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Google, AHLA To Aid Essential Workers In Finding Hotel Lodging

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Google is using its power to team with the American Hotel & Lodging Association to house essential workers fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

The search engine giant will now be helping with AHLA’s “Hospitality for Hope” initiative, rolled out to help essential workers find lodging if they were worried about risking transmitting the coronavirus at home to family members or others living with them.

Now, hotels offering special deals or discounts can add the details of the accommodations to their business profiles on Google My Business, making for a streamlined way for workers in need to find lodging.

Those looking for accommodations can now use Google to search for things like “hotels New York” and then click a new COVID-19 filter to find places that are specially catering to that need. Tips will also appear at the top of results on Google Maps and google.com/travel if hotels in the area have special aid for workers.

The effort looked to “boost collaboration between the hotel industry and local, state and federal governments to meet the demands of COVID-19,” the press release states.

Google’s efforts are only in the U.S. and U.K. right now, but the company says they will be introduced elsewhere in the world soon, too.

The new additions are a help to people like Meghan, an intensive care nurse working in Indiana, quoted in a Google blog post as wanting to keep her family safe. She’s staying in a Hilton hotel that has been making special accommodations for essential workers.

“Reducing the risk of bringing something home to my family has made a huge difference in my peace of mind,” she is quoted as saying.

Another nurse quoted, Ruby, is staying in a hotel in London as she was “really worried about being in the same space as my family” with the potential for the virus to do harm.

AHLA president and CEO Chip Rogers said by partnering with Google on the initiative, “we will be able to help countless more first responders find respite at local hotels.”

Hotels took a hit during the pandemic, and going forward, they’ll be utilizing the now-common tactics like social distancing, frequent disinfecting and masks in order to hopefully reassure guests of their safety.

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