Time for a Smile
What were they thinking?
All of these are legitimate companies that didn't spend quite enough
time considering how their online names might appear and be misread.
- Who Represents is where you can find the name of the
agent that represents any celebrity. Its website is:
- Experts Exchange is a knowledge base where programmers can exchange
advice and views at:
- Looking for a pen? Look no further than Pen Island at:
- Need a therapist? Try Therapist Finder at:
- There's the Italian Power Generator company:
- And don't forget the Mole Station Native Nursery in New South
- If you're looking for IP computer software, there's always:
- The First Cumming Methodist Church's website is:
- And the designers at Speed of Art await you at their wacky website:
Philip C. Wolf of
PhocusWright discusses Travel 2.0. “Travel 1.0 started around 1995; it
was characterized by the shift from offline to online reservations and was
dominated for a decade by three things: price, price and price. Name your
price, find the lowest price, price guarantees, 24 hours a day, seven days a
week. Price drove online adoption in historic proportions. While price will
always be important, several factors have come together to challenge its
influence, pushing us in a new direction that PhoCusWright coined ‘Travel
With Travel 2.0, “new travel researching and planning approaches are
empowering consumers in unprecedented ways. As was the case with Travel 1.0,
this phenomenon is not entirely about technology; rather, 2.0 is focused on
solving big problems for all types of travel customers by exploiting the
latest advancements. Travelers are keen to take control and find/create the
perfect trip, not just the cheapest trip.”
Wolf’s Travel 2.0 characteristics include:
- Social travel’s surge takes networking
and CRM to new levels.
- Personalized user-generated editorial
profoundly impacts purchasing behavior.
- Mapping, mash-ups and tagging resonate
with travel buyers.
- Grass root adoption of real-time
collaborative tools like wikis, blogs, bots and gadgets.
- Vertical search embeds travel features
and profiling to attract more qualified eyes.
- RSS comes of age and influences travel
Americans return vacation days:
Expedia.com® recently commissioned its sixth annual “Vacation
Deprivation” survey, conducted by Harris Interactive® and Ipsos Reid.
The survey revealed that Americans are likely to give back more than 574
million vacation days in 2006, with each employed U.S. adult age 18 and
older anticipated to leave an average of four vacation days on the table.
The number of vacation days each American is estimated to abandon in 2006
increased by one additional day over last year, boosting the number of total
unused vacation days by more than 150 million versus 2005.
One third of Americans do not always take all of their vacation days,
despite more than 36% reporting that they feel better about their job and
more productive upon returning from vacation.
This year, Expedia.com analyzed vacation habits among employed workers in
the U.S., Canada, Great Britain, Germany, France and Australia. Compared to
other countries included in the survey, Americans receive the fewest
vacation days per year on average (14 days), compared to 17 days in
Australia, 19 days in Canada, 24 days in Great Britain, 27 days in Germany
and 39 days in France.
Americans love the beach: A recent online Omnibus survey conducted
for MasterCard Advisors Global Cardholder Services reveals that Americans
sunny, warm destinations.
The most popular destinations were:
- Beach and other warm-weather
- Child-friendly destinations: 12%
- Historical/cultural destinations 10%
- Almost two-thirds of respondents (65%)
said they dreamed of visiting Australia or New Zealand over the next 12
months; only 1% actually planned to head overseas in that period. By
contrast, some 69% of those queried said they planned to visit Florida
in the same period.
A billion people online: More than
one billion people worldwide now have access to the Internet, and a quarter
of them have broadband access, according to a
new report from eMarketer.
“The U.S. continues to lead the world in terms of numbers of Internet users
and broadband households, with 175 million Web users and 43.7 million
broadband households. The eMarketer report projects that there will be 78.3
million online households in the U.S. this year, and 66.7% of them will have
broadband service. By 2010, nearly 90% (88.3% of online households) will be
Leisure travelers seek amenities: Leisure travelers now account for
the majority lodging demand. A recent
Hotel & Motel Management study called 2006 National Leisure Travel
Monitor reveals that “the most desirable hotel attribute is simply value for
the price.” Location and room rate are next, followed by previous
experiences with both the hotel and the brand. More leisure travelers now
consider comfortable bedding “more influential in hotel selection than the
property’s brand name.”
Leisure travelers seek certain types of lodging when traveling for pleasure:
- Chain-affiliated properties are
preferred by just over 80% of leisure travelers, and this percentage is
- Moderately-priced accommodations are
preferred by two-thirds of leisure travelers, with slightly more of the
remainder preferring “economy” over “luxury” lodging.
- About 80% prefer hotels and motels with
fewer than 300 guestrooms (because of the ‘inverse’ relationship
presumed to exist between the size of a property and the quality of
service it delivers).
2005 was the best: “The year
2005 marked the most profitable year ever (in absolute dollars) for the
U.S. Hotel Industry. Based on statistics compiled by Smith Travel Research (STR),
the industry generated some $122.7 billion in revenues and $22.6 billion in
profits last year. This profit number is slightly above the $22.5 billion
that the industry generated in the year 2000, the highest level achieved
prior to 2005.”
