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Travel is Social, Hotels are Not



I wrote the following article for Cleverdis which was published just recently. To see the original article you can see the online version of the Magazine here. I thought it would serve our readers to also republish it on WIHP’s Magazine.
Social Media isn’t just a bunch of hype, it’s the evolution of word of mouth which has always been the number one advertising and PR medium for any product, even more so for hotels. Here’s how hotels can take advantage of it to it’s fullest.

Travel is social, Hotels are not

See the online version of the Magazine here

What should hoteliers do with social media

Travelling is social, hotels are personal. One socializes when one travels but stays personal at the hotel. The hotel experience is about intimacy and not about sharing. So how do hoteliers insert themselves in the social conversation?

Firstly understand that guests share very good experiences and very bad experiences. The mediocre or “just-asgood-as-expected” experienced don’t get shared.

Then you need to understand the 90-9-1 principle which is that 1% of the “community” create content (post on social media and reviews), 9% will act as editors (sometimes modifying or adding to an existing post and 90% are readers or just an audience.

To insert your hotel in the conversations on social media (and they are happening by the millions every day) you’ll need to deliver a better-than-expected experience and use your existing guests as ambassadors for you.

So while a hotel experience is all but a social experience during the guest’s stay it will rapidly become social once they leave. Per a study we conducted of over 13,000 hotel guests 25% of them booked at the hotel because a friend or family told them about the hotel.

By delivering a great experience, having social media presence (a Facebook page, Twitter account, Foursquare profile etc) and encouraging guests to tell their friends about it and “tag” the hotel’s page you begin to use those guests as ambassadors who will become the 1% and their friends become the 9% which in turn goes out to the 90%.

At best your actions should sometimes be 1% (creative) actions but focus on the 9% (editing and commenting) on the creations of happy guests.

In summary, a hotel guest isn’t being social in the hotel, they’re being social when they leave the hotel. The conversation is happening already, the proof is that it’s the biggest source of reservations for hotels. Hoteliers need to control it by delivering a great experience and using social media as a tool to add to the word of mouth that is already happening and thus reaching hundreds of thousands of potential future guests rather than the typical 50 friends and family of the existing guests.

Vincent Ramelli on Google+

Vincent Ramelli is the CEO and Founder of WIHP a leading hotel marketing agency specialized in complete marketing solutions for independent hotels that manages dozens of high profile social media campaigns.

Vincent Ramelli is the CEO and Founder of WIHP a leading hotel marketing agency specialized in complete marketing solutions for independent hotels that manages dozens of high profile social media campaigns.


  1. Wihp Team

    Travel is Social, Hotels are Not | WIHP Magazine | Internet Hotel Marketing |
    [...] Travel is Social, Hotels are Not | WIHP Magazine [...]

  2. Are Morch

    Hi friends at WHIP.
    First of all thanks for sharing Cleverdis magazine with me!! Awesome resource. Bookmarked here.
    And this was a really great article. I touch on one my passions. To create more awareness for Hotels on How to engage with Social Media.
    I have seen several surveys, reports and studies lately that has indicated low conversion ratios from various Social Networks. These reports of course shed lights on a very real challenge. But most of these reports focus primarily on the problem, and not the cause of the problem.
    In this article you have captures one part of the cause. The feedback I get from my network and friends, and also I experienced this several times is that Hotels dont utilize the engagement opportunity that Social Media provide. Let me say there are many Hotels that do an brilliant job with Social Media. But we can do so much better.
    I was just in Los Angeles for Blog World and New Media Expo 2011. All Hotels in the area was packed with many of the early adapters of Social Media. We checked in with our location based services, we tweeted, we posted pictures on Facebook and Flickr, we shared videos on YouTube, we blogged about it you name it we did it. And a lot of this was done from the Hotels we occupied there.
    But I did not experience many of the Hotels that reached out to us. Would it been possible to establish a Social Media Host that utilized an iPad to communicate and respond to ongoing conversations? Social Media is about the live ongoing conversation, and the ability to capture the moment. If Hotels can capture this moment, then they will enhance the guest experience.
    And then just a hint – if you follow the above principle it will be more then Ok that the Host send guest a request to leave a review with TripAdvisor, ReviewPro, Revinate etc..
    Are Morch
    Hotel Blogger

  3. Wihp Team

    Travel is Social, Hotels are Not | The Travel Writer’s Lounge
    [...] this article: Travel is Social, Hotels are Not Share with your [...]

  4. Flo_Comba

    great article!
    was though wondering about one point. Indeed, i think hotel guests are social in the hotel itself. Thus all the dangers of online real time sharing via Twitter for instance, in case of bad experience… and that is the main threat online, and hotel staff isnt even aware of it on time.

  5. Wihp Team

    2011 Hotel Marketing Year in Review | WIHP Magazine
    [...] Hoteliers and Marketing/PR staff need to learn to increase the conversions. See our article about Social media for hotels here to learn how to improve conversions from social [...]

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Vincent Ramelli

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