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Hotels, Meet Your New Sales Person: Consumer Generated Content

In a study completed by Compete, Inc. it was found that over $10 billion per year in online travel is influenced by consumer generated content.[1] The interactive nature of sites such as Trip Advisor, IGoUGo.com and TripPost.com have demonstrated successfully that consumers want more than just ad copy to help influence their purchasing decision. Not only that, search engines also recognize and reward the candid nature of consumer generated content.

With consumer generated content popularity on the rise, we should reconsider our marketing approach to travelers. Historically, it has been only the hotels that have had a voice in the buying process. With the increase in consumer generated content on travel sites, it is customers who can now speak on behalf of the hotel.Hotels have an incredible opportunity, should they seize it, to be the channel through which others can communicate about their product. This channel is so important because it is the most credible forum for online referrals and real testimonials. Blogs are one of the best ways to facilitate that dialogue. If you don’t have one already, you may want to consider adding a channel through which consumers can interact.

[1] http://www.hotelmarketing.com 2007


One Response to “ Hotels, Meet Your New Sales Person: Consumer Generated Content ”

Here is a suggestion or a challenge if you will. But before I go on, let me me first disclose that I work for <a href=http://www.tripconnect.com">TripConnect:</a>

Why not, as a hotelier, put to good online use your vast travel and local knowledge? One hears so much about hoteliers trying to influence reviews on popular travel sites by posing as guests. Instead, claim your online identity in a positive way. In invite you to do so on TripConnect by doing the following and following these rules:

1) Create your profile, and in your profile use your real name and clearly state your affiliation with your hotel
2) Do NOT write a review of your own hotel, but rather write reviews about your local area and attractions.
3) Respond to questions asked about your local area WITHOUT pushing your own hotel, but in the process do state your affiliation with your hotel
4) DO write about your personal travel experiences.
5) DO invite friends and guests to network with you online to exchange travel advice.

By sharing your knowledge in an open and honest way and building community around your highly valuable knowledge, you will gain trust of travelers and business for your hotel!


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