Google will offer hotels options for travelers to learn more about their services through high-resolution panoramic photos stitched together in a 360-degree view -- similar to the Street View feature in Google Maps -- according to reports.
Best Western will release photos of its 2,200 North American properties, and Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group also is working on photos of about 100 Radisson and Country Inns & Suites hotels in the U.S. and Canada, per Associated Press reporter Scott Mayerowitz.
Video and images have become a selling point for consumers looking for goods and services. Consider Google product listing ads, which include images and text, one example. PLAs outperformed traditional paid-search text ads with 27% higher click-through rates, 15% lower CPCs and 40% higher average order value in Q4 2012, Kenshoo says.
Google has been rolling out more interior photography for local businesses for Maps during the past few years. This is just the last market segment to join the list. Microsoft also offers software that lets businesses create a panoramic virtual tour, launching Photosynth years ago, mostly used by restaurants.