Ernst & Young has published a really interesting industry article titled "Top 10 Thoughts for the Hospitality Industry." Its third thought relates to technology and leveraging brand name and the Internet: Though hotels are using updated technology to make the most of their own distribution channels, they are also recognizing the importance of third-party, web-based distribution channels.
As well they should. The article cites that, according to the 2008 National Leisure Travel Monitor, about three-quarters of the 2,100 leisure travelers surveyed have booked a hotel or resort online.
Word-of-mouth is important for hotels to consider when it comes to getting bookings, as blogs, social networking sites and travel websites are popping up everywhere. All these channels make it easy for travelers to get first-hand accounts of hotels, from reviews of guest rooms to critiques of the room service staff. These consumer-to-consumer reports can have a big impact—a Google study found that 33 percent of travel website readers changed their minds based on these reviews.
Lots of interesting thoughts overall. You can check out the entire article online thanks to VFM Leonardo.