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July/August 2008

Promoting the Industry

Our goal is to generate great publicity for BedandBreakfast.com members specifically, and for the B&B industry as a whole. In this issue we cover:

Upcoming Publicity for BedandBreakfast.com members
Ask the Pros
Let's Hear it from Innkeepers
Let’s Hear it from the Media
Recent Media Coverage

Current and Upcoming Publicity: June and July

BedandBreakfast.com’s recent publicity has focused on Memorial Day and July 4 travel trends, plus BedandBreakfast.com’s new $50 Vacation Bonus. Click on the headlines below to read the releases created for May through June:

6/25/2008
BEDANDBREAKFAST.COM SURVEY SHOWS AMERICANS COMMITTED TO SUMMER TRAVEL, DESPITE HIGH GAS PRICES

6/24/2008
FROM PRISONS, MILLS, SCHOOLS AND TRAINS TO LUXURY B&Bs, INNKEEPERS OFFER THE ULTIMATE IN HISTORIC PRESERVATION AND REPURPOSING

6/19/2008
BEDANDBREAKFAST.COM OFFERS $50 SUMMER VACATION BONUS FOR ONLINE BOOKINGS: Reserve a two-night stay through BedandBreakfast.com and get $50 cash

5/22/2008
BEDANDBREAKFAST.COM SURVEY SHOWS AMERICANS POISED TO TRAVEL MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND AND THROUGHOUT SUMMER


Kudos to survey respondents:
Hat’s off to innkeepers who responded to the recent surveys regarding July 4 travel trends and B&B amenities. Thanks to you, BedandBreakfast.com was able to supply the media with exclusive and timely information about the B&B industry from nearly 1,400 innkeepers. A separate survey has just been sent to international innkeepers, and we look forward to hearing back from innkeepers worldwide. We’re working with media who are interested in the results of the amenities survey, illustrating all the bonuses offered to travelers from B&Bs.

Do you have B-roll? BedandBreakfast.com is building an up-do-date list of all members with TV quality footage (B-roll). Ideally, your footage will be shot in Beta or Beta SP, but more and more stations can now accept professionally shot digital footage in DigiPro, MiniDV and a few other formats. If your footage is shot in European format (PAL), it can be converted for use in the U.S. if necessary. If you have professionally shot television quality footage, please email Sarah.Stotts@BedandBreakfast.com and let her know the length and format of your footage.

Coming up next month:
Although there’s still time to post your creative Girlfriends Getaways for our upcoming story, we’re turning our focus to fall and the holidays; be sure to post Thanksgiving and Holiday specials soon. If you have not already done so, please be sure to send stories about ghosts and haunted happenings at your B&B to Marti@BedandBreakfast.com. We compile the most comprehensive list of Great Places to Sleep with a Ghost for the media, and we want to include your story. Don’t worry about ghost stories scaring potential guests away; on the contrary, they are a huge draw every October.

To add specials: Click here to go to your Home Base on BedandBreakfast.com, then click the Specials link to add your packages. Be sure to include all relevant information including rates, validity dates, whether children/pets are welcome, and the costs. (Silver-level members and above may post specials; simply log in with your Property ID and password. Select Specials from the table in your Home Base. Enter appropriate offers for Thanksgiving and Holiday specials. Bronze member? Please click here to upgrade. Not yet a member? Join today!
 

Ask the Pros: With gas prices up and the economy down, what can we do to attract more guests?

A: Great question! First, post a Tanks a Lot Free Gas special. BedandBreakfast.com’s Tanks a Lot media campaign has garnered more than 50 million impressions – from USA TODAY to the CBS TV Early Show to TIME magazine. We are working with major consumer magazines for December issues on this topic, so if your Tanks a Lot offer has expired, be sure to post a new one soon; if you haven’t posted yours yet, do so today. Every traveler is lamenting the price of gas, so your free gas offer is a powerful motivator for potential guests.

Additionally, we’re seeing strong media pick up for the $50 Vacation Bonus paid to those who book a two-night stay online at BedandBreakfast.com. This compelling offer is increasing reservations for participating inns. Details here.
 
At the end of the summer, BedandBreakfast.com will select the winners of the 2008 Best of BedandBreakfast.com Awards, offered to the top-reviewed B&Bs and inns. Both the quality and quantity of reviews will be considered in the selection of the winning inns; balanced comments are vital. Fewer reviews where guests have taken the time to offer details are just as salient as more reviews that were quickly jotted without many details.

