January 23, 2012

Google Hotel Finder’s travel time filter innovates online hotel search


Before Google was formally approved to buy travel software company ITA, the company argued that the acquisition would result in “innovation” for travelers and travel search users. Google Hotel Finder's new ability to filter hotels by travel time (by transportation method) is not only unique but also very useful.

Before Google was formally approved to buy travel software company ITA, the company argued that the acquisition would result in “innovation” for travelers and travel search users. Beyond the appearance of flight times/routes in search results we haven’t seen much “innovation” yet. Google’s new “find hotels by travel time” experiment is, however, an example of how Google might deliver new functionality and shake things up in the intensely competitive yet paradoxically complacent travel segment.

There are travel verticals that will allow users to look for hotels near landmarks or filter by distance from the “city center” (or centroid). And almost all of the popular travel search engines allow you to see the hotel location on a map. Google Maps itself will allow you to find a point or destination and then “search nearby” for hotels.

Yet Google’s “Hotel Finder‘s” new ability to filter hotels by travel time (by transportation method) is unique and quite useful. Although Hotel Finder is generally available for a broad array of destinations, Google says that transit time search “is only available in cities where we have partnered with local transit agencies to integrate their data into Google Maps.”

Get the full story at Search Engine Land

Read also "Google’s Hotel Finder now helps you find a room near your favorite landmark" at The Next Web

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