When Google acquired ITA flight software a couple of years back, a group of competitors went ballistic warning of unfair practices by the Internet search and ad giant. Most people back then blew off what FairSearch was contending, this author included. As it turns out, a half dozen court cases won and a lot of water under the hotel search bridge, and potential guests really have no choice at all. Google has rigged the hotel booking game into an ad recommendation one.
Google hotel finder
There are a lot of hotels engaged in social media, and presenting their wares online. Hilton to the smallest Mom & Pop cabins on the remotest river, everyone wants in on the digital superhighway. Today, a lone tweet sent me reeling back toward an old friend from childhood, Sheraton and Starwood Hotel’s fine Kightsbridge luxury hotel, the Sheraton Park Towers.
In news from Ukraine and the upcoming 2012 European Championships, organizers are concerned with keeping down hospitality prices for the coming wave of travelers headed East. Along with integrating their efforts with those of sister venues in Poland, soccer fans being fleeced seems to be tops on the agenda of late. But is the concern already too late and too little?
Could hotel search get any more competitive than it is already? Well apparently, err, yes it can. The newly released HotelSweep is the latest fledgling in a long line of hotel search tools to hit the web, promising to make looking for a hotel even more convenient than it is already.
Just out, the Distribution Channel Analysis study via the American Hotel Lodging Association (AH&LA) and STR, has been released. The detailed study, supposedly aimed at helping “all” hoteliers better understand hotel room distribution, discusses distribution channel mix, among other salient hotel profitability instances. But, is the study really meant for all hoteliers, or just the fat cats?
Google Hotel Finder has finally rolled out some of its much-anticipated ‘innovation’, in the form of a new search parameter than allows us to search for hotels by travel time from key attractions and destinations
In travel technology news from yesterday Tnooz carried the announcement that six of the world’s largest hotel proprietors had launched a booking commune Roomkey. Choice Hotels International, Hilton Worldwide, Hyatt Hotels, InterContinental Hotels, Marriott International and Wyndham Hotel Group set sail on a joint venture which is piloted by Pegasus founder John Davis. Argophilia Travel News decided to take the new flagship for a ride.
Sparkly clean accomodation finder HotelMaps is a welcome surprise to the space being dominated by Google and Hipmunk currently. The German startup affords users an interactive experience that leads to a no nonsense booking experience. For those in search of simplicity and accuracy in hotel finding, HotelMaps appears to be a winner.
An article on Tnooz last Friday peaked our interest, Xotels boss Patrick Landman offering up key variables in what will become the biggest online trade war ever. When Google, all the big corporate OTAs, and key independent online travel entities lock horns for a final round, a few will not be left standing.
The highly anticipated New York City restaurant guides are out now. A story about his by Garth Johnston of the gothamist not only drew my attention, but made me put on my thinking cap too. Google’s movements into travel, the changing framework of online travel, and the real value of credability seem to be boiling to the surface of the online business soup. Zagat, the online restaurant guides slash data company, offers interesting value.