How many people book hotels direct from a map?

A question for all the readers of this blog.  How important is this kind of functionality?  No matter where your making a hotel booking, whether it’s on a website, through a bedbank, on a GDS or directly with a hotel on their site, do you look at the maps they provide?  Do you search purely on a map, and where possible, book the hotel directly from it?  It’s fairly new technology and of course some providers have this better than others.

I found a company called HotelMap who have a fantastic website where you can search and book hotels in London directly on an interactive map.  Brought to you by londontown.com, it’s amongst the most helpful hotel booking websites I have come across and really is useful to see where the nearest tube station is, museum or tourist attraction.

This really is a forward thinking approach.  And so useful in a big city like London.  I see that some of the GDS are offering maps displays more and more, even interactive ones which at least shows that even this channel, mainly a traditional green screen, cryptic environment see the demand for such a tool.

More and more hotel chains have this kind of functionality on their own websites, but when you’re looking for multiple chains and independent hotels as well, you don’t want to search on each providers site – you want to compare exact locations in one screen.  All the big chains have the functionality though… I especially like Accor and Premier Inn.

So how important is it in your hotel booking requirements?  Let me know your thoughts.

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5 thoughts on “How many people book hotels direct from a map?

  1. It’s important in this climate. Every corporate is price concious and limiting their spend to mid range or three star budget hotels. The only way to upsell is by proving the worth of a location and this is where map booking tools are especially useful.

  2. Totally agree with the previous comment. Maps are useful to sell a location to a corporate. I’d be interested to hear more about GDS using this kind of thing. I know worldspan have nothing like this, certainly not bookable.

  3. What annoys me is when hotels “lie” about there location, especially in GDS access. For example, a hotel says they are in London so they appear in popular search results – even when they might be miles outside London. Last week I was looking at a search result and he hotel was actually in Brighton! So map displayes are very useful – but it doesn’t help a cryptic user like me 😦

  4. Good maps are important, and we have Google to thank for giving us great, easy to embed maps…however, i think they work better for OTAs and for chains with lots of hotels in a given location (generally cities).

    A few years ago, i did some research for a client, and we found that although clients love to see stylish maps on their site, it did little to drive bookings when used as a selection device. This shouldn’t surprise us, every time we see a survey or research showing how few people can place a different country on a map 🙂

    So i’d say that using them to show a precise location is great, but otherwise use with care.

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