Quantcast

Score: Hotels 96% to B&Bs 4% occupancy

INNspiring.com | Innkeeper Forum & Innkeeping Resources

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

Tim_Toad_HLB

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
585
Reaction score
0
So we've heard quite a bit about how we innkeepers need to do all these things to up the overall percentage of consumers choosing us over hotels.
Aside from some hopefully salient and logical observations I'll offer on why the score is so lopsided, feel free to pipe in on whether or not any of you feel its important to buy into every new bell and whistle technological solution being marketed to us to change the score more in our favor.
 

NW BB

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
309
Reaction score
0
96% to 4% of the traveling public. This number is skewed because there are FAR less B&Bs than hotel/motels. A better number would be to compare occupancy rates.
 

Tim_Toad_HLB

Well-known member
Joined
May 8, 2009
Messages
585
Reaction score
0
96% to 4% of the traveling public. This number is skewed because there are FAR less B&Bs than hotel/motels. A better number would be to compare occupancy rates..
I introduced the topic to allow for all variables, ideas, solutions, explanations, etc. to freely flow and hopefully for the benefit of spurring new ideas for our fellow contributors from the B&B directory sites.
Thanks for starting things off with a good idea.
A couple very obvious ones for me come from a response I gave to JBanczak in another thread.
"Only 4% of consumers stay at B&B's. Why?"
"Because the small, modern, professionally run B&B is a relative newcomer to the lodging world as compared to the corporately owned and heavily marketed world of hotels and motels.
The sheer independence of and small size of B&Bs puts them at an extraordinary exposure and organizing disadvantage compared to the mega chains, multi-national hosptaility corporations, hotel associations, giant hospitality focused advertising firms, etc."
I'll try and dig up some revenue numbers for even just the top ten hotel corporations and their marketing budgets just to illustrate why the average consumer demographics skew the way they do.
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,352
Reaction score
224
I quoted that statistic to guests this morning who said they really don't like hotels anymore. They were surprised the number was so low but offered no reasons why they thought it was or how we could get more people to pick B&B's.
An all B&B/inn reservation system would help. An 'Expedia for B&B's' so we can get out of the hotel category. If the complaint is that it's too hard to find a B&B or look at all the websites or try to book one, then having a system that allows guests to sort by whatever they want (state, town, large, small) would allow those who chose to jump on that bandwagon a bigger piece of the pie. But it might also pull more guests toward a B&B.
However, that's only part of it. Because guests have to be looking for B&B's to start with. Which is where PAII's national campaign may come in.
In spite of the number of people who say they won't stay at a B&B because they don't know what they're going to get, how many really, really bad reviews are out there for hotels with a corporate logo over the door. FAR, far more than for B&B's. The guest may THINK they know what's in store because there's a logo, but all that gets them is cold comfort once they arrive and it's a dump.
 

egoodell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
3,023
Reaction score
0
It could be that guests are having a hard time booking B&Bs because they are using Trip Advisor, where you can never find them.
Or they are using Expedia and all the other big booking sites that list us with a "reserve" button, and when you hit the reserve button they take you only to a list of hotels.
If they are looking for wine tours and B&Bs here they can find us just fine so long as they google the town and none of those big boys.
Riki
 

