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April 2008

Videos on your BedandBreakfast.com listing

As more and more travel is booked online, having video is a more important piece of your marketing than ever before. Consider these points excerpted from an article in HotelMarketing.com. To read the complete article, click here.
 
“Online travel-related research outpaces actual online buying by two-to-one, which means it is increasingly important for industry websites to grab and keep visitors; video is one way to accomplish that.

Consider the facts:
  • More than 83% of travelers in the U.S. use the Internet to research or book travel, according to Prospectiv’s 2006 nationwide Travel Poll.
  • Podcasting News reported in September of 2007 that the online video audience in the U.S. is now 134 million (representing 3/4 of all U.S. Internet users), with the average viewer watching 68 videos online a month, or more than two per day.
  • The Hospitality Sales & Marketing Association International reported on Sept 4, 2007, that a recent Travel Industry Association/Ypartnership TravelHorizons study found that two-thirds of online adult leisure travelers consume online video and audio clips.


“It’s not just statistics that tell the story. Hospitality and travel industry experts agree that the online and video worlds are coming together because they complement each other. Video provides that extra level of experience on a website that helps build an emotional connection to the visitor by delivering the full impact of a hotel’s, resort’s or destination’s unique blend of sights and sounds that conveys the feel that is a brand’s hallmark."


Everyone knows that a picture is worth a thousand words -- but great photos and video can be worth a thousand room-nights! Are you losing potential guests because they can't see how lovely your property really is?

BedandBreakfast.com wants to help! These great marketing extras are included in your membership fee at the Silver level and above. Bronze member? Upgrade here.

Add video to your listing! Send us your videos. We will automatically format videos to the right compression and size. Don't hesitate to contact with any questions - this is new for us too! Click here to see a sample video. Here are the requirements:

  • Size: Maximum 100 MB
  • Video compression format: Video files from most digital cameras, camcorders, and cell phones in the .WMV, .AVI, .MOV, and .MPG file formats are OK
  • Time: Three minutes is ideal; 10 minute maximum

You can mail us a copy of your video on a CD or DVD.
BedandBreakfast.com
Attn: Support
700 Brazos, Suite B700
Austin, TX 78701

You can also send us your video through the free website MegaUpload.

  1. Go to MegaUpload.com.
  2. Near the top of the page, where it says Select file to send, select Browse to find the video file on your computer.
  3. Near the bottom of the page, enter the recipient's email: Support@BedandBreakfast.com
  4. Enter your email address.
  5. In the file description field, be sure to enter your Property ID or inn name, city and state.
  6. Click the box to accept the terms.
  7. Click Send. You will receive a confirmation email letting you know the file was sent.

Questions? Contact us at 800-GO-B-AND-B (800-462-2632) or Support@BedandBreakfast.com.


Video on an inn's BedandBreakfast.com listing.
 

Travel Trends

Weak dollar draws more European visitors in 2007: “Last year, the USA received an estimated 23.2 million visits from outside North America, up almost 7% from 2006, according to a U.S. Department of Commerce estimate.

“Visits by Western Europeans, the largest source of visitors, were up 8% for the year, and the news Tuesday suggested they continue to have a strong motive for visiting the USA: record strength of the euro. Nowhere in 2007 was the growth in overseas visits more evident than in New York City, which experienced a 22% rise in visitors from outside North America, according to its tourism agency, NYC & Co.

“The U.S. Travel Industry Association, the main trade group for tourism-related businesses, is pressing Congress to establish a nationally coordinated promotional campaign to attract foreign visitors.”

Online purchasers want reviews: “PowerReviews and the e-tailing group found that nearly nine out of 10 U.S. online buyers surveyed in February 2008 read customer reviews at least ‘some of the time’ before making a purchase. Respondents checked a fairly large number of reviews before making their purchasing decisions. Nearly seven out of 10 online buyers surveyed said they checked at least four reviews before spending their money.

“Reviews were the most-desired Web functions for U.S. Internet users questioned in the third quarter of 2007 for Forrester Research's ‘North American Technographics Customer Experience, Marketing and Consumer Technology Online Survey, Q3 2007’ report. Nearly two-thirds of consumers surveyed said they wanted user ratings and reviews. About six out of 10 were more focused on prices and wanted special offers or coupons and product or price comparison tools.”

