Summer travel survey results
How to get more reservations
BedandBreakfast.com reviews promotion
How to get more reservations
Here are some key steps that can easily, affordably, and effectively
increase your reservations. Best of all, they are free or don’t cost you
anything unless they put heads in your beds.
Online reservations: If you don’t have online reservations on
your own website, and don’t use BedandBreakfast.com Online Reservations,
you are losing out on approximately half of your potential reservations.
In other words, 5 of 10 potential guests simply will not call you.
If you’ve been thinking about adding the
RezOvation Booking Engine to your website, and/or signing up for
BedandBreakfast.com Online Reservations, there’s no better time than
Reviews: When dollars are tight, travelers want to be extra sure
that they are picking an inn they’ll love. Study after study
demonstrates that the way they do this is through reviews, and traffic
patterns on BedandBreakfast.com confirm it. Email past guests to thank
them for staying with you, then encourage them to return and to post a
review. Be sure to give them the link to your review page on
BedandBreakfast.com, and to distribute the review reminder business
cards and postcards; contact us if you need more at
Support@BedandBreakfast.com or 800-GO-B-AND-B.
BedandBreakfast.com Gift Cards are an incredibly popular present for
weddings, anniversaries, and so much more, as you can see by
reading the reviews here. If you don’t already accept them,
log in to your Home Base and click the Gift Card link. You
get great extra exposure, and you pay a commission only when you get a
reservation, and then only on the amount of the gift card.
Photos: If you can afford to hire a pro who’s an expert at
shooting B&Bs, by all means do so. You’ll see the ROI almost as soon as
the photos go live on your website and on your BedandBreakfast.com
listing. Can’t swing the cost right now? Read our
photography article for great advice on improving your own shots,
then add them to your website and your BedandBreakfast.com listing ASAP.
Don’t forget that your membership includes 10 photos at the Silver
level, 15 at Gold, and 25 at Platinum, plus a free video!
Special packages: Our Tanks a Lot free gas promotion has received
enormous media coverage, as have had many of the other special packages
posted on BedandBreakfast.com. If you are a Silver level member or up,
make sure to post at least three specials -- one for free gas, perhaps
one for girlfriends’ getaways, and another for a theme that will appeal
to your guests.
Recession-proof your marketing: Incorporate these themes into
“affordable luxury” messaging on your website, in your emails, and in
* Isn’t it time you were spoiled rotten? No beds to make,
no dishes to wash, no laundry to fold, just kick back on a porch rocker,
and we’ll bring you homemade iced tea.
* Isn’t it time you had a personal concierge? Want dinner
and/or theater reservations? Advice on the best boutiques, antique
shops, flea markets? Need help planning a bike ride, picnic hike, float
trip, or a tour of local wineries/cheese makers/micro-breweries? Just
ask your innkeeper!
* Isn’t it time you spent your limited vacation days on
vacation instead in transit? A great B&B getaway may be just a
one-tank trip away, so you can measure your travel time in hours, not
days, and save money on airfare and car rental to boot! Use the money
you save on transportation to splurge on a gorgeous guest room with a
double whirlpool tub, fireplace, and more.
* Isn’t it time you spent a night, not a fortune? B&Bs
offer affordable luxury, where you’re not nickel-and-dimed for every
little thing, and extras like soft drinks, snacks, and Wi-Fi are
included in the reasonable rates.
Thank you to the 3,013 inns who participated in the recent reviews promotion
by encouraging guests to post reviews to BedandBreakfast.com. We received
thousands of the postage-paid review postcards and even had to hire
additional staff to help us manually enter the reviews!
There were 604 BedandBreakfast.com member inns that had no reviews posted
prior to the promotion, and now they have reviews!
We have now entered all reviews received during the promotion, and have
added the funds to each participating property's Featured Property Account
at the rate of $5 for each posted review, up to a maximum of $50.
To check the amount in your account,
log in to your Home Base, click Featured Property Auctions in the
left column of the grid, then click Account Information in the column
on the left. Scroll down, and you'll see the amount under Payment History.
The Total consists of the cash funds you have deposited and does not
include the free
bonus credit, but all amounts are available for your use.
While you're logged in, take a few minutes to place or update your bids, add
or change your marketing message, and/or add new photos. If you need help
placing bids or have any other questions, just contact our Support Team at
800-GO-B-AND-B (800-462-2632) or
Thanks again for the great response. The reviews about your property will
not only help you to get more reservations, but might help you to win a
Best of BedandBreakfast.com Award, to be announced in September.
Seven strategies for marketing in a downturn: Doing the same things
in an uncertain economic environment and expecting the same results is, at
worst, a definition of marketing insanity. At best it is a flawed strategy.
In a challenging economy, you must
find new ways to make marketing work more effectively, get more out of
marketing investments, and measure and account for marketing decisions.
