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Experts urge hoteliers to embrace online review and social media to drive sales

20 May 2008 by

Industry experts have urged hoteliers to embrace online reviews and the use of social media to increase their business.

At a Hotel Marketing Association event at the Chesterfield hotel in London's Mayfair, industry leaders urged hoteliers to put concerns about sites such as TripAdvisor to one side and fully engage.

In doing so they believe that hotels will generate more business and overall standards in the industry will improve overtime to the ultimate gain of the sector.

Jonathan Raggett, chief executive of Red Carnation Hotels

"The online review is not going away and we need to get smarter with customer service because we will be caught out if not," said Raggett.

Chief executive of EasyHotel Lawrence Alexander, said people now searched via Google before heading to a travel agent in order to make decisions on their holiday.

"Google is now the world's largest travel agent. We keep an eye on Facebook, blogs and Myspace, as this is the future of how people will choose their destination.

People are looking for far more information that before, the future is managing your businesses online entity," he said.

In the past peer-to-peer review sites such as TripAdvisor have been a source of concern for hoteliers worried about unfair reviews.

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By Gemma Sharkey

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