Sheri Lambert, Synovate's United States-based Senior Vice President for Travel & Leisure research, says the proliferation of information online has changed the nature of hotel marketing.

"What an opportunity for hotels! All they have to - and yes, it's easier said than done - is create easy-to-find search ads to pursue this 10% of potential guests... the ones who want to find an 'ok' hotel quickly. They have to get their name in front of these people first.

"But it's not simply search marketing. There's also the 19% of people who research every hotel in the area so they can make a truly informed choice. Thirty-nine percent of respondents from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) and 31% from Hong Kong do this. A well-considered and beautifully presented online strategy is a must."

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