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The Internet loves lists, but long before Yelp, bots or Buzzfeed, there were old-school, best-of travel lists — and most of them are still around.
Have the traditional old guides lost their panache?
"Not at all," said Denise Seomin, the director of public relations for the Canyon Suites at The Phoenician in Scottsdale, Ariz., which appears on many best-of lists. "It still holds the same amount of credit and prestige as before. Forbes Travel and AAA are such well-known and respected brands.To have that third-party validation is what we strive for."
Even France's century-old Michelin Red Guides continue to branch further into ranking U.S. hotels and restaurants with books covering additional cities.
But new lists, sites and reviews continue to inundate the market.
"There are so many sites ... it's hard to manage every single one, but we do pay attention to all the Twitter, Facebook and Instagram comments," Seomin said. "We are trying to monitor as many sites and blogs as we can.We hear them and respond."
For some properties, word of mouth from recent guests may still be the most important recommendation, said Rebecca Widness of Widness & Co. Public Relations, which represents resorts such as the Winvian in Litchfield Hills, Conn.
"At this resort's level, its guests share ... the buzz about where they've just stayed," she said in an email to CNBC. "Accolades plus online presence plus strong social media add up to meeting the bottom line."