How can hotels take advantage of this hot new feature?
The news came out yesterday that Apple has released a new reviews feature to their ‘Maps’ application, allowing hotels to showcase hard-earned reviews for more than 800 million Apple desktop, mobile or tablet devices.
Apple Maps works pretty much the same way as Google Maps just with the difference that they are shown only on Apple devices, Apple Maps works 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 Apple Maps more useful, Apple is starting to present hotel reviews within their interface when searches are done. Apple Maps works pretty much with the same logic as Google Business Profile, except that the reviews and information are pulled from websites such as Booking.com, TripAdvisor, and Yelp while in Google Business Profile the reviews are directly from the one users have written on Google Reviews.
Apple Maps is a good way to grow your hotel’s online presence as hundreds of millions of people are using Apple products. As this feature is also brand new, the early adapters will get a competitive advantage by showing off hard-earned reviews to the massive market of Apple users.
How do Apple Maps Hotel reviews work?
In the same way, as in Google Maps, hotels’ details and locations are listed on Apple Maps. When a guest searches for ‘hotels’ in a local area, your hotels listed in Apple Maps will come up along with other accommodation providers in the same area.
Each search result will be displayed as a pinpoint. If a potential guest clicks the pinpoint on the hotel’s listing, a card opens up with useful information such as an address, photos, phone number, ratings, or reviews.
If your hotel isn’t visible to guests who are searching for accommodation in Apple Maps Hotel Finder, then they won’t be able to book you!
How to get your hotel listed on Apple Maps?
Apple Maps Hotels 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:
- Go to the Apple Maps Connect website.
- Use your Apple ID to login in, If you don’t have one you will have to create an Apple account.
- After that you will be taken to a page to add or change your hotel’s business information – click on ‘add my business’.
- Type in your address details to see if you are already listed.
- If you are listed, you may find the details incorrect, ‘claim’ the listing and edit the details.
- If not, enter your information. The phone number you enter will be used to verify the listing.
The listing and editorial updates may take up to one week to go live.
How to improve your Apple Maps Hotel listing?
Apple scrapes images and reviews from other websites and web directories associated with your hotel. That’s why you must update your other online directories e.g. as Yelp and Tripadvisor listings, so when the information and photos are extracted from those directories, they will be correct and up to date. Make sure to have consistent information and photos across Yelp, OTA’s like Booking.com, and also hotel meta search engines like TripAdvisor and Google Hotels.
When the new Apple Maps feature becomes more popular, Online Travel Agencies (OTAs) may want to take their slice of the cake too. This means that all of your room information, rates, room availability, and photos will need to be in sync with all the OTA channels you use with your hotel.
Now it’s the perfect time to take advantage of this new feature and be one step ahead of your competitors.
How can hotels win more bookings from Apple Maps users?
If all goes well and a guest finds your hotel through Apple Maps, falls in love with your five-star reviews, and decides to make a booking, what happens next? Can they check your hotel’s inventory and make a direct reservation online?
This is the moment when your website and PMS come into the game. A reliable PMS is the most important tool in any hotel’s online business.
If you don’t have one, then you are at risk of losing that tech-savvy guest! In today’s hotel market, accommodation providers must have a working Property Management System (PMS) and Channel Manager to update room availability and prices 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.
If you need advice on finding good, reliable PMS, we at Hotel Boosters can help you to find one that best matches your needs.