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July/August 2007

Online Reservations

Online reservations continue to increase in importance as more and more consumers demand real-time, instant reservations. This page will keep you up to date on industry trends and online reservation news; if you'd like us to address a particular topic, don’t hesitate to contact us.

Tip of the Month

Announcements from BedandBreakfast.com

BedandBreakfast.com B&B Traveler survey
Online Reservation Trends

Tip of the Month
Consumers are starting to look for accommodations for their fall travel. Do you have inventory loaded so they can book with you? Please consider adding inventory in the system to cover the next few months. Log in, and click the Online Reservations Manager button to load your rooms.

Questions? Contact Online Reservations Support at 800-GO-B-AND-B (800-462-2632), extension 4; 512-322-2700, extension 4 or Reservations@BedandBreakfast.com.

“Since joining BedandBreakfast.com, my membership and the online reservations program have absolutely worked. I had a 91.5% increase in occupancy and a 66% increase in income over the previous year. In addition, my membership paid for itself in the first week upon joining.” Nancy Noll, The Queen, A Victorian Bed and Breakfast, Bellefonte, PA

“The BedandBreakfast.com Online Reservations program works for us. One part that is not talked about much and to me has been the best part are the calls we get from the people that see us on Expedia and then look at our website and then call us. We get a lot of business this way. We also had one online booking through Expedia that resulted in about 20 room nights booked with the same family that month at the full rate.” Patricia Faser, Fairfield Place Bed & Breakfast Inn, Shreveport, LA


"For those of you who want to 'talk' to your guests and approve them before they arrive, the world of hotels.com, Expedia, etc. via BedandBreakfast.com is probably not for you. For the rest of us who have empty rooms at slow times and are looking to grow our business, it is a good deal. BedandBreakfast.com has been very flexible and understanding with us, and we have picked up a good chunk of revenue that we otherwise would have left on the table during our slow times. Ask yourself if there are perhaps times when you would rather have 70% of your standard rate than 100% of nothing." William Speakman, Springfield House, Boalsburg, PA

Announcements from BedandBreakfast.com

Good news! BedandBreakfast.com Online Reservations is now available to properties worldwide!

How does it work?
The function is exactly the same as it is for U.S. and Canadian properties. All payments are made in U.S. dollars, and international properties must have a PayPal account in order to receive payment. Read more.

More than 1,500 innkeepers in the United States and Canada have signed up for the BedandBreakfast.com Online Reservations program, which includes placement on industry leading sites like Expedia, hotels.com, SideStep.com and Kayak.com. This is a highly effective tool for helping you increase your occupancy during the times you need it. Call 1-800-462-2632, extension 4, or email Reservations@BedandBreakfast.com to learn how you can participate in this program and fill your unsold/empty rooms.

Get started today!

BedandBreakfast.com B&B Traveler survey
BedandBreakfast.com recently conducted a survey for B&B travelers that was completed by more than 3,000 consumers!
Here are a few of the results that are relevant to online reservations:


Where do people research and book travel?

  • 35% of consumers say they research travel on independent property websites, vs. 78% who say they use sites like BedandBreakfast.com

  • 28% of consumers say they will book on independent property websites, vs. 50% who say they prefer to book on sites like BedandBreakfast.com

  • 25% of consumers say they NEVER use independent property websites

  • 34% of consumers say they NEVER use association websites

Take-away? If you are not advertising on directories such as BedandBreakfast.com, you are missing out on roughly a third of the business you could be getting.

What is important to consumers?

  Percentage who report they are important or very important
Photos 98%
Maps 91%
Unbiased Consumer Reviews 87%
Ability to Book Property Online 85%

Take-away? If you are not going to encourage reviews and online bookings, you might as well just take down your photos and maps because consumers are going to skip your property and go to the ones that do encourage them.

What is important when booking on property websites?


  • 21% of consumers say the ONLY way they will book on a property website is with a fully online bookable and confirmed reservation

  • 85% of consumers say they would probably book, or would only book on a property website that is fully bookable online and confirmed reservation

  • Yet only 34% say they would on a site with an availability calendar and 24-hour wait for confirmed reservation

  • 25% of consumers say they would probably not book/would not book on a site that has a 24-hour wait

Take-away? If you use an availability calendar, you are missing out on at least 25% of the business you could be getting.

What are consumers thoughts on security?

