Love the new Max Travel Time feature on Google Hotel Finder

Google-hotel-finder-travel-tim
Just experimenting with the newly added feature on Google Hotel Finder that allows you to specify maximum travel time from an attraction or landmark… this would’ve come super handy when I was looking for hotel options near school a couple of years ago!

Must say that this approach is far superior to the standard OTA method…guessing Google’s dominance in the local search space combined with tons of great underlying data will make this an invaluable feature to the fast evolving Google Hotel Finder “experiment”!

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Augmented Reality Maps make their debut

After Blaise Aguera y Arcas offered a tantalizing peek at the world of Microsoft PhotoSynth a couple of years ago, he recently made a return to TED to demo the latest incredible innovation in mapping.

Watch the video as he offers a preview of the incredible mapping advancements Microsoft has made and the augmented reality features to come:

5 Future Internet trends that will change Hotel Internet Marketing

5 Future Developments that will revolutionize Online Hotel Marketing: “For tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today”, says a famous proverb…and what better fit to apply this than in the world of technology and marketing?

The breakneck speed of tech evolution is inspiring (and often scary) but the two keywords that will set winning developments apart from the ‘also ran’ are ‘love’ and ‘simplicity’. It doesn’t take a degree to understand that people adopt technologies that fuel their imagination & passions…and the rate of adoption is in close sync to the simplicity of its interface and operation. Great technology needs to adapt to the needs of the user and future breakthroughs will bear testament to this.

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Hotel SEO – Search Engine Optimization Cons to watch out for

Search Engines refer a significant percentage of web direct bookings for hotels, both through paid search and natural search. SEO / Search Engine Optimization obviously has the most bang for the buck, as well designed websites ensure great SEO results and produce much better long term results. A lot of hotel companies, especially independent properties and smaller chains also spend a great deal of money on Hotel website SEO, often outsourced to web design or SEO agencies.

I came across a great article by Brandt Dainow on 7 ways SEO consultants rip off their clients…a must read for anyone looking to hire out their SEO efforts. The gist of the matter is that most people don’t understand what SEO truly involves and the actual benefits and practices out there…therefore it is quite easy to exploit this ignorance and charge out large amounts of money for something absolutely useless.

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Search Engine Marketing Basics for Hotel General Managers and Directors

In search of…simplification! An introduction to Search Engine Marketing for Hotel General Managers and Directors of Sales & Marketing

Search Engine Marketing has been a hot topic for quite a while now and there have been a plethora of articles written on the subject, ranging from the tediously academic to those hailing Search Engines to be the be-all and end-all when it comes to selling online. But there still seems to be a lot of confusion surrounding the true value of Search Engines in the hotel industry, especially in the Middle East, and just what hoteliers can do to stay ahead of the curve. This article is an attempt to de-mystify and present the big ‘Search’ picture.

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