Google Analytics adds industry benchmarking: “Users of Google Analytics can now opt in to a program that will allow them to contribute their data anonymously and in return get access to anonymized, aggregated data from other Google Analytics users in their industry, or in other industry verticals.

“The new feature allows users to benchmark their site’s performance against others in their niche, or how their niche compares to another industry vertical. For instance, a user can compare daily changes in traffic on their own site with the rest of their industry, to see if the ups and downs are unique to their site, or are common to competitors as well.

“Another possibility would be for a site owner to find a complementary industry vertical with different seasonal traffic patterns, so that when one industry is down, that site owner could try advertising on the site in the up industry to try to share the wealth.”

Google Analytics is included with RezOvation Design, Hosting and Promotion.

Consumers choose security: “When confronted with two merchants who offer the same product at the same price, consumers say the two factors that influence them most are payment security and payment choice, according to a new study by JupiterResearch.

“More than one-half of respondents said that the security of their financial information was the deciding factor when they made purchases. An additional two-thirds said they felt more secure when they didn’t have to enter any financial information to make their purchases.

"Some respondents considered what types of payments merchants accepted before they chose a site on which to make a purchase. Merchants that don’t let some consumers pay with their desired method don’t have a chance of a sale with those consumers."

Economy impacting US travel market: “Fifty-five percent of those polled said they would ‘cut back on discretionary expenses like eating out and vacations,’ according to the GfK Roper Reports' random telephone survey of 1,005 adults conducted in February.

Travel bookings so far are holding up. But corporate travel managers are taking a more active role in keeping on-the-road spending in check by measures such as increasingly asking employees to provide economic rationale for their trips.

“At the same time, airlines facing rising fuel costs are increasing fares. Business- and first-class fares went up by 12.4% during the first half of February compared with last year, according to Sabre Travel Networks. Economy fares climbed 6.2%.

“An earlier survey from GfK Roper Reports on 2007 vacation trends found that longer vacations increased slightly in popularity last year. The survey found that 25% of travelers preferred taking one long vacation in 2007 over several shorter trips, up from 21% in 2005.

“A recent nationwide survey of over 300 American travelers who booked at least one leisure trip in 2007, conducted by RUF Strategic Solutions on behalf of AIG Travel Guard, found that 72% of those polled said that they are not cutting back on the amount of leisure trips they are taking in 2008. 53% said they are not planning to cut back on the quality or length of their trips this year.

“While many American travelers are not cutting back on the amount of trips they plan to take, the survey found that almost half of travelers polled do plan to alter the quality of leisure trips they are planning for 2008 in an effort to save money. Twenty-two percent of those polled, for example, say they plan to eat at less expensive restaurants, followed by 17.2% who say they will travel closer to home.”

Several short breaks more popular than one long one: “Just over half of the 5,000 Brits who took part in a Holiday Inn poll said they definitely would not be going on a two-week summer holiday this year. Instead, the average family now takes approximately four short breaks a year and spends an average of just £349.11 for a weekend away.

“The poll revealed that 24% of Brits cannot go away during school breaks because holidays are more expensive than any other time of the year. Another 24% said they simply cannot afford to pay for holidays which last longer than a few days, whatever the date.”

This Month's Sponsor

Gift Card Reseller Program

Could you use some extra cash? Sign up for the gift card reseller program, and make 10% on each sale! There is no cost to get started; click here for details. If you'd like to receive a free reseller kit, contact us at 800-462-2632 or Support@BedandBreakfast.com.


            

"I was looking at BedandBreakfast.com for my own vacation and then saw that you had gift cards! And here I needed a gift for a wedding next weekend. Thanks for solving that problem." -- Beverly S.

Referral Program

What’s better than three months' free membership? How about six months? Or a whole year? Refer fellow innkeepers to BedandBreakfast.com, and if they join at the Silver level or above, your membership will be extended by three months for each B&B that signs up. If four B&Bs sign up, your membership is free for a year!  For details, log in to your Home Base and click Referral Program under Free Member Benefits, or call 800-GO-B-AND-B (800-462-2632).
 

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