Loews Hotels to allow booking of rooms by Twitter
Now, one hotel chain is hoping to use that to its advantage.
Starting Nov. 19, Loews Hotels and Resorts will launch “social reservations,” which will allow travelers to book rooms at 16 of its 19 properties via Twitter. The initiative does not include Loews properties in Orlando.
Here’s how it will work: Travelers can tweet to @Loews_Hotels with the hashtag #BookLoews to express interest in a room. Then a Loews travel planner. will pick up the conversation. Once the person is ready to book a room, the planner will tweet a link to a secure chat conversation to process payment information.
Hotels have tried to keep up with the changing preferences of travelers in the digital age. Many travelers, particularly those in their 20s and 30s, don’t want to pick up a phone to book a hotel room. Hotels have responded by letting them book online or through mobile apps. These days, 34% of hotel room revenue comes from online and mobile app bookings, according to PhoCusWright, a travel market research firm.
Using social media to boost sales is part of that evolution, says Adam Weissenberg, vice chairman and leader of Deloitte’s U.S. Travel Hospitality and Leisure practice.
“I think it is wise for companies to embrace all forms of social media, particularly as the ways in which consumers want to interact with companies are constantly evolving,” he says. “For example, 10 years ago, look at how much travel was booked over the phone vs. how much is now booked over the internet.”
Hotels are increasingly using Facebook and Twitter to advertise promotions and respond to customer complaints.
Piper Stevens, director of social media for Loews, says she wanted to take that to another level.
“We had initially been seeing a lot of consumer activity to point them in the right direction to how to make a reservation, and we thought we could connect the dots for them and do so through social media,” she says.
One conversation in particular sparked the idea, she says. A traveler asked for Boston hotel recommendations over Twitter. Stevens reached out and recommended a Loews property.
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