13 September 2006

Searching Hotels on an interactive world map

Hotel World Map has introduced its new search engine offering, enabling business travellers and tourists search for 60000 hotels worldwide on an interactive Google Map.

The Hotel World Map booking engine is powered by the Sabre Travel Network and has been developed by Makayama Interactive, a software and services company from Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

As per the focus group research, conducted by Hotel World Map, travellers find existing travel websites difficult to use and that they require too many steps to find out even the basic information. The majority of the test group users had negative opinions about the cluttered interfaces of existing websites and believed they were pushing customers towards booking certain hotels.

“For example, the participants in the research were asked to find a hotel in Miami within one mile from the airport. It took them on average three minutes using the biggest travel portals, but only 90 seconds using Hotel World Map. In another test, they were asked to find a hotel on the Dutch coast, that was close to the beach. Using the established portals, it took five times longer,” stated the company.

Leveraging focus group feedback, the company says the user experience is a neutral, purely map-based search engine, that doesn’t push people to certain offers or discounts. Hotels are plotted on the map and with one click, users can get a picture preview. The accuracy of the hotel locations is less than 10 metres.

A satellite view gives a bird’s eye picture of the surroundings. A second click will take the visitor to a page with detailed hotel and pricing info. Real-time availability information is also available and travellers may book instantly.

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