The rise of social media presents a fresh set of opportunities and challenges to hotels, airlines, and cruise lines. Although two thirds of customers are influenced by online user reviews, or any form of user-generated content, on their sites. Social-sharing tools, live chat, and customer service via social media are more common, but are still employed by less than half of the 89 brands analyzed. As brands debate the merits of transparency, online travel agents (OTAs) and comparison engines, including Expedia, Orbitz, TripAdvisor, and Kayak, fill the void with authentic reviews and pricing clarity. Brands have paid a steep price for staring at their navels while intermediaries give the consumer what they want. Of the 10 most-trafficked travel sites, only one, Southwest, belongs to a supplier. Brands are starting to fight back. From Delta’s fully integrated Facebook booking to Four Seasons’ active customer service via Twitter, and move to the center of the customer conversation. Download the full report at L2 Think Tank (PDF 9.1 MB)