Given a choice between slicing and dicing search results to find the perfect hotel or just trusting the judgement of an online travel agent, most consumers will pick the latter, according to Dan Lynn, Expedia's director of strategy and customer insights.

Despite offering consumers the choice to narrow down potential hotel picks by price, star rating, distance and a number of other factors, most consumers are likely to pick a hotel from the first five results Expedia returns for their stay - a trend Lynn attributes to consumers reliance on search engines.

"One of our key challenges is inventory selection optimisation? The vast majority of consumers don't use functions [like sorting hotels by price or star rating] - they use the search results. It's critically important we put the best hotels for any query in the first few places," Lynn said, speaking at the SAS Premier Business Leadership Series event in Las Vegas.

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