(ABC NEWS) -- If you're one of the reported 232 million active users who use Twitter
to find news, follow celebrities or share life events with friends, you
can add a new function to the list of reasons for staring at your mobile
device: now you can make vacation plans too.
Loews Hotels & Resorts recently became the first hotel company to
book reservations via Twitter, but people are increasingly booking travel using their mobile devices.
By using the #BookLoews hashtag in a tweet to @Loews_Hotels expressing
interest in a reservation, travelers will be prompted by a Loews Travel
Planner to enter a secure chat conversation "to process personal and
payment information in a PCI-compliant digital environment" that
protects all credit card information, a spokesperson told ABC News.
"When it comes to reservations, we recognize that giving consumers the
option of booking efficiently on a network where they are already
engaging on a daily basis is going to set us apart and grow our consumer
base in a meaningful way," said Piper Stevens, director of social
media, Loews Hotels & Resorts.
The exchange goes something like this:
"Good morning! We're ready to assist you with Twitter Reservations - use
#BookLoews to initiate a conversation," now announces the @Loews_Hotels
Twitter handle each morning.
Then tweets such as "@loews_hotels #bookloews can I have a deal at miami
beach for january 5, 2014? Thanks" or "@loews_hotels Looking to
#bookloews in NYC. How do I go about doing this through Twitter?"
trickle in throughout the day.
Since launching in mid-November, 176 inquiries have generated more than
90 bookings via Twitter, according to Loews Hotels & Resorts data.
But the company expects that number to rise soon.
"The launch is very new," said, Sarah Murov, a spokesperson for Loews
Hotels & Resorts. "As we move into 2014 we feel this form of booking
will become even more popular."
By JOANNA PRISCO via Good Morning America