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May 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: April and May

BedandBreakfast.com’s publicity focus has focused on the site’s own features and promotions along with summer travel ideas. Click on the headlines below to read the releases created for April:

4/10/2008
ONE GOOD DEED DESERVES A MOTHER. THIS MOTHER'S DAY, GIVE A LOW CARB (ON) GIFT TO YOUR MOM, AND TO MOTHER EARTH, TOO!: Ten percent of online BedandBreakfast.com gift card sales from Earth Day to Mother's Day will be donated to American Forests Global ReLeaf Fund to plant trees in honor of Mom

4/3/2008
BEDANDBREAKFAST.COM ANNOUNCES PARTNERSHIP WITH GPS POI US USA TO FEED INNS AND B&B'S TO GPS DEVICES: Now finding inns and B&Bs will be easier than ever for travelers

3/27/2008
RECESSION-PROOF YOUR SUMMER VACATION WITH B&Bs
B&Bs offer extra incentives through BedandBreakfast.com special promotions, plus free breakfasts, local phone calls, snacks, wi-fi, and great insider advice that can save you a bundle


Ask and ye shall receive: Hat’s off to innkeepers who posted Getaways for Gardeners on BedandBreakfast.com. We have nearly 20 great “lets get dirty” packages listed after suggesting that members post creative gardening packages on the site. Be on the lookout for the Getaways for Gardeners release coming out soon.

Coming up next month: We’ll turn our focus to summer and fall travel in the upcoming months. We’re looking for information on the following topics for upcoming releases:

Gas saving deals for Memorial Day: Memorial Day kicks off the summer travel season, and this year more than any other year, travelers will be looking for ways to save at the pumps. BedandBreakfast.com will highlight the most creative offers for their “Tanks a Lot!” free gas promotion, encouraging travelers to choose B&Bs and save on gas this summer. If you haven’t already, be sure to post your “Tanks a Lot” offer under the Free Gas Promotion on BedandBreakfast.com’s Specials pages and start promoting green travel to your B&B this summer.

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 Free Gas Promotion. Bronze member? Please click here to upgrade. Not yet a member? Join today!

Repurposed Inns: We’re working on a story about inns that were converted from another structure. This will be a comprehensive round-up of churches, jails, boats, schools, dormitories, stores, and more that have been converted to inns and B&Bs. We are working with material sent from innkeepers earlier in the year. If you have not yet sent information about your “repurposed inn”, please forward your story to Marti@BedandBreakfast.com by May 10, 2008.
 

Ask the Pros: “We keep hearing about green travel being an important determiner for where travelers will go and stay. Is ‘eco-hospitality’ really a factor for travelers? How important is it that we’re green?”

A: Nielsen Online recently released findings stating that protecting the environment has become increasingly important to consumers, with online buzz around sustainability growing 50% in 2007. According to the Center for Media Research, while early in the year discussion was dominated by the topic of global warming, bloggers progressively addressed a wider variety of green-related issues, with a particular emphasis on personal action such as recycling, avoiding excess packaging, and carpooling.

Innkeepers are in a unique position to not only embrace but also to educate their guests on being green. Innkeepers at the Historic Inns of Rockland, Maine, each Maine Certified Environmental Leaders, offer each guest who stay an ENERGY STAR light bulb. These innkeepers take their educational role one step further, sending each guest home with instructions on how they can eco-energize their own homes.
 

Carr Manor

Every innkeeper who has saved a building from ruin or repurposed an old building into an inn has embarked on the ultimate recycling project. Pam and Dick Thorsen saved an 1880 Queen Anne

building from certain demolition when they built their Classic Rosewood Inn, then filled it with items like sinks from barber shops and marble from the Sheraton Ritz Hotel. Inns that were once former school houses, including the School House Inn in Rocheport, MO, Carr Manor in Cripple Creek, CO, and Washington Street School Inn in Park City, UT, have all incorporated the old blackboards from classrooms into the inn’s décor.