The following strategies will help you allocate marketing investments to
better performing programs that will carry your company through the economic
downturn and beyond.
- Get targeted: Invest in those specific, targeted media where
you know your customers and prospects will be exposed to your message.
- Measure performance: While it's always the right time to
purge marketing programs that don't perform, it may be time to scale
back any marketing plans whose results you can't measure or are unsure
about. Online programs -- which are built around delivering visibility,
impressions, clicks, leads and customers -- are easy to measure.
- Think integration: Take advantage of multiple media,
resources and customer touchpoints to create a whole that's greater and
more effective than the sum of its parts.
- Maintain frequency and consistency: The benefits of regular
visibility in the market tend to compound over time as more prospects
recognize your company. A consistent online presence where your
customers and prospects are looking for information -- including
websites, directories, search engines and e-newsletters -- will help
your company stay visible as well as provide measurable lead generation
benefits via online contact.
- Push and pull your way to success: Most marketing can be
classified as either push or pull: companies push their message out
through tactics such as direct mail, advertisements and e-newsletters;
and they also establish a presence in online directories, websites and
search engines to pull customers in real-time when prospects are
searching for information, products and services like those your company
- Focus on quality over quantity: If marketing efforts focus
solely on quantity over quality, fewer leads will convert, more sales
resources will be wasted, and sales people will begin to distrust
marketing's lead generation programs. Commit to programs in which
quality is a key attribute: programs that can deliver interested
prospects, provide prospect contact information and offer reports of
- Seek assistance from media partners: The economy is likely
forcing you to make harder and smarter decisions about allocating
budgets. Ask media partners to demonstrate how their marketing solutions
help your company achieve the strategies mentioned above.”
BedandBreakfast.com partners rank top in customer experience: “Keynote
Competitive Research announced the topline results of a series of
competitive research studies examining the online travel industry, including
studies of airline, lodging and rental car Web sites. Collectively, the
studies provide an in-depth examination of the online customer experience
and service levels (responsiveness and reliability) of leading travel sites.
Each travel type had its own unique group of top performers as denoted by
the 250+ customer experience metrics measured in each study. In the Online
Lodging study, Marriott ranked #1, followed by Expedia and hotels.com.”
BedandBreakfast.com members who participate in BedandBreakfast.com Online
Reservations are on Expedia and hotels.com.
British are traveling, booking online: “Despite the rising cost of
fuel and the impending economic downturn, consumers are continuing to invest
in holidays abroad, according to a survey of British travelers by a UK-based
digital market research company. In its survey,
eDigitalResearch found that 70% of people aren’t changing their travel
plans and that the majority of people (69%) are still going abroad for a
duration of a week or more. Around 63.2% of people have planned holidays
months in advance. 20% of those surveyed have changed their plans due to
less disposable income, the rising exchange rate of the Euro, and rising
“A staggering 75% of people prefer to book online, with the majority (60%)
of people wanting to tailor-make their holidays directly with the operator,
as opposed to through a travel agent.”
Travelers staying closer to home, and other trends: "A new
survey by the American Hotel & Lodging Association (AH&LA) reveals one
emerging pattern: with higher gas prices and lower expectations for the
economy, hotel guests are inclined to stay closer to home.
The AH&LA 2008 Lodging Survey revealed these other hotel trends:
- Wireless Internet access is in 91% of responding properties, up 35%
from just four years earlier.
- The number of hotels that charge for in-room Internet use is on the
decline. Sixteen percent of hotels charge for this service, down from
19% in 2006 and 22% in 2004.
- More than one third of respondents offer iPod docking stations
- Seventy-nine percent of responding properties had an exercise room
and/or fitness facility, and 77% of these are complimentary for guests.
- The number of respondents who offer vegetarian menu options rose 16%
- Twenty-four percent of respondents offer allergy-free hotel rooms."
More than half of travelers purchase all travel online: “According to
JupiterResearch’s US Travel Consumer Survey in 2007, more than 50% of
travelers purchase all their travel online, and 70% purchase at least some
of their travel online. The YPB&R/Yankelovich National Leisure Travel
MONITOR shows that leisure travelers rate recommendations by family and
friends as their No. 1 information sources when choosing vacation options.
“These same travelers also turn to online consumer-generated content for
recommendations and validation when making travel decisions online.
Fifty-six percent of online travel researchers who turn to
consumer-generated content use it to verify hotel choices before booking—the
most common application, according to JupiterResearch.
“Online travelers who contribute to consumer reviews or recommendations are
more than twice as likely to be motivated by a desire to share good
experiences with other travelers (36%) as they are to want to share bad
experiences (17%), according to Jupiter. And the more opinions that appear
online, the more balanced views emerge.”