Awards will be given for the top U.S., Canadian, European, Central American, Caribbean, and other international inns, supplemented by regional awards, themed awards for pet-friendly, family friendly, romantic inns, and more. Winners will be announced in September 2008. The 10 top overall winners will receive free Platinum memberships, and all winners will receive recognition plaques or certificates and website badges, as well as inclusion in our winners’ publicity campaign recognizing the top B&Bs.

It’s not too late to begin or to continue encouraging guests to post reviews on BedandBreakfast.com. Remember, B&Bs with reviews get more reservations than those without. The independent feedback offers credence to potential bookers and may help land a Best of BedandBreakfast.com Award, too.

“I have people who check in and say they cannot believe all the great reviews; they could not find any other area inns that had so many nice ones, and that they just had to come see for themselves. Another guest recently said, ‘what can I say that has not been said already!’” Adele G., Traveler's Rest, Montezuma, GA


Let’s Hear it from Innkeepers
“I can’t thank you all enough for all you do to help us! I sent the eco-friendly inn award press release that you sent to me to three newspapers. One printed it word for word. Then the Greenville Daily Reflector interviewed me and ran a full page story in their Style section on Big Mill, including six color photos.”– Chloe Tuttle, Big Mill Inn, Williamston, NC

Let’s Hear it from the Media
Rick Steves, long-time expert on affordable European travel, recently wrote in the San Francisco Chronicle about how to make the best of the drooping American dollar while traveling in Europe. "A bed and breakfast offers double the warmth and cultural intimacy for half the price of a hotel. You'll find them in most countries if you know the local word: Husrom is Norwegian for sobe, which is Slovenian for Zimmer, which is German for bed and breakfast (literally, "room"). In Haarlem, in the Netherlands, I saved 33 percent by staying a 10-minute walk from the center and paying 55 euros for a double room with a shower, rather than on the square in the cheapest hotel in town, which runs 85 euros for a double with shower.”

Recent BedandBreakfast.com Media Coverage  
BedandBreakfast.com’s press release outlining all the Tanks a Lot offers has continued to garner tremendous media coverage. Here is a sampling of the media coverage we’ve enjoyed over the past month or so. Tanks a Lot went international with this inclusion in a UK car rental site. The
Houston Chronicle quoted Smart Travel editor, saying, “If your vacation involves driving and lodging, travel analysts suggest inquiring about gas rebates offered by several hotel and motel chains. ‘I've seen hotels that offer a $50 gas card,’" said Banas, who also advised road-trippers to check BedandBreakfast.com. And a story distributed throughout Canada also referenced this Smart Travel story.


A story in PC Magazine called “8 Geeky Ways to Save Gas” says: “Look for online gas promotions. For example, if you're planning a vacation, check out BedandBreakfast.com, which offers free-gas promotions at a wide variety of B&B locations across the country.” An Associated Press story mentioned the Tanks a Lot program and was included in Travel Smart Newsletter’s article about 18 Ways to Save a Little. A story on Pittsburgh’s WTAE 4 included footage about saving this summer included a nice mention about BedandBreakfast.com’s gas deals, including the website’s name on the screen. Also, ABC7 Chicago did a nice story with tips for travel savings, and mentioned the free gas offers too.

BedandBreakfast.com’s $50 Vacation Bonus has enjoyed a great deal of recent media coverage including stories in Yacht Vacations & Charters, Earthtimes.com, Boston Globe’s Real Deals Travel column, and on Fox Business. Eileen Ogitz, a family travel columnist, included the promotion in her syndicated column which has appeared in the Connecticut Post and
and again in SmarterTravel.com where she said “Book a B&B for two nights at BedandBreakfast.com this summer (and yes, many love to host kids) and get a $50 rebate check.”

Additionally, Forbes.com, Yahoo! and The Wall Street Journal’s Marketwatch were among the many other media who ran the story about BedandBreakfast.com’s $50 Vacation Bonus.

The Travel Industry Journal, Austin Business Journal, Houston Chronicle   and Los Angeles Times, plus many more, ran BedandBreakfast.com’s story about strong July 4 travel to B&Bs.

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 review tools.


 

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 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.


            

"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

Referral Program

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).
 

Advertising Auctions

Featured Property and Inn of the Month auctions are easy, affordable and effective ways to drive traffic to your website.

Member Information

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. More information

"I am happy to report that we have had several enquiries from your site, including one guest who is staying for five nights, so our membership cost has been covered. Thanks for your help!" Caitlin Adair, Sanctuary, Putney, VT

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