Friday 30 September 2022, JW Marriott Grosvenor
November 2022, Virtual
21 November 2022, Hilton London Metropole
Google has announced that hotels in London can make use of Business Photos, a newly launched product which allows properties to add interior shots to the Places page.
The project will focus on key cities in the US, Australia, New Zealand and Japan, according to the release. However, detailed information posted online by Google also names London as one of the selected cities.
Hotels in London which already have a Google Places page can apply for a Google photographer to visit their premises and take photographs, at no cost to the hotel. The images will then appear on the hotel’s Places Page within the natural search results alongside the other features such as a map and Street View shot.
Google’s official blog post about the launch says that: “We're kicking off by photographing interiors of the types of businesses that we know are searched for most regularly. The types of businesses we're currently interested in are restaurants, hotels, retail shops, and other storefront businesses.”It added that “you can't always judge a business by its exterior. Interior photographs are a great way to show potential customers what your business is really like.”
However, while hoteliers appear to have some degree of control over what can be photographed and what is made public, the images are owned by Google. “Google is committed to continually innovating...we may create new applications that use the business photos we take at your premises. Your consent to allow Google's photographers to take business photos will also be used for these applications.”
Google’s recent experiment to include pricing within Google Map searches for the hotel was seen by some as evidence that Google see the hotel sector as one into which it can expand.
At a trade show in Germany recently, Rotana International became the latest hotel chain, and the first from the Middle East, to sign up with Trust International’s Google programme. This link populates a partner’s Google Places and Maps page with real-time pricing on a pay-per-click basis. Trust signed its deal with Google this February, becoming “the first independent centralized reservation system worldwide to offer this service.”