Hotel chains partner with Google for 360-degree virtual tours
Wellington: Hotel chains are reportedly partnering with the search giant Google to provide virtual tours for travellers, who would be able to view hotels even before they check-in at the reception.
Best Western International has announced the launch of Google Business Photos for all 2,200 of its North American hotels, which will have the virtual tours online by the end of 2014.
The virtual tours will comprise of Google Business Photos which are 360-degree tours powered by the Google Street technology, which is quite popular with netizens for the `real-like` experience of the places they provide.
According to a website, many businesses have used the technology since Google introduced it in 2010, but a growing number of hotel companies are now adopting it.
Senior vice president of marketing and sales for Best Western, Dorothy Dowling said that the move would allow people to virtually experience the hotel in the same way they would if they were there.
The still photos, taken by photographers trained and certified by Google, are stitched into 360-degree views using panoramic camera technology.
The report said that travellers can see the photos when they search for the hotel on Google Search, Google Maps, Google+, and Google Hotel Finder and also take interactive tours of the hotels.
Travel Partnerships Director at Google, David Pavelko said that photos are a critical component people rely on when researching hotels and ultimately deciding to book a hotel, the report added.
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