Plenty of inns offer optional towel washing, giving guests the option to save on water usage by using towels for more than one night. Why not take it one step further? When those towels are no longer quite satisfactory for guests, take them to the local women’s or homeless shelters along with other linens that can no longer be used at the inn yet are welcomed by those in need.

Chances are, you may have already adopted green schemes at your inn without a lot of effort. Recycling paper, plastic and metals is common practice among innkeepers, along with buying locally grown or produced foods and products for your breakfasts. Using storm windows and doors to improve energy efficiency or zoned heat in guest rooms is another common practice. Opening windows and using shades and ceiling fans to minimize the need for air conditioning is another easy yet green tactic. See, you’re already well on your way to greening your B&B.
 
Next, start communicating your green practices to your guests, and then reward them for their suggestions for you. You might start a contest among guests offering gift certificates from your inn for any suggestion you implement to further your green efforts. Develop eco-adventure packages where guests can enjoy nature without driving. Hiking, biking, boating, kayaking, wildlife watching and even gardening, wellness and foodie packages are all great ways to encourage eco-tourism. Take your commitment to being green one step further, and make a donation to your favorite eco-friendly organization for each guest as a way to help offset their carbon footprint. Post your Eco-Adventure prominently on your own website and also on BedandBreakfast.com under Eco Escapes and Green Getaways, so eco-travelers can find them.

Let guests know about your green efforts, yet avoid false eco-proclamations. According to the Center for Media Research, consumers “are quick to condemn ‘greenwashing’ - when they suspect companies misrepresent their environmental impact with spurious attempts at being 'green.'" Having your staff wear “Think Green” buttons does not make your B&B green unless you put your money where your mouth is. Yet, if you truly are taking the all-important steps toward eco-friendly hospitality, make this pay off as a key selling point.

BedandBreakfast.com recently saluted eco-friendly inns in a press release. If you’re looking for some ways to add additional green schemes to your inn, read this release to see how 10 committed innkeepers have created eco-friendly havens for travelers. BedandBreakfast.com knows that innkeepers throughout the world are committed to addressing global warming by helping one guest at a time.

Let’s Hear it from Innkeepers
“Of all the honors we have ever received, being included in your list of top eco-friendly inns makes me as happy as any we have ever received. I can’t remember ever not trying to save the world, but having the world join us is great.” - Chloe G. Tuttle, Big Mill Inn, Williamston, NC

Alex Graf, a Dutch mother of four and owner of the Inn at Danbury, traded places with an Italian mom from Long Island for "Wife Swap," the ABC show in which two families trade mothers with disparate values for two weeks. When asked “How did you get on the show,” she replied: “Years ago, BedandBreakfast.com put out an email that said we were looking for families that have kids that work with them because ABC was looking for that. We filled out an application. They kept calling us every six months or three months ... Last February, when they approached us, we said, "Let's do it." -- from a story in the Concord Monitor, Concord, NH

“We have been offering a 'tanks a lot' special for many months. People love it! We have had a wonderful response and many thanks. People still need to relax and get away from their hustle and bustle lifestyles. They are sad when they have to leave our B&B, but they are happy with any help to fill their gas tanks for a safe trip home.” --Innkeepers Jennifer & Steve Dunn, The Franklin Victorian Bed & Breakfast, Sparta, WI

Let’s Hear it from the Media
Rick Steves, long time expert on affordable European travel, recently weighed in on an article printed in the San Francisco Chronicle about how to make the best of the drooping American dollar while traveling in Europe. He led the story by suggesting travelers stay at B&Bs. Here’s what he said:

“Just when I was getting used to the idea that a euro should cost $1.20, our dollar plummets 20 percent, and now a euro costs $1.55. Don't expect our currency to recover any time soon because, frankly, we're not as rich as we think we are. But 12 million Americans - the vast majority of them normal working people - had a blast in Europe in 2007. So don't mope. Just get smart and stretch that wimpy little dollar. To help you keep your travel dreams affordable in 2008, here are ways you can take back that 20 percent drop in your dollar's value - and have a more rewarding trip.

