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Eleanor Brown

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Hi everybody!
I was just wondering if, as B&B owners, you are inclined to sign up with online booking companies or if you prefer to create your own websites, or perhaps a combination of the two? If you like to go through a 3rd party site, which one do you use and why?
I'll come clean - I work for a B&B booking site which is why I'm asking this. I hope you won't hold that against me, though - I promise not to spam you!
Any thoughts on this topic welcome.
Thanks!
 

Morticia

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Everyone needs their own stand-alone website. A big complaint here, from us, when we're going on vacation, is we don't want to have to call to make a rez. So, online booking ability is pretty much a must now. There are exceptions and I know a few where they have enough repeat biz (80%+) to not need online booking.
If nothing else, there should be a calendar showing rooms are avail or not. But that leads to frustration, 'Is MY room available?'
Now, if you're talking about showing our B&B's on GDS then that's a whole other bag of worms.
As for having a 'booking site' is that what you mean? GDS? Or do you mean an online calendar on our own site?
 

JBloggs

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Here is the USA there are online booking services we use that we integrate into our own websites, like Webervations, SuperInn. Is this what you are speaking of Eleanor? Innkeepers are hands on - unless it is a very large inn, they will have their own websites. We are typically a few years ahead of the UK innkeepers here in the states. So when you google an inn here in the states or go to a popular directory like BBONLINE.COM you will see the value in the listing is the LINK to the inns own website. We pay bucks for that, without it the directory is useless to us.
 

Eleanor Brown

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Yep, I'd definitely say the USA is years ahead of the UK and Ireland. We are based in Dublin so most of our properties are there, although we do have B&B's all over the world (particularly Italy!)
The site I work for is www.bedandbreakfastworld.com - it's more of a directory. We handle the bookings and take a percentage as commission, although it's free to be listed. It's a new site which is part of Web Reservations International. WRI's main site is hostelworld, which has grown to be hugely popular in its market, although obviously the B&B market is very different, so I wwas just hoping to clean some information as to what a B&B owner/innkeeper looks for in a booking service. Are there certain major sites you have to sign up to to be seen, and what features attract you to the smaller ones?
Thanks for your responses!
 

JBloggs

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Yep, I'd definitely say the USA is years ahead of the UK and Ireland. We are based in Dublin so most of our properties are there, although we do have B&B's all over the world (particularly Italy!)
The site I work for is www.bedandbreakfastworld.com - it's more of a directory. We handle the bookings and take a percentage as commission, although it's free to be listed. It's a new site which is part of Web Reservations International. WRI's main site is hostelworld, which has grown to be hugely popular in its market, although obviously the B&B market is very different, so I wwas just hoping to clean some information as to what a B&B owner/innkeeper looks for in a booking service. Are there certain major sites you have to sign up to to be seen, and what features attract you to the smaller ones?
Thanks for your responses!.
Are there certain major sites you have to sign up to to be seen, and what features attract you to the smaller ones?
Yes, if I google certain search terms and your directory comes up then that it one I would like to be on. There are, as you know dozens and dozens on page 1 and 2 of google. If you are not found on those (primarily page one - meaning top 10 listings) then I won't sign up with your directory. Unless it is regional, then it would come up in my search for say Dublin/Ireland
 
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