Backpackers are increasingly relying more on customer reviews and moving away from guidebooks. (1/31/2008)
During the conference, 23year-old Irishman, Eoin White, said, "By the time you buy a guidebook it´s already a year out of date, at least with online reviews you get an up-to-the minute report on what a hostel or destination is really like."
Hostelworld.com´s Chief Marketing Officer Niamh Ni Mhir said: "This has been our most successful event to date. The hostelling industry seems to be ahead of traditional airline and hotel businesses in terms of embracing user generated content. This is no surprise as our market, the youth and independent travelers, have grown up online and automatically turn to their peers on the web for travel information and advice."
Key speakers included Shenda Loughnane, MD of ICAN who discussed the changes in how the youth of today, otherwise known as "digital natives", consume media and Amy Scarth, Head of Research at EyeforTravel who talked about the importance of monitoring your online reputation.