Forbes reports that “Travel Websites Get Personal”. As a matter of fact, in a society that is evolving from the concept of what WE (as the company) know best to what YOU (as the consumers ) know best , websites such as TripAdvisor, Travelpost.com, and the business pages on Facebook.com are making it easier for consumers to share and care regardless of the fact that they know each other.
“The influence of social networking and community services is growing significantly for online travel. Seeking information and looking for perspective – like-minded experience and judgment – are currently trumping the straightforward hunt for the best price. Services that facilitate a purchasing decision by aggregating or filtering content make [online travel information] relevant to the user, ” says Douglas Quinby, Senior Director of Research at PhoCusWright.
Social media is simply the more high tech version of word of mouth reaching unprecedented efficiency. By 2011, 50% of internet users will use social networking regularly. This does not create a threat for the hotel industry rather an opportunity as long as we continue to deliver on our brand promises.
Written by Sweta Shah on behalf of Vijay Dandapani.