"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 save 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 enjoy great coverage. The LA Times' popular blog included it, mentioning the site as a resource and Carmel by the Sea plus Colonial Terrace’s specific deals. Jackie Junice of the Chicago Daily Herald says “Check out www.BedandBreakfast.com, the largest online bed-and-breakfast directory and reservation network worldwide, for free gas promotions, midweek discounts and more. To find a complete list, visit www.BedandBreakfast.com and click on Search then Special Packages”.


The Tanks a Lot program was mentioned in this story about five ways to save on gas on Kiplinger.com. The same story appeared on Marketwatch.com, which resulted in a number of other stories appearing throughout the country. Additionally, the Hartford Courant promoted BedandBreakfast.com’s Tanks a Lot promotion with a link to all the offers on the site, and also mentioned offers from Ocean Wilderness Inn, Sooke, B.C, The Ruby of Crested Butte, Crested Butte, CO, Island Goode's, Hilo, HI, and Pilgrim's Inn and Cottages, Deer Isle, ME.

Stories about BedandBreakfast.com’s Tanks a Lot promotion have also appeared in print newspapers including the Miami Herald, St Augustine Record, Orlando Sentinel, and Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel, and on CNN television.

BedandBreakfast.com’s Mother’s Day promotion, where 10% of online gift card sales designated with the promotional code MOTHER will be donated to American Forest’s Global ReLeaf program to plant trees in Mom’s honor, was picked up by a number of media sources. Stories appeared on a number of TV station’s websites including KTRE 9, NewsWest 9, KTRK ABC 13, KVIA ABC 7, and FDA NewsChannel 10. Additionally, major search engines including Yahoo! and AOL Finance, plus the LA Times, Portland, ME, Examiner.com, Earth Times and Biloxi Sun Herald ran this story.

Travel & Leisure magazine included BedandBreakfast.com as a recommended resource for planning a summer road trip. The Associated Press picked up this story which has appeared in the Kansas City Star, Silicon Valley Mercury News, Des Moines Sunday Register, San Diego Union Tribune, St Louis Post Dispatch and New Orleans Times Picyune along with many other local newspapers.

Both BedandBreakfast.com’s Sandy Soule and Jay Karen of PAII were quoted extensively in a story about B&B travel appearing on a popular travel pundit’s site, PeterGreenberg.com. Sandy recommended to B&B travelers, “talk with the innkeepers—ask about things to do—innkeepers are the ultimate concierges and they are what make a B&B personalized. Inns are often a reflection of the innkeepers’ personality too, so it’s fun to get to know the innkeepers to understand the artwork and the décor of the inn.”

Additionally, Sandy’s bylined article about family friendly B&Bs in Michigan appeared in Pontiac, Michigan’s Sunday Oakland Press. This story offered tips for finding and enjoying family friendly B&Bs, along with information about BedandBreakfast.com. Home and Away magazine’s website reprinted BedandBreakfast.com’s press release about recession proofing your vacation, mentioning all the members included in the press release along with a description and link back to BedandBreakfast.com for more information and affordable lodging packages.

Yacht Vacations and Charters magazine included a complete list of green getaways from BedandBreakfast.com in a story about B&B travel.


Hat’s off to a number of innkeepers who created some buzz in the media about BedandBreakfast.com. Black Star Farms was featured as a prize on Wheel of Fortune’s “Going Green” week, April 11. The story was picked up by their local newspaper and the Traverse City Business Journal. The Pinehurst Inn was recognized as one of BedandBreakfast.com’s picks for top eco-friendly inns by Business North, a business news source for Northern Minnesota and Wisconsin. The Murphy House B&B sent out a release about selling BedandBreakfast.com gift cards that got picked up by the Oneonta Daily Star.

This Month's Sponsor

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.


            

“I have purchased weekends at B&Bs for friends before and had to contact the place and make arrangements for a gift certificate of some sort. This way my friends can select the location they want and when they want to go. I will tell others about this great service!”

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).
 

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