A spokesman for STR said that the “nationwide average daily rate and
occupancy figures increased 5.4% and 2.9%, respectively, in 2005. Another
STR spokesman added that “profits as a percentage of revenue in 2005 was
18.4%, well below the 20.1% profit margin reported in 2000. But 2005 marks
the first year that the hotel industry sold over one billion room nights.”
Revenues and profits rise, but so do expenses: A recently released
study by PKF Hospitality Research reveals that U.S. hotels were able to turn
a healthy 8.8% rise in total revenue into an impressive
15.5% increase in profits. “This marks the second consecutive year of
double-digit profit growth for U.S. hotels. However, expenses continue to
escalate at a level more than twice the rate of inflation, causing concern
for hotel owners and operators.”
In 2005, the cost of operating a U.S. hotel grew 6.5%. Costs for hotels
- Utilities expenses grew 13.6% from 2004
- Labor and related expenses increased by
5.1% last year.
- Rooms department expenses increased
- Management fees increased 8.9%.
- Franchise fees increased 9.8%.
- Hotel insurance costs appear to have
stabilized. On average, the hotels in the sample paid 3.8% more for
property and general liability insurance in 2005.
Revenue for hotels:
- Limited-service hotels achieved the
greatest increase in revenue (10.3%).
- Full-service hotels achieved the
greatest increase in profitability (19.3%).
2.9% increase in occupancy combined with a 7.4% increase in ADR led to a
10.4% increase in RevPAR.
- PKF Hospitality Research is forecasting
total revenue growth of 7.6% in 2006 and 4.1% in 2007.
- This is projected to result in profit
gains of 14.9%and 7%, respectively, in 2006 and 2007.
- Based on this forecast, “U.S. hotels
will be achieving a profit of approximately $14,800 per-available-room
in 2006 and $15,800 in 2007.
Different generations search travel differently:
Compete, Inc. recently announced findings from
a new travel study, “Online
Travel Comes of Age.” Compete’s research revealed that “over 10% of the
17 million Baby Boomers who research travel online each month will also book
online, considerably more than young travelers who tend to window-shop, and
seniors who may be uncomfortable purchasing over the web.
Compete analyzed travelers’ behavior in seven different generational
segments to understand generational differences in how travelers use online
resources as they research and book travel online.
“An April 2006
Compete survey revealed that 79% of recent travelers rely on the
Internet as their single most important source of travel information. Recent
travelers indicated that of all their travel purchases, 62% were transacted
Targeting older shoppers: According
to the New York Times, “many older shoppers are now comfortable with
shopping and buying online, and it’s
feeding the economy. Because this group has far more disposable cash than
any other, retailers are tweaking their marketing strategies to reach them.”
“A recent Nielsen survey found that 27.4 million people age 55 and older
bought something online in the last six months, compared with about 26
million a year ago. By contrast, the number of adults who bought something
online in the last year actually dropped, to 107.4 million from 112 million.
Figures from the United States Census Bureau that show while 40% of the
United States population is 50 or older, this group holds 75% of the
nation’s financial assets and does 55% of all consumer spending.”
Travelers want reviews:
The recent Hotel Electronic Distribution Network Association’s (HEDNA)
conference in Frankfurt, Germany, brought some
important travel issues to light. “A decreasing trust in advertising and
a growing sense of independence among travelers is driving the online
purchase of hotel rooms, where consumers are increasingly seeking out
authentic reviews and buying into experiences rather than brands.
“The rise of RSS (real simple syndication), podcasts, widgets (pop-up
tools), word of mouth marketing, mobile Internet and ‘mash-ups’ (where maps,
holidays and photos are integrated) are the tools that were focused on at
Thirty-three percent of online travelers in the U.S. read other travelers’
reviews of destinations, while 64% read the comments and reviews about
hotels written by other travelers.
Travelers rely on reviews; innkeepers can too:
TripAdvisor.com is “wildly popular with
vacationers and business travelers planning a trip or just back from one,
with more than 4 million first-hand reviews and related reports from the
front lines. But it also has attracted a loyal following among the subjects
of the reviews. Hotels and resorts mindful of their reputations can’t afford
to ignore this growing force.”
In a time when travelers are do-it-yourselfers,
word-of-mouth marketing and reviews from peers are vital. Several
positive reviews could solicit a stay, while lukewarm or negative reviews
could keep travelers away. ’Word of mouth is everything,’ said veteran
Valley hotelier Tom Silverman, co-owner and general manager of family
favorite Chaparral Suites Resort in Scottsdale. ‘People want to hear
”Jupiter Research published a report on how businesses can stay on top of
Internet chatter about their products or services. The first two tips:
monitor consumer dialogue frequently, and share the findings throughout the
company. Tom Kelly, general manager of the luxury Four Seasons Resort
Scottsdale at Troon North, started perusing TripAdvisor about six months
ago. He and other hotel executives said it gives people who don’t want to
talk to a manager or fill out a comment card another option.”
