The application of social media on the hospitality industry: the case of 4-star hotels in Addis Ababa
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Currently, social media networks and websites like Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin and many more are redefining the way people communicate and share their experiences. The objective of the study is to assess the level of application of social media in the hospitality business in the country with special emphasis on the 4-star hotels in Addis Ababa. The study is a descriptive research consisting of qualitative research methods using interviews and self-administered questionnaires. The research revealed that more and more tourists trust their peers, who already experienced a destination or services provided by a hotel or a restaurant. It also found that marketing managers in these hotels recognize the potentials of using social media networks but also feel that because of the typology of their client base, they prefer not to engage in a direct participation with customers online rather they believe that they can serve their customers better by engaging them in a live and case by case situation. Nevertheless, with the level of social media usage among the customers of 4-star hotels, the potential of using social media to communicate and engage with customers has a huge potential. Hotels can easily develop a modern word-of-mouth to disseminate information about the quality of their accommodation which these travelers are primarily looking for.