Giving SMB hoteliers the tools to compete in the global travel market with the power of Google's data, resources and expertise. Google was seeking new opportunities to help businesses in the travel market, but needed to identify where the biggest challenges were and where they could make a meaningful impact. After a thorough analysis of industry trends, interviews with stakeholders across the globe and a deep dive into the sector, we discovered a problem that Google was uniquely positioned to solve. Independent accommodation providers often lose business to international giants, who have the resources to pour into targeted marketing and updating their website experiences. One of the main issues preventing smaller hoteliers from competing is a serious digital divide – these businesses are unable to gather vital data on who their guests are, where they’re coming from, their motivations and what matters during their stay. This, coupled with a lack of knowledge of what visitors’ expectations are online, is holding them back. With this key, we set about unlocking a solution that would not only give hoteliers access to rich insights, but also furnish them with the expertise, resources and actionable information they need to thrive in one of the world’s most competitive sectors. The result was Hotel Insights – a free and easy to use online tool that enables accommodation providers to tap into Google’s unparalleled travel trend data, and level up their digital presence, in order to reach potential guests around the world. To build the product, we pulled together a diversely skilled team that would help us transform Google’s B2C strategy into a B2B platform. We conducted interviews with account representatives across Europe and collaborated with Google engineers and lead stakeholders across Maps, Hotels and Travel to design a user journey that spoke directly to the core needs of our target audience. Following this, we created a UX narrative based on the available data, embedding the most useful, real time information – that can be used for everything from planning promotions to optimising guest experiences online – into the site. We designed with both simplicity and a sense of discovery in mind, making sure information was quick to access, understand and digest. Through illustrations and smart data visualisations, our site provided an appealing contrast to the cold, function-first tools and quarterly reports that our audience is used to. We then wrote articles to give hoteliers guidance on topics like collecting guest reviews, standing out from the competition and the essential components of a 5-star website, signposting to helpful Google products and advising on how to put them to good use. Launched at the end of 2020 – a year in which the travel industry was severely affected by COVID-19 – Hotel Insights provides a much needed tool in SMB hoteliers’ arsenals. It will continue to support them in their recovery efforts and provide them with essential information they can use to manage (and future-proof) their business more effectively.