Survey reveals Americans are traveling this summer: “Kayak.com asked
more than 3,800 users how the struggling U.S. economy has influenced their
summer travel plans. Kayak.com found that while the economic downturn has
caused 79% of travelers to alter their vacations,
users still intend to get away this summer.
“When asked what was most influential in planning a summer vacation, 41%
cited cost-conscious factors including choosing a destination with
affordable airfare (18%), bunking up with friends or family rather than
checking into a hotel (16%), and opting for destinations within driving
distance (7%). Dozens wrote in complaining about the price of Europe this
summer, and most plan to avoid the continent until the dollar improves
against the euro.
“According to survey responses, economic softness is affecting both the
destinations travelers are considering (for 78% of respondents) and
transportation to those destinations (for 64% of respondents). Of those who
altered the destination of their summer vacation -- more than a quarter
(28%) said that they'll stay closer to home, 23% will drop a star from their
usual standard, and 20% will choose a location where friends and family can
offer room and board.
“Despite the tough times, most Americans are preserving their summer
vacation rituals. Over 90% of respondents plan to spend more than five days
on vacation this summer.”
Travelers go where the deals are: “Instead of paying top dollar for
the annual getaway, emboldened
consumers are looking for travel deals. In some cases it’s come down to
a waiting game to see which side will flinch first, while in others it means
shorter trips closer to home. Either way, people are traveling this summer,
with a new savvy born from the opacity of the Internet.
“‘From the numbers we’ve seen Americans want to go on vacation. They may
have to adjust their plans because of economy and gas prices, but they will
still go,’ said Betsy Sell, Managing Director of Travel Products AAA, whose
company’s members spend $30 billion a year on hotels. She posited that many
may take fewer, shorter trips, but travel is still a priority.
“A representative for Cheapflights.com said that in the U.S. market, even
six months ago people were very tied to leaving and coming back on specific
dates. People are now starting to base decisions based on cost rather than
time frame. People will adjust a schedule for a deal.”
Storm clouds gather over UK travel industry: “If there is one
industry that feels most keenly a recent forecast of storm clouds ahead from
Mervyn King, the Bank of England governor, it is the
UK travel sector. Although many trips have been booked far in advance,
the outlook for the travel market is decidedly uncomfortable.
“Cheapflights reports that the top 10 searches of its website include New
York and Orlando, made attractive by the pound’s strength against the
dollar, plus Dalaman in Turkey and Dubai.
“If it is any comfort, the Brits are not alone. TripAdvisor surveyed 4,000
people around the world, finding that almost 40 percent were taking exchange
rates into account before choosing their holidays.”
This Month's Sponsor
Reviews = Reservations
No doubt about it:
travelers want reviews, and they are more likely to stay somewhere that
has reviews posted. The BedandBreakfast.com reviews program was developed specifically for B&Bs.
An easy way to get more reviews on your listing is to add a badge, like the
one below, to your website.
Log in to your Home Base. Click Reviews, then click Links,
Awards and Review Reminders to download the badge and other helpful
Summer Travel Survey Results
In late June 2008,
BedandBreakfast.com polled more than 5,200 U.S. innkeepers about advanced
bookings for the July 4th weekend. The 1,346 respondents reported that July
4th weekend reservations are even with or have increased over last year at
more than 70 percent of B&Bs. Read more.
Online Trade Show
Visit our newest vendor members!
Click here to view our Online Trade Show.
Are you a vendor?
Click here to get featured!
Gift Card Reseller Program
Could you use some extra cash? Sign up for the gift card reseller
program, and make 15% on each sale! There is no cost to
click here for details. If you'd like to receive a free reseller kit, contact us at 800-462-2632 or
"As much as I would like to sell gift
certificates that are exclusively for my inn, I realize that we are not
the perfect gift for everybody. This year, I gave everyone who enquired
about a gift certificate an option of a GC to be used exclusively with
me or good at any B&B in the BedandBreakfast.com membership. Many liked
the idea of having choices, and I sold them the BedandBreakfast.com gift
card. I got the commission up front, and I don’t have to worry about the
liability. I also get most of the face value back should the gift card
be used at my inn. The process was quick and easy. I am very happy with
the results and will continue to offer BedandBreakfast.com cards as an
option." Mike Venturini, Munro House B&B Spa, Jonesville, MI
What’s better than
three month’s 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).
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. Don't like your password? Once you're
logged in, click "Membership," select "Change Password," and choose another that's easier to remember.
"I am happy to report that we have had several enquiries from your site,
one guest who is staying for five nights, so our membership cost has been
covered. Thanks for your help!" Caitlin Adair, Sanctuary, Putney, VT
Inns for Sale
Innkeepers' Info Center
info? You’ll find lots of educational
articles on our site for your convenience.