Travel sites embracing social networking

But do busy business folk have the time to recommend restaurants?

Travel sites scramble to become the Facebook for travellers

If you are a frequent traveller, either for business or (lucky you) for pleasure, then you will be interested to hear that American Express and Expedia are planning new travel-focused social networking services.

Cindy Estis Green, author of Travel Marketers' Guide to Social Media and Social Networks told the IHT: "Some people ask me, 'Who has time for this? Aren't we busy?

"But when you need information about a job or a trip to China, it [social networking] opens up tools that weren't available to put a message out. Somebody will come back to you. It's a utility and it saves you time."

Downside – feeling obligated

Estis Green also noted one potential downside to social networking for business travellers:

"I get inquiries from people I don't know… people asking me complex business questions. Am I obligated to write back? I don't want to spend the time answering, but I've made myself available."

New social networking offerings are to be launched by Expedia and American Express Business Travel later this month. TechRadar will bring you more info on both as we get it.