Some hoteliers are concerned the product—which is essentially a build out of the search engine’s Google Places feature that allows users to search for and compare hotels by region, Google reviews and price comparisons—doesn’t always display rates during a search. Hotel Finder is still a very limited experiment, though, said Cara Shortsleeve, manager, online sales & operations at Google. While anyone with a Google account can be involved, she suggested evaluating what it will cost in terms of time and effort and determining whether or not it is worth the return. That notion of ROI is an important one in any distribution channel analysis, the panelists agreed. In an industry where pricing has become so transparent, hoteliers need to evaluate which channel is going to get the best returns, said Erich Jankowski, director of corporate revenue management for Host Hotels & Resorts. Get the full story