Mapping it Out – The key role of locailty on accommodation websites

When deciding on accommodation it is quite natural to want to know exactly where that accommodation is positioned relative to the area in which you will be taking your holiday. Consumers wish to differentiate whether they will be staying downtown or in the central hub, close to the major attractions. The best way to see this on a website is visually, on a map.

It is an important consideration and an accommodation website which provides this level of information allows the consumer to make a more informed decision. The more savvy consumer will very quickly decide against staying at any property which does not clearly indicate its positioning on a high quality, detailed map. The question then is, why are there so many Australian accommodation websites which do not show their locality?

In the same manner that a consumer wishes to see high quality imagery which sells both the property and surrounding area, they would like to be able to verify this on a map. It can also be considered a simple courtesy providing complete and up-to-date directions to customers who will be staying at the property.

The online mapping revolution

The growth of online maps with technology such as Google Earth and Google Maps has increased consumer expectations and the hunger for more advanced information. It could be argued that the accommodation sector in Australia is not matching these expectations.
The U.S. is at the forefront of online mapping technology with many property websites linking to interactive maps called hotel MASHUPS. The interactive map shows precisely where your hotel is located in proximity to any relevant location, giving you the ability to map your hotel to local attractions, restaurants, events, casinos, ski facilities, golf courses and corporate offices.

Even though Australian technology cannot yet match that of the U.S., we are increasingly moving in that direction, as online users continue to embrace functions which increase their interactivity. Providing detailed mapping on your website adds tremendous value and makes your website stickier to keep online shoppers glued to your web pages. The more rich content you offer, such as mapping, the better your chances of converting a searcher into a booker.

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