NW BB

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
309
Reaction score
0
96% to 4% of the traveling public. This number is skewed because there are FAR less B&Bs than hotel/motels. A better number would be to compare occupancy rates..
I introduced the topic to allow for all variables, ideas, solutions, explanations, etc. to freely flow and hopefully for the benefit of spurring new ideas for our fellow contributors from the B&B directory sites.
Thanks for starting things off with a good idea.
A couple very obvious ones for me come from a response I gave to JBanczak in another thread.
"Only 4% of consumers stay at B&B's. Why?"
"Because the small, modern, professionally run B&B is a relative newcomer to the lodging world as compared to the corporately owned and heavily marketed world of hotels and motels.
The sheer independence of and small size of B&Bs puts them at an extraordinary exposure and organizing disadvantage compared to the mega chains, multi-national hosptaility corporations, hotel associations, giant hospitality focused advertising firms, etc."
I'll try and dig up some revenue numbers for even just the top ten hotel corporations and their marketing budgets just to illustrate why the average consumer demographics skew the way they do.
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
First, let me say that I have very strong and mixed opinions about how bandb.com and other directories have brought our industry more to the forefront of the consumer. They have tried and been relatively successful in helping to bring B&Bs in to the mainstream. but at what price? A lot of us have spent major money adding the luxuries to our properties to create high end rooms, private baths, etc so we can compete with hotels. When I started my career as an innkeeper nearly 9 years ago there was not this pressure to have "hot deals", specials, commissions, and bargains. Too often those who want us to be in the mainstream encourage us to cheapen our rooms, play in the same ball park (expedia, hotels.com, etc) as the big boys. It's my opinion, and I know that some will disagree, that it has actually hurt us as an industry.
It was we innkeepers who transitioned the norm of a B&B from "granny's house" to what it is today, a high quality lodging choice. As you said, In most cases its not necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend.
So, the question is how do we inform the traveling public that we are here and we are a good fit for those who have never stayed at a B&B before?
The past few years I have been very successful in crossing over from the B&B crowd to the "mainstream". I get a huge percentage of guests who have never been to a B&B before and have chosen to stay with us because we offer the privacy they need along with the extra little details that can't be found in a hotel. I market to highlight the privacy. My B&B is not the "typical" B&B since we deliver breakfast to their room and we have created a different "feel" of a traditional B&B. This is what works for us and we have a much higher occupancy rate than the other B&Bs in our region.
I'm not looking down on or thinking negatively of any of you who are more traditional. This is what works for us....we seem to give the traveling public what they want....we have the numbers to prove it. We are all different.
Here's my suggestion; look at all the lodging establishments around where you live. Who is the busiest? Hotel? Motel? B&B? Camping? See if you can make adjustments to your place and/or change a few of your steadfast views of what a "B&B should be" and I think you'll take a bigger chunk out of the 96% of the hotel crowd.
At a conference I went to once, there was a speaker who said that you needed to look at the traveling public as if it were a pie. So, the wedge of pie for B&Bs is 4%. There are only two ways to increase the size of that wedge...either you have to get a bigger pie (not likely) or make your wedge bigger within that pie. For me, I choose to make my wedge bigger and that means grabbing those hotel people (NOT motel people), but to do that you have to offer them what they want.
Needless to say, that the only real way you can bring in more guests is to spend money on marketing. Spend wisely and it will pay off.
 

NW BB

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
309
Reaction score
0
It could be that guests are having a hard time booking B&Bs because they are using Trip Advisor, where you can never find them.
Or they are using Expedia and all the other big booking sites that list us with a "reserve" button, and when you hit the reserve button they take you only to a list of hotels.
If they are looking for wine tours and B&Bs here they can find us just fine so long as they google the town and none of those big boys.
Riki.
Egodell,
When you Google for wine tours (not B&B), does your website come up? If not, this is an area that good marketing & seo will make a big difference.
 

