Quantcast

Repeat Guest Percentage

INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

Help Support INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources:

SecondAct

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2008
Messages
150
Reaction score
0
What percentage of your business would you say is from repeat guests? I'm particularly interested in those inns that may be off the beaten path a bit. The innkeeper may have really pulled out all the stops to market their inn to sell people on the fact that it's worth going out of their way to stay there. Maybe they create a draw where one did not exist and that brings people in the first time around, but is it equally effective in bringing them back again? On the other hand, if your inn is in a tourist-y area that people tend to return to, do you get repeat business due to this or do you still have to market as hard to get the repeat guests?
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
We never expected to get repeat business. We are in a tourist area and we get new people coming here all the time. We did have a few repeats over the years..but they were the minority. It is just the way we are as well. We NEVER stay at the same place twice..unless we REALLY were attracted to something there. I have only stayed at one place 3 times and that was because we were interested in perhaps buying it.
I know there are some here who have steady repeat business and I believe it is a result of their location and that the guest liked the service they received and the price was right:)
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,321
Reaction score
181
High tourist traffic area (but not the highest area in the state). Check the thread about the perks of being a repeat. ("We have privileges!") We run between 25-30% repeats in any given year. We LOST a lot of the PO's repeat traffic for probably the exact reason our repeats come back. (Privileges) We weren't about to extend courtesies to people we didn't even know. And especially when we were getting, 'Oh, we've been coming there every year and we get a big discount.' Funny how I could never find those names anywhere. We still get that from guests whose last visit was in 1998. They are surprised they missed the interim innkeepers!
Now, as to losing the PO's repeat guests...we GAINED the repeat guests of other inns that changed hands and went thru the same thing we did...long-time guests who thought they could continue the same 'privileges' they had prior to the new ownership. So, they jumped ship and came here. New start for them, they didn't expect their old privileges and it works out.
Because there is a lot of B&B competition in this area (not as bad as some areas, tho), we do have to have a 'program' to keep the guests returning. They could just as easily go 2 steps in either direction and have a nice B&B experience. I don't advertise this program and even long-time repeats seem startled by the discount when they see it.
So, the perks...discounts, presents, privileges (define how you will- we let guests check in late without worrying about them) and, of course, our smiling faces.
We know we have former guests of other places because after 2-3 times here they tell us. "We used to stay at..." and then they tell us why they don't stay there anymore. THAT really helps.
Reasons guests move on (besides novelty)...new owners, building maintenance declines (this includes everything the guest touches or sees), breakfast fails to interest them, owner burnout (ie- you stop being charming and take them for granted), the area changes (ie- a 7-11 goes in across the street).
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
3,893
Reaction score
0
We have well over 50% first time B&B goers. We initiate them into the B&B thang then send em all on to you all. They love it they can't wait to go to another B&B.
For this, we do not have many repeats.
Guests this morning were married last night, they had the full treatment here. She took everything she could with our name on it for her scrapbook. If they come back on an anniversary that would be nice, but I would never do that, would you? I would savory the memory. But that is me, I never go two places twice, ever.
I have been to Hawaii many times, each time a different island, never the same. I would never go back, altho I loved each spot! Tourist islands have run out and now I am east coast so I go south to the islands in the Carib.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,321
Reaction score
181
We have well over 50% first time B&B goers. We initiate them into the B&B thang then send em all on to you all. They love it they can't wait to go to another B&B.
For this, we do not have many repeats.
Guests this morning were married last night, they had the full treatment here. She took everything she could with our name on it for her scrapbook. If they come back on an anniversary that would be nice, but I would never do that, would you? I would savory the memory. But that is me, I never go two places twice, ever.
I have been to Hawaii many times, each time a different island, never the same. I would never go back, altho I loved each spot! Tourist islands have run out and now I am east coast so I go south to the islands in the Carib..
Did you try the GC for their anniversary? I've done that with one couple. Who knows if they'll use it or not. It was for 'your next stay' so could be 10th anniversary or next week.
 

