Hotel Direct has launched online city guides for London, Edinburgh, Dublin and Manchester. These guides, which harness the power of Twitter, have been developed to offer consumers punctual, pertinent, and locally-sourced travel guidance.
The initiative has been driven by the findings in Deloitte’s Digital Channels in Travel January report, which found that more than 50 percent of travel executives believe their companies are behind the competition when it comes to their digital media presence.
“We are always looking into ways of adding value for our customers, particularly online,” says company director Mark Wilson. “After extensive research, we found the web was saturated with well-written city guides, more often than not written by hoteliers or travel experts. There seemed a gap for more of-the-moment advice, written by locals who live and breathe their home cities and Twitter provided the ideal platform to pass on these expert recommendations.”
Coinciding with year-on-year mobile sales growth of 17 percent in online travel market transactions, Hotel Direct’s guides use Twitter’s List functionality to gather a select assortment of Twitter feeds from experts in each city. By regrouping tour guides, event organizers and historians who tweet their recommendations for cultural activities, trending events, intriguing local facts, and places to eat through these lists, Hotel Direct have created a unique variation on the traditional guidebook.
To access the guides all users need is an internet connection. They can then subscribe to the lists which can be found at https://twitter.com/hoteldirect/lists. Hotel Direct also features interviews with each of their list members, which include influencers such as @KERB_, @CURIOCITYMag and @CitySocializer, on their Event Hub http://events.hoteldirect.co.uk/twitter-guide/, for users seeking further information or inspiration.
To help build awareness of this campaign, Hotel Direct ran a competition whereby each of the list members in its inaugural London list were asked to recommend one hidden gem in the city. These recommendations were then collated into a unique weekend itinerary with activities and a stay at one of Hotel Direct’s 4-star hotels for two lucky people.
The competition winners were treated to a weekend which included a guided tour of Soho, a canal cruise on Regents Park Canal, and tickets to Simon Drake’s House of Magic; just some of the many recommendations received. Competition winner Daneeka said the experience was: “something very different and enjoyable” getting the chance to “view some amazing street art… great views and the most wonderful painted ceilings of St. Pauls.”
With Hotel Direct’s latest figures confirming a 27 percent year-on-year increase in online bookings, this venture has served to further prove the value of social interaction on sales growth.
About Hotel Direct:
Launched in 1997, Hotel Direct is a hotel booking service wholly based in the UK. Over 2 million people have booked hotels with Hotel Direct. They are the only hotel agent with a full 5 star Google seller rating and near perfect score of 4.9/5.
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