The internet and hotel facilities play a big role in consumers’ hotel choices, a recent Deloitte survey shows.

According to Deloitte, 83 percent of survey respondents say they use the internet to research and/or purchase travel over the last 12 months – usually flights and accommodation.

More than three quarters of respondents consult consumer reviews on the internet before making a purchase and 56 percent say their lodging choices have been directly influenced by such reviews.

Deloitte’s US leader of tourism, hospitality and leisure Adam Weissenberg says although the travel industry has been a pioneer and leader when it comes to the internet, providers need to keep on top of their presence on social media sites.

“At a minimum, travel companies need to know what is being said about them on consumer review sites, the most successful companies will find ways to leverage these sites to help shape their brands, enhance their reputations and increase market share and customer loyalty,” Weissenberg says.

The survey also shows almost half of respondents cite a luxury bed as one of the most important attributes when choosing a hotel room.

“However there are still other fronts to be fought – more than one-third cited an onsite restaurant as important and nearly the same number cited wireless internet,” Weissenburg adds.

“Information such as this can give hospitality companies insights into how to build brand value and enhance customer loyalty.”

By Elizabeth Clifford-Marsh