotel. Providers who provide reservations include Hotels.com, Booking.com, Expedia, Agoda and others. The facility is provided as a form of sponsored link and no doubt will increase competition for hotel bookings with such transparency of pricing. Notably in our research Agoda.com and Booking.com regularly came out as the best priced options.
Better hotel booking for the Consumer?
These sponsored listings present travel providers with a quandary in that if they are to compete in this arena they need to ensure that they are the lowest cost offering. Hotels that offer better customer service and facilities may find it more difficult to compete if they are unable to clearly articulate to the consumer why their rate is worth paying for since the results very clearly present price as the main comparator.