Hot off the press – Apple has released a new reviews feature to their ‘Maps’ application, allowing your small hotel to showcase your hard earned reviews to more than 800 million Apple desktop, mobile or tablet devices.
As the default map setting for Apple devices, Apple Maps acts as a directory allowing users to search for surrounding businesses, and figure out how to get there – whether it’s by walking, driving and even public transport.
To make their maps more useful, Apple is starting to present your hotel’s reviews within their interface when searches are made. The reviews and information are pulled from websites such as Booking.com, TripAdvisor and Yelp.
As you can imagine, hundreds of millions of people are using Apple products. In fact, back in 2012 it was reported that over half of all US homes were using Apple devices. You can imagine what those numbers are now!
This feature is brand new, so give your small hotel a competitive advantage by showing off your hard earned reviews to the massive market of Apple users today.
Your hotels’ details and geographic coordinates are listed on Apple Maps. When a guest searches for ‘hotels’ in your local area, your small hotel will come up along with other accommodation providers.
Each search result will be displayed as a pin point. If a potential guest taps the pin point for your small hotel listing, a card opens up with useful information such as, an address, photos, phone number, ratings or reviews.
The hotel reviews and photos are pulled into the information card that guests can read all in one place. The Apple Maps listing provides guests with all the information they require to choose where to stay.
If your small hotel isn’t visible to guests who are searching for accommodation, then they won’t be able to book you!
This hot new feature is being rolled out slowly, so it may not be available in your area just yet. However, you can still set up your listing in a few simple steps:
The listing and edits may take up to one week to go live.
Apple searches the web for existing photos and reviews associated with your small hotel. That’s why it’s important that you update your Yelp listing, so when the information and photos do get pulled, they will be correct. Make sure to have consistent information and photos across Yelp, Booking.com and TripAdvisor.
As the new Apple Maps feature becomes more popular, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) may want to jump onto the bandwagon and get involved too. This means that all of your room information, rates, room availability and photos will need to be in sync across all the OTA channels you use for your small hotel.
If all goes well and a guest stumbles upon you through Apple Maps, thumbs through your five star reviews and decides to make a booking, what happens next? Can they check your room availability and book themselves in?
If not, then you run the risk of losing that tech-savvy guest! In this day and age, accommodation providers must have a system in place to manage room availability in real time. Not only does it make life easier for your guests, but it saves you time and allows you to accept bookings 24/7, without any manual intervention.
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