In the year 2015 alone, the travel and tourism industry contributed to more than US $ 10 trillion to the global economy. In addition to this, in the following year, the industry remained unaffected by the drastic changes in the political climate and the increases in terrorist activities, and went on to further contribute to a direct GDP growth of 3.1% (outpacing the global economic growth of 2.5 %) and to also support 6 million net additional jobs in the sector. By 2027, it is forecasted to support 380 million jobs.

Hence, we can now see how the google maps API ‘mapped’ its way into this surging industry by looking at two out of the many firms that serve as exemplary models.

HILTON WORLDWIDE

In 2015, the hotel industry generated around US $ 190 billion in the US alone and in terms of revenue, with $11.22 billion, Hilton was the 3rd largest hotelier.

In 2016, the occupancy rate of the system-wide Hilton Worldwide hotels was 75 %; much higher than the average worldwide hotel occupancy rate. Moreover, the hotelier boasts a consumer satisfaction index of 80 out of 100 from the year 2008 onwards.

In 2016, Hilton worldwide also had the highest score (of consumer satisfaction) out of 9 other leading businesses in the Hotel industry.

Using the Google Maps API, Hilton Worldwide devised an application, the Hilton HHonors which makes it easy to travel to any of the 4000 + hotels and resorts using indoor maps and street view.

Challenge

Wanting to ameliorate the efficiency in the room selection process and to better customer experience during digital check-ins for its HHonors members, Hilton worldwide decided to make an application. The company wanted to take consumer satisfaction a step further by wanting to let users see the exact view they will experience when they get to their room.

Solution

With the HHonors app, guests can select the hotel and the exact room as the app employs the API which enables the street view panorama. Hence guests can see the exact view they will experience when they arrive, making it easier for them to find the perfect room.

APIs Used in the HHonors App

  • Google Places API  Web Service
  • Google Street View Image API
  • Google Maps SDK for iOS
  • Google Places API for iOS

 

Tripping.com

Tripping.com is a business that commenced in 2011 and one which facilitates easy searches for holiday rentals. Statistics in a bizjournal.com article argue that in the year 2015, the business doubled its property listings to 10 million, which is five times more than that of Airbnb.com. In consequence, it became the world’s largest search engine for vacation homes and short term rentals.

Furthermore, co-founder and CEO of the business, Jen O’Neal speculated that the firm would reach a $ 285 billion benchmark in terms of market size just for vacation rentals.

The unique aspect that separates tripping.com from its competitors like airbnb.com or homeaway.com is that the site aggregates vacation rentals from various sites onto a single map, including airbnb.com and homeaway.com. By doing so, it does not necessarily exceed its competitors but in a way cooperates with them.

Challenge

Like any other rental sites, tripping.com aimed at giving its customers the best experience in order to increase the volume of visitors and to also convert those visitors to guests. The company, therefore, needed a mapping feature that would incorporate an interface that would be convenient to use, that which could be scaled by zooming in and out and that which could accurately confirm rental addresses from the sites it searched.

Solution

Users can now enter their location of interest into the search engine and would get a variety of rental properties from various sites, displayed on a Google Map. While the left half of the screen displays the maps with the ‘pins’ locating each rental, the right side provides essential information like the pictures and the prices of each rental (when a pin is clicked on). With all the salient information, the user can choose his/her preferred vacation home and s/he and complete the booking.

To increase the convenience in searching for rentals in a specific location, the Places API  helps scale the map, limiting the boundary just to that particular location by adjusting to the appropriate zoom level, to match the searches.

APIs used by tripping.com

  • Google Places API Web Service
  • Google Maps Javascript API

Conclusion

As an industry itself, the tourism and travel industry necessitates the use of such a multifaceted API – as mapping is a salient feature to understanding routes and locations in deciding where and when to travel. Hence it would seem justifiable why myriads of businesses in the industry would employ such a feature to ameliorate their consumers’ experiences.

The companies listed above are two of the many businesses in the industry that use the API; namely 99 taxis, NaCesty.cz, Mozio etc. If you are keen to learn more about various use cases of Google Maps APIs, please click here.

Hence with these APIs, businesses in the industry can provide a real-time and realistic experience virtually to its consumers who can then improve their decisions based on the variety of options.

If you want to read more articles on Google Maps APIs to further broaden your knowledge in this field, please click here

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