YellowSocks

Well-known member
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
2,179
Reaction score
13
We're new, so it's hard to say... but we're pushing for repeats as much as we can.
This weekend we had a couple here for a wedding.... unless they finds themselves in Ohio we'll never see them again. The other couple came to see their daughter in a play at the university. Too bad she's a senior! But they're already talking about coming back in a few weeks (maybe), and in the spring (definitely), and probably for graduation. I think as we get more established we'll have more repeats like that. At my aspiring seminar Kathleen's friend (near a college) told me that if they find you when their kid's a freshman you'll have them for the entire four years. I have one lady who came this fall for parent's weekend.... she emailed me to say her son had selected Ashland, and that she's looking forward to coming here again. (YAY!)
We also have people come to attend a five day seminar at our seminary. Many only do it once, but we've had a few repeats from that already, too.
I've returned to a B&B for no other reason than that I liked the innkeeper. When she moved on (she wasn't the owner) we didn't go back again.
We returned to the place we spent our wedding night earlier this month... 20 years after we got married, but we went back! (Actually, if I'd been living in Ohio all along, we may have gone their sooner.)
=)
Kk.
 

SecondAct

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2008
Messages
150
Reaction score
0
I think in a college/university town, even if you don't get the guests until their student is a junior or senior, you may still benefit from a semi-repeat business from personal referrals, whereas other inns who are servicing guests with no common connections are less likely to benefit from that. I guess this brings us back to the location, location, location topic.
BTW, I did read the other thread regarding "We have privileges ..." and LOVE that idea. Large chain hotels do this with their "club" memberships and discounts, but I really prefer the privileges approach ... very personal, very touching actually.
 

Suzie Q

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
428
Reaction score
0
We've gotten a handful of repeats and a few referrals. As one innkeeper said, "we don't stay in the same place twice." Too many new inns to discover.
Carol
 

seashanty

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
5,702
Reaction score
20
i got repeats - but there are only 2 places to stay in the village.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,321
Reaction score
181
We've gotten a handful of repeats and a few referrals. As one innkeeper said, "we don't stay in the same place twice." Too many new inns to discover.
Carol.
remnjava said:
We've gotten a handful of repeats and a few referrals. As one innkeeper said, "we don't stay in the same place twice." Too many new inns to discover.
Carol
Many of my repeats are staying here to go elsewhere. Tough, but that's the way it is. THAT'S something I do...when traveling from VT to NC, we always stayed in the same hotel (dog-friendly). It's not that I liked the noise and the roaches, but they took dogs, easy-on, easy-off the interstate and a decent restaurant (that no one seems to know the name of) within 10 miles.
When I used to go to ME on vacation, I found a place I liked and went there all the time. Convenient, I knew where things were and I felt comfortable.
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,536
Reaction score
109
I have a few repeat guests but not enough to qualify as a per cent of anything. I am in a place where they are traveling through of adding another been there/done that to their list. I am more likely to get repeats on horse people because I am one of the few places they can overnight. I have about 10 people who keep coing back because they like us and look at this place as their retreat.
 

SecondAct

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 12, 2008
Messages
150
Reaction score
0
I have a few repeat guests but not enough to qualify as a per cent of anything. I am in a place where they are traveling through of adding another been there/done that to their list. I am more likely to get repeats on horse people because I am one of the few places they can overnight. I have about 10 people who keep coing back because they like us and look at this place as their retreat..
Kathleen, you are one of the people I was hoping would answer. I've gathered from your other posts that your location is not a destination in itself but you've worked hard to make people aware of what your area has to offer and entice them to give it a try. I was curious as to whether those efforts had repeat benefits or if it's always the new guest that you're able to reach. Thanks for your input.
 

inncogneeto

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 31, 2008
Messages
189
Reaction score
0
We've had some repeats, mostly those visiting family in town, who used to stay at another B&B that closed (retired but kept the house) and we are the one B&B in town that is most like that B&B...Some that have also come back for special event/festival dates...
They get the perks! Lowest rate, gifties, priveleges... We love them!
 

greyswan

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
625
Reaction score
0
We show a 13% repeat business.... mostly from a conference here 2 times a year, Fort Pickett contractors, business guests, and family reunions each year.
 

