Hotel mapping is the process by which a hotel aggregator identifies each supplier’s listing for a given hotel as being for the same hotel. The aggregator then matches each supplier’s listing to its master listing (for the Grand Hotel, in the example below), and determines the best title, description, pictures, and address spelling to display to an end user looking for that hotel in a hotel booking engine.
When the hotel booking engine (the website through which end users make reservations) searches for hotel inventory, it will see the Grand Hotel and all the inventory from all suppliers with contracts with that hotel.
The infographic below illustrates hotel mapping in a hotel aggregator.
Why is Hotel Mapping Important?
Hotels need to be mapped when a hotel booking engine offers inventory from multiple suppliers. Suppliers—like wholesalers, online travel agents (OTA), and global distribution systems (GDS)—can have contracts with the same hotel as other suppliers, but in their distribution systems they have different information on that hotel.
- Each supplier takes their own pictures
- The hotel name can be entered differently
- Each supplier writes their own description
- Addresses can be abbreviated or spelled out
- Each supplier lists the hotel under their own unique ID system
For the Grand Hotel in the illustration above, each supplier had different content. Without hotel mapping, each of those listings would be treated as a different hotel.
Alliance Reservations Network
Alliance’s hotel aggregator is connected to most hotel suppliers, and has mapped each supplier’s inventory to its own master database. Hotel booking engines powered by Alliance do not return duplicate listings.
Alliance’s hotel aggregator also routinely cleans it database to make sure that any changes to a particular hotel’s information are updated across all its inventory. It catches when hotels change names, go out of business, or operate seasonally. It also catches when suppliers update their content for a given hotel.