Speakers at last week's second annual Hotel Forecast and Digital Marketing Conference in San Diego said that hotels need to create useful, functional websites and mobile applications because travelers are using these tools to book rooms -- and leaving reviews based on their experiences with them. "You’ve got to have a major presence in all facets of digital marketing, as the digital tsunami era is here," said Robert A. Rauch of R.A. Rauch & Associates. "If you don’t have a major presence in transformational patterns like cloud-based marketing, mobile and social, you are losing leverage in wooing guests to book direct."

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