Hotels have had kind of a rough year. So has everyone, of course, but it's safe to say that the travel industry is in a bit of a crisis at the moment. That's the context Google used to announce that as of now, it's free for hotels to list specific room rates and dates in the price comparison tool at Google.com/travel.
Despite the helpful tone on its blog post, this isn't an altruistic move. It makes sense for Google to put as few barriers as possible in front of hotels and travel agencies when it comes to getting their booking information. If a user never has to leave the search engine to find, book, and pay for a room, that means Google's competitors in this space like Priceline, Expedia, and Travelocity never get a chance at those eyeballs and ad impressions.
This move mirrors one made to Google Flights last year, allowing airlines to appear in Travel's extended tools for free. Hotel administrators should head to this Google Ads site to get started with a listing.