Because of its promise to fully engage customers and lure faithful clientele, social media is about to burst forth. In fact, many believe it will be one of the most significant and transformational advances in the way travel and hotel is marketed. And though it might take some time to fully understand, experts are saying it?s worth it.

At last week?s Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International Hotel Sales Strategy Conference, a panel focusing on this emerging trend delved into the radical changes ahead. These industry insiders are already seeing the effects social media is having on current business models and are warning others to follow their lead.

?Customer engagement is a more effective way of getting business, but it s not a next day thing,? said Cindy Estis Green, Managing Partner of the Estis Group. ?If you do it well you?ll reap benefits for years, but there is a ramp up period that will be a challenge.?

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