Online population increases:
A recent Harris Poll reports the number of
adults who are online “continues to grow at a steady rate. In the past year,
number of online users has reached an estimated 172 million, a 5%
increase. Harris Interactive calculates that 77% of U.S. adults are now
Online travel market is growing: The online travel market is divided
into two segments: leisure/unmanaged business travel and managed business
travel. eMarketer estimates that U.S. online sales of leisure and unmanaged
business travel reached a total of
$65 billion last year and that the
total will grow to $122 billion by 2009.
A comparison of online travel sales with total retail ecommerce sales
highlights some important trends. In 2005, U.S. online leisure/unmanaged
business travel sales were the equivalent of 75% of total retail ecommerce
By 2010, Forrester predicts that about:
- 55% of computer hardware/software will
be purchased online
- 46% of total travel sales will be
- 40.5% of event tickets will be
- 28.1% of books will be purchased online
- 23.3% of consumer electronics will be
Summer travel plans: A new poll
finds that travelers will go farther from home this summer and
stay at destinations longer than compared to last summer. “This summer,
74% of consumers polled said they will leave home for one to two weeks,
compared to 54% who planned to stay at their destination for fewer than
seven days in 2005, according to Prospectiv.”
Other poll results:
- 83% of consumers use the Internet for
researching and/or booking summer travel plans.
- 67% of respondents indicated that they
use the Internet as their primary resource for summer travel-related
- 58% of those surveyed said they will
leave their home state for vacation this summer, representing an 11%
increase in out-of-state travelers.
- Seaside/lakeside resorts were the No. 1
destination for vacationers, with 29% of consumers staying at a seaside
resort in 2006, jumping 10% from last year’s poll.
- Rising fuel prices will affect 60% of
consumers’ decisions regarding their 2006 summer vacation planning. But,
31% of respondents said they will spend more money on vacation
arrangements this year.
- 30% of consumers book travel
arrangements through online travel sites; 21% book reservations using a
hotel’s/destination’s own website; and 31% use online resources for
researching summer travel options.
- 62% begin their summer travel plan
research in spring to early summer.
- 32% of consumers said discount offers
for extended hotel stays would increase their summer travel this year;
28% said discounts to preferred restaurants, stores and attractions
would get them on the move; and rebates on gas expenses would promote
more travel by 26% of consumers polled.
More summer plans:
39.8% of consumers plan to take a vacation
within the next six months, a 28-year low, the Conference Board said
Tuesday. That’s the fourth consecutive decline measured by the organization,
which asks the question every other month. A spokeswoman for the board
offers the idea that gas prices and rising costs overall attribute to the
“A new USA TODAY/Gallup Poll supports the notion that high gas prices are
crimping vacations. One-third of respondents in the survey of 1,000 adults
said they are changing summer vacation plans because of higher gas prices.
Of those changing plans, 37% said they would reduce the number of trips
normally taken, while 26% said they’re canceling plans or simply can’t
afford to vacation. Some 23% will take shorter trips.
“Even as many Americans say they are calling off summer travel, hotels are
packed and airlines are nearly fully booked this summer. The decline in
vacation plans could also reflect a drop in employees who get paid time off.
The percentage of companies giving paid vacation time fell to 82% this year
from 91% in 2002, according to the Society for Human Resource Management.”
Gadgets on vacation:
A new study by InsightExpress found that most
families stay connected during their vacations:
- 85% bring cell phones
- 75% bring digital cameras
- 35% bring portable CD players
- 33% bring portable gaming devices along
for the ride
- 87% said they plan to check personal
- 36% will keep up on work-related e-mail
This Month's Sponsor
Click here to read recent comments from gift certificate purchasers.
One purchaser says:
"Love it! It was very helpful to see exactly where participating
B&Bs are located. I read reviews from other sites that recommended your
service highly. This makes the perfect gift to thank my in-laws for
paying for our wedding!"
Wedding season is upon us!
Are you missing out? To join the participating inns, just
log in to your Home Base, or
for more information.
BedandBreakfast.com, RezOvation and Expedia, Inc. are
hitting the road to bring you comprehensive information about Internet
marketing, online reservations, yield management, and property management
software. Please join us for these workshops and for an Innkeepers'
Appreciation Luncheon. Read more...
Online Trade Show
Click here to view our Online Trade Show. Are you a vendor?
Click here to get featured!
Featured Property and
Inn of the Month auctions are easy, affordable and effective ways to drive
traffic to your website.
To update your entry, check your traffic statistics, and renew your membership,
please log in with your property ID and password.
Forgot your password?
Click here, then enter your
property ID and we'll email it to you. Don't like your password? Once you're
logged in, click "Membership," select "Change Password," and choose another that's easier to remember.
Inns for Sale
Innkeepers' Info Center
info? You’ll find lots of educational
articles on our site for your convenience.