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How Social Media is really affecting the electronic distribution of travel

Patricia Brusha, co-founder of www.acoupleofchicks.com, moderated a panel this week at the HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Association) Conference, held in Las Vegas. The panel discussion was centered around the affects that Social Media has had on the electronic distribution channels for travel.

This article in Hotel News Now summarizes the discussion nicely – but I must also highlight the summary of points that Patricia gave me that nicely puts things into perspective.

The panel, which was titled, “Economy in Transition” with Panelists from Expedia, the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Trust International Hotel Reservation Services, and Smith Travel Research, pointed out the following:

1. Watch the Buzz – but Buzz doesn’t always = Buy

2. Go back to basics with your value proposition, an easy booking process and good service. (seems logical)

3. Use Social Media to better understand your customer (Customer relationship management at it’s best – isn’t that a no brainer!? We can now see exactly what our customers are saying – all of the time.)

As Patricia stated “We’ve gone from going online to living online…Consumers, particularly in hospitality and travel, are looking for things relevant and authentic.”

So is Social Media affecting the electronic distribution channels for the travel industry? Sure it is…but we have been through this before and will be down this road again.

Perhaps as this panel pointed out we should get back to basics of listening to our customers (who are living online) and providing an excellent travel experience no matter how they found us.

Comments ( 2 )
  • Wigi Tozzi says:

    My business is completely internet-based; no print or other advertising. My websites has a lot of content, I have several blogs, and I have links to instant messenger platforms so that potential clients can contact me instantly via IM or VOIP (great for foreign guests).

    Even so, the core of my business is to provide AMAZING service, and that means getting to know my clients and giving them exactly what they ask for, and standing behind it. The media tools get them to your door, but that doesn’t mean you can then walk away and be an avatar on their laptop, and think that is all you need to do.

  • Henry Hotels says:

    I think Wigi Tozzi said it exactly right, you must provide your custommers as good services as you can as quickly as you can… .

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