Google Trusted Photographer
Google offers the ability to have a Street View style virtual tour done of your hotel, inside and out. It is attached to your company's Google Business listing, your most visible asset in Google searches. From Google: "When searching for businesses, consumers use mapping products 44% of the time. On average, 41% of these place searches result in an on-site visit. Listings with photos and a virtual tour are twice as likely to generate interest."
Google Street View style virtual tours are a great way to show potential guests what your facility looks like, in high resolution detail. It can set you apart from local alternatives. If you have a beautiful place, or are a better value than your local competition, show them.
Simply having the tour embedded in Google Maps and appearing in searches is not enough. The hotel version of Google Street View for Business consists of a series of separate groups of 360 degree images, as well as individual 360s. They will typically include your entrance area and lobby, breakfast area, different room types, your pool, fitness room, and any other amenities you would like to show. They are not presented in Google search results in a cohesive manner, and many times people are not even aware that there are different elements to the tour. They see the lobby and directly connected images, as this is the set most prominently featured, but they don't see your rooms. Google is continuing to improve the presentation, but it is currently not ideal. As more people become aware of how to find these features, this will be less of an issue. In the meantime, it is in your best interest to prominently feature all of the images on your website, particularly the rooms. This can be done a variety of different ways, such as adding hyperlinked text or images. I supply hyperlinks for each of the elements of all tours I create, either the standard Google format, or my custom links. If you click the two images below, they will open windows showing the same virtual tour, first Google's way on the left, and my way on the right.
Additional examples of my Google Street View
Virtual Tours for the Hospitality Industry
If you compare the two tabs that open, you will see the differences. The Google tours are presented with a carousel along the bottom of other photos and 360s from local Street View, and any other photos uploaded by users that are geo-tagged for the area. When you are presenting these tours for your potential clients on your website, this additional imagery can be distracting, and even lead them to local competing businesses. In addition, the navigation arrows that allow you to click to different areas in the tour are only visible when your cursor is near them. For people unfamiliar with these tours, they often don't know you can explore the business. I carry the process further than the basic Google version by running the tour through additional software to strip out the carousel and other features, cleaning it up for use on your site and other social media. As you can see, my links have the navigation arrows fixed and always visible, and the image auto-rotates when the cursor is not within the image. This is a much nicer way to present the tour and all its elements to your viewers.
For this particular property, I have returned to photograph it in all seasons. Below are links to several different elements of their tour, as well as links to 360 degree views of the grounds from different seasons.
Google Street View Virtual Tours for Hotels, Motels, and B&Bs
Hotels, Motels, and B&Bs, where the quality of
traditional "still" photos is critical for survival.
See more of my HDR still photography: Flickr.com/photos/CJLfotos/Hospitality
I specialize in the hospitality industry, where the quality of traditional "still" photography is critical for bookings. I understand that you need clear, high quality images of your facility. Here are some examples of my work.