Richard Lewis, CEO of Best Western Hotels GB, didn’t pull any punches last week when asking attendees of EyeforTravel’s Travel Distribution Summit Europe if they were ready for the new digital marketing locomotive pulling out of the station. “The world in 2013 truly is a digital world, and there are many, many hoteliers in the travel industry that are not on board at all. This is moving so quickly that it is essential to keep on board,” he said during the opening keynote titled “When Price Hikes are Not an Option.... How Can Travel Brands Enhance Service and Grow Profits?” “The vast majority of hotel websites are not designed for this ...” Lewis said of outdated digital infrastructure. “If you can use your thumbs in the mobile device to make a reservation, you are going to make a lot more reservations.” Not every panelist shared Lewis’ gung-ho approach. Adriano Meloni, digital managing director of Boscolo Group S.p.A, said the small, luxury chain in Italy captures bookings the old-fashioned way. “We also have a bit of a contrarian view in that we fully espouse the intermediary, the travel agent. Our tours have to be explained, and it’s very difficult to explain that on Google or in a tweet,” he said. Get the full story at Read also *Hotel websites continue to set a low bar for user experiences"