New Google feature: Local Business Centre

17 01 2007

I was surprised to see that some websites had snippets with their local business addresses in the pages of result of Google. If you click on the Plus Box it will expand and show up a map of the location right of your business right below the result like shown below. Clearly it makes it easy for customers to find your business online.
The hotel Aiken (by the way the hotel website uses wordpress) was the first hotel I saw using this great feature:
Hotel Aiken

Aiken 2

How does it work? Well it is quite simple, you simply have to register to the Google Local Business Centre, entering the details of your business, the category, phone number etc. You can also specify the operating business hours. It is totally free and google verifies your info via postcard! Once you have received the postcard from google, you will get a pin number that will be used to activate your account.

You can register your hotel, or travel agency right here: Google’s Local Business Centre

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Yet another google mashup, on Tripadvisor.com

30 10 2006

Tripadvisor google mashup Another Google Mashup in the Online Travel Industry… Tripadvisor displays the hotels according to their popularity on the site and their availability (their price too?). It displays the number of reviews per hotel and the average price found among Tripadvisor partners.

I hope it will be available in more countries and more cities (not just for the US). That’s funny to see that Tripadvisor only displays the average price of the hotel for the dates selected, they have chosen not to enter into the war of the aggregators that compare travel retail sites between them to retrieve and publish the best price found for each hotel..

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A New Online Hotel Directory targets Small to Medium-Size Hotels

25 08 2006

Directory of hotels LogoFirst of all, despite its name (Directory of Hotels.com), this site does not belong to hotels.com; it’s an independent online guide of hotels that will focus on the uniqueness of hotels that differentiate them from belonging to a hotel chain, based on the hotel “service, cuisine, character and individuality”.

According to its Director of Business Development, Tanya Colleen, the goal “is to expose the small to medium-size hotel and lesser known properties around the world.

But how? With those 2 affordable listing options:

  • Basic Listing: USD129/year
  • Featured Listing: USD348/year

Of course those 2 options include a direct link to the hotel website. Booking process remains on the hotel website.

Listing options

Besides the hotel directory, you will find a hotel blog right here, it is moderated, but anyone can post (users not registered too). I hope this blog will stay open for visitors’ comments as I have seen a lot of companies those days that opened a company blog without allowing people to comment their posts (unfortunately they totally missed the point of blogging). I won’t name them. Not in this post.

I applaud the initiative and I really hope that they will add a “uniqueness tag cloud” box as tagging has become an essential part of searching the internet these days. I would even recommend to add a “tag phrase filter” to search for more than one word at the same time.

By the way trackback for posts does not work yet but I guess they will fix it soon.

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Hotel.de going international – Travelres.com

17 08 2006

Travelres.com (powered by hotel.de) has been officially launched in order to expand hotel.de activities internationally.

Althought hotel.de was already available in English, German, French and Spanish, it seems that the very good performances of the german site push the dreams of Hotel.de to become a fierce global competitor of the traditionnal online hotel reservation services.

It was kind of complicated to expand online activities considering that the domain name was already registered by major hotel companies in other countries:

 

  • hotel.com >> hotels.com >> Expedia
  • hotel.co.uk >> hotels.com >> Expedia
  • hotel.it >> hotels.com >> Expedia
  • hotel.fr >> Worldres
  • hotel.at >> hotel.de
  • hotel.ch >> hotel.de
  • hotels.cz >> hotel.de

 

Travelres

 

By the end of last year hotel.de became the leading hotel portal in Germany in terms of unique visits; it is at the expense of HRS (Hotel Reservation Service) who previously occupied that rank. Hotel.de consequently got better press coverage and reported very good results, with a 127% increase compared to the previous year (1.68 million room nights last year, booking volume of nearly 134 million Euros).

Going international can be seen as a logical move then. By having a closer look at the domain names that the company has registered (*.com *.fr *.co.uk *.de *.it *.es) we can easily understand the countries where the company will focus its attention. We can even suppose that the company has chosen a much wider termination for its domain name on purpose. Indeed with the word “travel” in its domain name, the company might plan one day to become a travel agency proposing airlines tickets, packages, cruises, car rental etc.

PS: If it was a stock, I would recommend to buy. To watch.


Quick Notes:

Hotel.de: 180 000 hotels worldwide.
Languages available: english/french/spanish/german/czech/italian
Travelres.com current alexa ranking :
168,263
Hotel.de current ranking :
6,250

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