One challenge that COVID-19 frontlines and responders are facing, aside from actually fighting the virus, is worrying about keeping their loved ones safe from the danger they might be bringing home. Some have resorted to actually not going home to reduce the risk of bringing the virus to their families or roommates. Finding a place to temporarily stay in can sometimes be a challenge. Google is now adding a filter in Maps and Search so they can narrow down the results to free or discounted rooms for responders.
Now when using Google Maps or Search, you can search for “hotels for essential workers in New York” and you’ll see results of all those that are offering free or discounted rates. You can also just search for “hotels in New York” and then use the filter “COVID-19 responder rooms” so you can narrow down your search results. This way, you will be able to find places that are accommodating and welcoming essential workers that need a temporary place to stay.
Not a lot of people are probably going to google.com/travel because of all the travel restrictions but if you do visit, there’s a tip at the top if the hotels around your area have a special policy for frontliners. There is also a filter there similar to what you’ll see on Search and Maps so you can call the participating hotels directly to book a room or ask them more about their promos or policies. You will be redirected to their website or affiliate websites when you want to book online,
Google is also partnering with Choice Hotels International, Hilton, IHG Hotels & Resorts, the American Hotel & Lodging Association to keep track of all the properties that have special COVID-19 responders offers. If your hotel has discounts or special accommodations for these essential workers, you can add the attribute to your Business Profile on Google My Business. And if you haven’t signed up or saved your business profile there, you probably should right now.
This feature is rolling out to the United States and the United Kingdom for now but they’re hoping to go global soon. No news though which areas will get it next and when this will happen but hopefully it’s soon.