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. 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.
 http://www.hotelmarketing.com 2007