I blogged about this on this very blog last year. People don't seem to be paying attention.
Google Maps and hotel price data - a warning
Basically, Google need live pricing data for this hotel pricing feature on Maps to work. The only places they can get this data in the right (XML) format is from Online Travel Agent websites, large hotel chains or hotels equipped with the "right" PMS systems.
And what about the "have nots"? I'm talking about all those small, independently owned hotels who will find it very difficult to make their rates available on an XML feed for Google unless they have the right PMS? They will be forced to supply rates through OTAs if they want to compete in the Google search space.
Will room sales via Google now become polarised so they happen via an OTA, a big chain or not at all?
What about the relevance that is supposed to be offered by Google? If this method denies smaller, privately run hotels the opportunity to compete fairly, can Google still claim to offer the buyer a truly "relevant" search experience?
In an industry still trying to wean itself off travel agent website commissions, this issue could turn into a really brutal kick in the gentlemans area for hotels who aren't paying attention to their marketing.