Since the pandemic began two years ago, the tourism sector has experienced significant hurdles. However, the industry is showing signs of healthy recovery. As interest in travel returns, businesses need simple methods to interact with potential consumers. Google has announced the release of new tools to assist hoteliers in locating customers who are ready to book their next vacation.
Google debuted free hotel booking links last year, which will now appear on the search engine, allowing guests to broaden their reach and provide more alternatives. Travelers can book directly on the websites of their hotel partners by clicking on these links. Since last year, this technology has gotten a lot of engagement from passengers, hotels, and OTAs.
Google is also developing new data visualizations to assist hotels and OTAs in understanding the traffic generated by free booking links. The company is also making it easier for hoteliers to communicate pricing and availability with their potential customers.
Beginning next month, qualifying hotels – those with a verified Google business profile, the ability to take online bookings, and for whom Google does not already have prices through an integration partner – will be able to manually enter rates to allow free booking links.
The final upgrade allows hotels to provide up-to-date information about their property, such as any changes to COVID regulations, descriptions of hotel facilities, and images and videos, via the “Local Post” function in their Google Business Profile.
Farago says these updates are part of Google’s mission “to be a trusted source of travel information.” The company says it is constantly “working on new and improved ways to help travel partners connect with people looking for their next place to stay.”