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HostelBookers Maps Out Clever Plan With Google

google 30-Jan-2007

HostelBookers.com, the UK’s fastest growing travel site, has partnered with Google Maps to launch a pioneering tool allowing visitors to locate hostels and budget hotels with maps, photos, and a sophisticated hybrid of the two.

HostelBookers introduced the service this week for its most popular destination cities, with others due to follow throughout the year. The hybrid service works by laying key map components on to a local satellite image.

Site visitors can then see a realistic view of each property’s location and surrounding area with roads and amenities clearly illustrated and named. By hovering over hostels shown on the map, visitors can instantly see prices and pictures, as well as ratings from others who have stayed at that hostel previously.

Further, if a desired hostel is already booked for the dates required, visitors can now scroll across surrounding image-maps to find other hostels in the vicinity. As with Google maps, HostelBookers users can also zoom in and drag the maps around. (See example of London hostels map)

HostelBookers General Manager, David Smith, said:  “This is a sophisticated function that adds value and richness to our customers’ booking experience. We’re delighted to be pioneering this service on our site, and will be monitoring its impact very closely.”  

HostelBookers presently include the service for 100 of the world’s most visited cities, and are rolling out to others as soon as the required information is available. David Smith, added: “It’s an ongoing process. Google are mapping the world in multiple formats as quickly as they can and when the information’s there we’re merging it with GPS data for all the properties we represent.”