JunieBJones (JBJ)

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
3,893
Reaction score
0
Repeats we have are college related, annual reunions, church homecomings, or special events. But not enough to really count for anything imo, I could fill those rooms easily on those times they are here. "Peak periods" I do have a couple from the UK coming back in May. But that is very rare. MY GOAL is not to get repeats, at all, does that surprise you? My goal is to EXTEND the stays they already have. I spoke to our so-called tourism dept about this. Staying one night enroute does not equate to $$ spending locally. Get them here two nights and imagine the possibilities!
 

gillumhouse

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Supporting Member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
15,536
Reaction score
109
Repeats we have are college related, annual reunions, church homecomings, or special events. But not enough to really count for anything imo, I could fill those rooms easily on those times they are here. "Peak periods" I do have a couple from the UK coming back in May. But that is very rare. MY GOAL is not to get repeats, at all, does that surprise you? My goal is to EXTEND the stays they already have. I spoke to our so-called tourism dept about this. Staying one night enroute does not equate to $$ spending locally. Get them here two nights and imagine the possibilities!.
My goal is to EXTEND the stays they already have
Exactly! that is why I offer a third night for a VERY discounted price. If I can cover my expenses with the third night rate. I have a nice profit in my pocket from the first two nights.. If I can get a 4th night!! manna from heaven - but I am quite satisfied with 3.
 

seashanty

Moderator
Staff member
Moderator
Joined
Jun 2, 2008
Messages
5,702
Reaction score
20
i took an innkeeping seminar in 2005. something that stuck with me was:
turn shoppers into guests
turn guests into repeaters
turn repeaters into boosters (boosters are guests who tell others to stay with you)
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,321
Reaction score
181
i took an innkeeping seminar in 2005. something that stuck with me was:
turn shoppers into guests
turn guests into repeaters
turn repeaters into boosters (boosters are guests who tell others to stay with you).
seashanty said:
i took an innkeeping seminar in 2005. something that stuck with me was:
turn shoppers into guests
turn guests into repeaters
turn repeaters into boosters (boosters are guests who tell others to stay with you)
We've had a few guests say that friends referred them. I always ask for the friends' names so I can thank them. When I look up the friends' names, they didn't stay with us. Not sure if they stayed elsewhere, or stayed years ago with any of the PO's. We'll take them anyway, but it's always embarassing to say, 'Hmmm, sounds familiar...'
 

happyjacks

Well-known member
Joined
May 30, 2008
Messages
493
Reaction score
0
SecondAct said:
What percentage of your business would you say is from repeat guests? I'm particularly interested in those inns that may be off the beaten path a bit. The innkeeper may have really pulled out all the stops to market their inn to sell people on the fact that it's worth going out of their way to stay there. Maybe they create a draw where one did not exist and that brings people in the first time around, but is it equally effective in bringing them back again? On the other hand, if your inn is in a tourist-y area that people tend to return to, do you get repeat business due to this or do you still have to market as hard to get the repeat guests?
35-40% of our business is from repeat guests.
We are definitely off the beaten path here. The 'big' town near us (20-25 minutes away) is a popular tourist town; and the big park near us (45 minutes) is a very big draw. BUT there are many B&B's in town or closer to the park or cheaper or finer or whatever... so we do work to draw people here and we court and we love our repeat guests.
Only one of them was from the previous owner. We very rarely get business travellers since we are not near any businesses. We're not near a university, college or summer camp, either.
So most of our repeat business is not from people who are returning to the area for external reasons. Some of the reasons we've found they come back here:
  • to experience a different season here. There are many different seasonal activities on site and around the region, most of them outdoorsy/light-adventure. Folks who go canoeing in the summer want to go hiking in the fall and snowshoeing in the winter.
  • to unwind in familiar surroundings. This is the "Cheers" factor that we discussed in another thread. These guests often come at the same time every year. They know what they like and figure "if it ain't broke don't fix it". For those of us who never go to the same place twice, this is almost incomprehensible, but there are MANY people out there like this. Think of them as low-risk folks who don't want to blow their precious vacation time on an unknown entity.
  • to showcase the country to visiting friends or family. They have friends/family visiting from overseas and want to give them an experience different from home, different from the city they are visiting. Again with the low-risk factor, they want to give their visitors a great experience; they don't want to take the chance on an untried destination which might not live up to expectations.
  • to bring friends or family for a party or reunion. They want to share their great find (us) and come back with a friend or two. We've had a number of guests who came here the first time just with their partner, then book the whole place for a girlfriend's getaway or family reunion. We also sell most of our GC's to people who have stayed here already and want to send a friend or relative.
  • to experience cottage country without a cottage. We have some multiple repeats who come back over and over, throughout the year even, because they love the cottage country area but don't want the hassle or expense of owning a cottage. Some have told us they don't even want to rent a cottage because the cooking/cleaning/shopping that goes with it is not their idea of a holiday.
  • to visit our dog.
These are the main reasons we've found. Depending on your location and setup, some of these might work for you too.
 
Top