The UK's Travel Technology Initiaitve is pushing ahead with plans to attempt to introduce a set of rules for geo-coding for the travel sector.
Executives at the organisation are keen to adopt an agreed set of standards throughout the hotel sector in order to ensure geographical information about properties is accurate and useful for consumers and third party websites.
The system would work by forcing the hotel industry to create a geo-code for each hotel which would then be verified before release to the wider world.
Unfortunately the TTI has a number of problems with this initiative. For example:
- It is a truly mammoth task to implement.
- It would need a global initiative - not just the UK - to be relevant.
- Who would fund such a project?
The TTI admits that it needs a big backer - or number of backers - to get the project off the ground. Furthermore, it hasn't succeeded in drawing together international partners to produce what would clearly need to be a global project for the industry.
But the organisation is steadfast is its determination to implement a set of standards which, it says, will improve the reputation of hotels and tour operators with consumers who are increasingly frustrated that the location of a hotel on an online map is actually somewhat different to its exact location on the ground.
The classic example is when a website suggests a hotel is located 500 metres from the local beach, and duly puts a pin its online map, only for the customer to discover on arrival that the hotel is in fact far from the shore.
And this is where the problem lies, TTI officials admit.
Tour operators are somewhat reluctant to get involved in producing a set of standards for geo-coding as they are "protective", as ITT member Andy Mays says darkly, of their current - if somewhat inaccurate - data.
"Maybe there isn't actually a commercial need for this," Mays suggests.