Recently, Google revealed that the company is preparing a hotel view which would mean an interior 360 imagery. When consumers are wanting to travel, it is sometimes quite difficult to find information that reflects the individual tourism product or service in a transparent way. Consumers are seeking information that can enable them to make an informed decision and that identifies any problems that might occur. This means that when consumers are looking at hotels, it is important to find out whether the hotel is located at a busy street, the outside looks nice or whether the opposite is the case. Google’s street view does actually deliver exactly this purpose but consumers also do want to know how hotels look inside and some travellers will know too well, that photographers can actually stage the way in which hotel rooms, lobbies and facilities look and are presented in photographs. This is where Google Hotel View comes in place (SearchEngineLand 2014).
GOOGLES TRAVEL CONTENT
For Google, travel is a very important sector where travel content is produced. This means that Google is now taking active steps with regards to producing travel content by photographing hotel interiors. Throughout the last couple of months, Google is continuously increasing the amount of pictures taken that represent interior photography of local businesses. This can help travellers establish whether a coffee shop listed in the Google search findings is actually big enough to hold tables, or whether it is more a coffee shop that serves takeaway purposes. Through these interior Google images, consumers can actually make informed decision and can effectively “look inside” restaurants and now also hotels.
Google is proactively approaching hotel chains and management companies with regards to including hotel views from these hotels into Google’s hotel view. So far, both Radisson and Best Western are both mentioned in relation to Google’s latest interior imaginary. When searching for hotel views within Google for a number of cities, some hotel search results are already showing these interior images for consumers wanting to book a hotel. Previous to Google’s Hotel View many travellers accessed TripAdvisors image libraries in order to access user generated images of hotels in certain cities. Now, consumers actually have the choice to either use TripAdvisor’s images or search within Google and take the opportunity to look at Hotel View images. This might increase Google’s hotel related traffic within the search engine. This is very interesting especially for small and medium businesses in tourism and hotels worldwide might receive increased search traffic for their hotels within Google’s Hotel View which might increase bookings or mean the opposite. In any case, for consumers this is increasing transparency a bit further and offers another source to search for images.
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