Hotels in China have been advised to embrace online and social media, as a marketing and campaigning tool.

Speaking at the 7th Annual China Hotel Development and Financing Conference, co-founder Jens Thraenhart said the number of online users in China has increased 32 percent to 4.56 million with another 800 million mobile users.

Mr Thraenhart said that with the rise of users moving online consumers would move to conducting hotel and travel research in the internet world.

However, he said that unlike social media outside of China, local sites like and are more popular with the Chinese people and requires outside markets to reconsider their campaigning.

Also speaking at the conference, China based online booking agency eLong chief executive Percy Cui said the company’s online bookings had surpassed phone bookings.

Mr Cui also discussed results of an eLong survey which highlighted that when booking online, consumers base their decision on the price of the hotels, their locations, description of facilities as well as reviews from other users.

The company’s head added that with the introduction of online reviews, hotels need to cautious against providing guests with "poorer quality" rooms as they are likely to post negative comments.

The three day event was organised by Horwath HTL, STR Global and the China Tourist Hotels Association (CTHA) at the Crowne Plaza Sun Palace in Beijing.


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