  • 87% say they will only give their credit card to sites that prominently display a well-known security logo

  • 74% said they will only give their credit card to companies that display a hacker prevention logo like HackerSafe

  • 94% of consumers say they would not knowingly give their credit card information to sites that do not have good security measures

Trends in Online Reservations

Trend toward shorter trips means more dollars spent online: "According to PhoCusWright, long weekend trips are now the most popular type of leisure travel. Leisure travelers take more than twice as many long weekend trips than they do week-long vacations in a year. Leisure travel is defined less by a prescribed number of weeks off, and more by the opportunity to carve out chunks of available time. The result is that travelers are taking a series of smaller vacations, and buying record amounts of travel products and services on the Internet, according to The PhoCusWright Consumer Travel Trends Survey Ninth Edition published this week.

"The smaller the financial investment and distance traveled for a trip, the more inclined travelers are to purchase their travel online. In fact, $6 out of every $10 spent on weekend travel was purchased online versus less than $3 out of every $10 for week-long vacation travel.

"Other key findings from survey:

  • The lack of available time to vacation also extends to vacation planning as well. Almost two thirds of online travelers report that general search engines, like Google and Yahoo!, not only influence where they purchase their travel, but what travel they purchase.
  • The lack of designated leisure time is forcing business travelers to be more creative at when and how they vacation, as almost four in 10 business travelers extend their business trips to include a leisure component.
  • A website’s visual features are important in influencing where leisure travel is purchased. More than seven in 10 online travelers indicated that it is a website’s use of video, pictures and online maps that most influence the method of purchase for leisure travel.”

Kayak UK adds hotel search: "Kayak has added a hotel search to the UK site, following the successful launch of Kayak.co.uk’s flight search and Buzz product earlier this year. UK travelers will now have access to online travel’s most comprehensive database of hotels.

"As with air, Kayak’s MultiBook™ technology allows travelers to choose where to make their purchase: directly from the hotel, from an online travel agency or through a consolidator. To enhance the quality of its information, Kayak offers an ‘accuracy promise’ to ensure that every hotel is presented on the site with correct and trustworthy information. Kayak.co.uk also uses a mash-up with Google Earth to integrate search results so consumers can see the exact location of any hotel. Users can then check the satellite image to see exactly how close they really are to the beach or airport, or use the ‘custom address’ link to choose a minimal distance from a specific address or location. B&Bs that participate in the BedandBreakfast.com Online Reservations program (like the Hillview Country Inn below) are bookable on Kayak.com.

UK online sales rise, driven by travel: “UK online sales tripled from 2002 to 2006, and grew nearly 13 times faster than the overall retail sector in 2006. UK online shoppers outspend even American consumers. eMarketer estimates the average UK spend in 2006 was $2,171, compared with $1,831 in the United States.

"UK retail e-commerce sales are estimated to reach $51.8 billion (£28.1 billion) in 2011, up from $21.6 billion (£10.9 billion) in 2006, according to Verdict Research. Looking at B2C e-commerce overall, the firm counted travel as the biggest online sector, followed by electronic products and apparel."

Europeans look online for travel:
"comScore recently announced the results of a study of the European online travel industry, revealing that 108.6 million Europeans - or half of the total European online population aged 15 and older - visited a travel related site during March 2007, an increase in traffic of 6% versus March 2006.

"According to comScore, Expedia Inc. led the European travel category with 18.5 million European unique visitors aged 15 and older during March. The second most-visited European travel site was ViaMichelin, with 13.5 million European unique visitors, followed by the TUI Group’s 12.5 million European unique visitors.“

European online travel sales on the rise:
Online travel sales increased by as much as 31% from 2005 to 2006 and reached EUR 38.3 billion in the European market in 2006 - or 15% of the market (up from 12% in 2005). A further increase of about 22% during 2007 to about EUR 46.8 billion may be expected (18% of the market).”

Silver surfers close to becoming largest group online: “According to new research data, UK Internet users aged 55+, the so-called silver surfers, are set to overtake 35-44 year olds as the demographic age group with the largest representation online. And travel websites are among the most popular among this older age group. Those aged 55+ accounted for 22% of UK visits to all categories of websites in the four weeks to May 12, up 54% since 2005 and 40% since 2006. This compares to 23.5% of Internet visits from 35-44 year olds.”

Questions? Please send them to Reservations@BedandBreakfast.com.


This Month's Sponsor


Internet Intensives

BedandBreakfast.com, RezOvation and Expedia, Inc. are hitting the road to bring you current and comprehensive information about Internet marketing, online reservations, yield management, and property management software.

Click here to see upcoming Intensives and more information.

Gift Card Reseller Program

"Hi! I am interested in participating in selling the Bed and Breakfast gift cards. Thanks for the opportunity to make more money!" -- Karen Morella, Serendipity Bed and Breakfast

The BedandBreakfast.com Gift Card Reseller Program is here! Click here for details. If you'd like to receive a free reseller kit, contact us at 800-462-2632 or Support@BedandBreakfast.com. If you have already signed up, your cards and display rack are in the mail now.

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