With the online travel landscape jockeying for traveller attention with Hotels.ca, Travelocity.ca, Expedia.ca and TripAdvisor.com, travellers already have their favourite sites bookmarked. But there’s new competition on the horizon as Google introduced Google Hotel Finder last week, marking it as an experiment.
Currently only available for US cities, Google Hotel Finder has focused on location to differentiate itself from the pack. Information seekers input location and zip code to generate a list of possible accommodation options.
Hotel Finder offers a new version of Google Maps, which shows well-known attractions in proximity to a hotel location, and generates a series of blue lines, creating a zone. The blue zone can be easily adjusted, allowing someone to include a museum, shopping mall or sports arena location and figure out distances in-between.
Melanie Coates, spokesperson for Toronto’s Fairmont Royal York thinks another option for hotel information is welcome. “A new way to find more information is a good thing, “said Coates,” Being able to show the guests exactly what’s in the immediate area provides them with more information when they’re making the decision about the right place to stay when travelling.”
Other offerings from Google Hotel Finder include a way to make a shortlist of hotels during a search and find deals on room rates, using a formula showing the discount percentage in comparison to the past year.
With this new addition to the Google website, Search Engine Watch, a website that analyzes the world of search engines, predicts this may be the first of many moves by Google to create more travel options in the coming months.