The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company Sets the Digital Bar for Social Media Engagement at Arabian Travel Market 2013 CSMO bringing social media team members to drive awareness of the brand's social presence

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates, May 3, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, LLC is leading the way in consumer engagement in the digital sphere at this year's ATM, with a fully-integrated social media campaign that will offer visitors a unique interactive experience. The move is in line with The Ritz-Carlton commitment to deepen connections with existing and prospective guests in an environment in which they spend increasing amounts of time.

As part of the luxury hotel company's social media outreach during the Middle East's largest travel trade show, The Ritz-Carlton has members of their social media engagement team present on their stand at ATM.  Through the @RitzCarlton twitter handle, the team will provide live content and updates from the event. With a sizeable number of The Ritz-Carlton Twitter followers comprising of trade partners, customers and the media, it is a perfect platform to initiate and build brand conversation relevant to the fair.

The introduction of a dedicated 'Tweet Bar' on The Ritz-Carlton stand HC5240 located in the Arena Hall, will give the brand's global Twitter following access to news from the event as it unfolds in Dubai, including highlights from exclusive talks and seminars. In addition, visitors checking in at ATM on Foursquare will receive tips on the best things to see and do in Dubai, as recommended by The Ritz-Carlton concierges from both hotels in the city. The Ritz-Carlton also uses Foursquare and The Ritz-Carlton Mobile App to tailor local content and provide engaging information relevant to their guests. This will be brought to life at ATM where a series of QR codes can be used to download property insights, including recipes from chefs and guided tours of hotels.

"Our social media interactions at Arabian Travel Market are a natural extension of our 'Let Us Stay With You' brand philosophy. We want to enrich the experience at the show for visitors, in addition to being a great luxury travel information resource for our Twitter followers by providing news as it is happening from the show," said Chris Gabaldon, Chief Sales and Marketing Officer for The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. "Each of The Ritz-Carlton social media channels grow in importance to us year-over-year as our guests live more and more of their lives in the digital space. Use of Facebook alone already stands at 40% of time spent online in the UAE, 30% in Kuwait and 21% in Saudi Arabia making Facebook an increasingly important channel for us to converse with our Middle East guests."

The Ritz-Carlton has a proven track record of using social networking platforms to build and enhance the brand and bring people together in the same physical space or event. It successfully used Twitter to underscore its central role at global events such as Toronto International Film Festival and IMEX America, whilst broadcasting and conversing about the brand's messages on a large scale and also drawing foot traffic to physical spaces by engaging with other attendees.

The effectiveness of The Ritz-Carlton social media direction and content has led to significant year-on-year increases across all leading platforms, including Facebook which has jumped 118 percent to more than one million fans across  the company's brand page and 48 hotel Facebook pages. In addition, the brand Facebook Page's year-over-year growth in "People Talking About This" went up 746%.

"The Ritz-Carlton philosophy is built around the concept of providing unique experiences for our guests that will leave indelible memories they take away from every visit to one of our hotels.  With the continued growth and influence of social media – on both a local and global scale – we are seeing this amplified online more than ever before," continued Gabaldon.

"It is therefore essential for us to remain relevant to the consumer and be strategic and sensitive about the ways in which we engage in the space. The Ritz-Carlton brand carries expectations of excellence, and I can proudly say that while each of our social channels perform in different ways, they all convey a truth and authenticity that can only be conveyed by us. We reap great benefit from being a part of the online conversation and learn much by paying attention to guest feedback. The next part of our continued strategy focuses on developing additional global social media assets and online engagement channels to reach a broader audience of geographies and demographics, incorporate more video, and play host to user generated content for our guests who wish to share their Ritz-Carlton experiences in the digital space."

To follow news from The Ritz-Carlton stand during Arabian Travel Market, follow the tweets from @RitzCarlton or the hashtag #ATMDubai.

About The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. 
The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. of Chevy Chase, Md., currently operates 82 hotels in the Americas, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa, and the Caribbean. More than 30 hotel and residential projects are under development around the globe. The Ritz-Carlton is the only service company to have twice earned the prestigious Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award which recognizes outstanding customer service. For more information, or reservations, contact a travel professional, call toll free in the U.S. 1-800-241-3333, or visit the company website at www.ritzcarlton.com. The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C. is a wholly owned subsidiary of Marriott International, Inc. (NYSE: MAR)

SOURCE The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company, L.L.C.



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