wendydk

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 7, 2009
Messages
1,656
Reaction score
0
96% to 4% of the traveling public. This number is skewed because there are FAR less B&Bs than hotel/motels. A better number would be to compare occupancy rates..
I introduced the topic to allow for all variables, ideas, solutions, explanations, etc. to freely flow and hopefully for the benefit of spurring new ideas for our fellow contributors from the B&B directory sites.
Thanks for starting things off with a good idea.
A couple very obvious ones for me come from a response I gave to JBanczak in another thread.
"Only 4% of consumers stay at B&B's. Why?"
"Because the small, modern, professionally run B&B is a relative newcomer to the lodging world as compared to the corporately owned and heavily marketed world of hotels and motels.
The sheer independence of and small size of B&Bs puts them at an extraordinary exposure and organizing disadvantage compared to the mega chains, multi-national hosptaility corporations, hotel associations, giant hospitality focused advertising firms, etc."
I'll try and dig up some revenue numbers for even just the top ten hotel corporations and their marketing budgets just to illustrate why the average consumer demographics skew the way they do.
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
First, let me say that I have very strong and mixed opinions about how bandb.com and other directories have brought our industry more to the forefront of the consumer. They have tried and been relatively successful in helping to bring B&Bs in to the mainstream. but at what price? A lot of us have spent major money adding the luxuries to our properties to create high end rooms, private baths, etc so we can compete with hotels. When I started my career as an innkeeper nearly 9 years ago there was not this pressure to have "hot deals", specials, commissions, and bargains. Too often those who want us to be in the mainstream encourage us to cheapen our rooms, play in the same ball park (expedia, hotels.com, etc) as the big boys. It's my opinion, and I know that some will disagree, that it has actually hurt us as an industry.
It was we innkeepers who transitioned the norm of a B&B from "granny's house" to what it is today, a high quality lodging choice. As you said, In most cases its not necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend.
So, the question is how do we inform the traveling public that we are here and we are a good fit for those who have never stayed at a B&B before?
The past few years I have been very successful in crossing over from the B&B crowd to the "mainstream". I get a huge percentage of guests who have never been to a B&B before and have chosen to stay with us because we offer the privacy they need along with the extra little details that can't be found in a hotel. I market to highlight the privacy. My B&B is not the "typical" B&B since we deliver breakfast to their room and we have created a different "feel" of a traditional B&B. This is what works for us and we have a much higher occupancy rate than the other B&Bs in our region.
I'm not looking down on or thinking negatively of any of you who are more traditional. This is what works for us....we seem to give the traveling public what they want....we have the numbers to prove it. We are all different.
Here's my suggestion; look at all the lodging establishments around where you live. Who is the busiest? Hotel? Motel? B&B? Camping? See if you can make adjustments to your place and/or change a few of your steadfast views of what a "B&B should be" and I think you'll take a bigger chunk out of the 96% of the hotel crowd.
At a conference I went to once, there was a speaker who said that you needed to look at the traveling public as if it were a pie. So, the wedge of pie for B&Bs is 4%. There are only two ways to increase the size of that wedge...either you have to get a bigger pie (not likely) or make your wedge bigger within that pie. For me, I choose to make my wedge bigger and that means grabbing those hotel people (NOT motel people), but to do that you have to offer them what they want.
Needless to say, that the only real way you can bring in more guests is to spend money on marketing. Spend wisely and it will pay off.
.
I agree to a certain extent, and I got tons of first-time B&Bers too. I've found that gearing my SEO to the attractions and activities in my area has helped tremendously. While some people see the website and like it, book, and THEN figure out what there is to do, by far the larger number know pretty much where they're going to go and what they're going to do, just not where they're going to stay.
Ours is a younger and highly active crowd so I promoe our proximity to the neighboring ski resort and the surrounding XX ski and snowshoe trails in the winter and the hiking trails, lakes and such during the warm season.
My opentracker shows me just how the use of area-related keywords that change with the season's activities have helped us. We get alot more traffic from that than from searches like "mycity bed and breakfast".
Just my two cents worth.
 

JBanczak

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
479
Reaction score
0
Keep in mind that the 4% number I keep quoting I believe is number of travelers who have ever tried a B&B, not an annual or occupancy number... There have to be more than 1 in 20 travelers who would make good B&B customers.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,352
Reaction score
224
96% to 4% of the traveling public. This number is skewed because there are FAR less B&Bs than hotel/motels. A better number would be to compare occupancy rates..
I introduced the topic to allow for all variables, ideas, solutions, explanations, etc. to freely flow and hopefully for the benefit of spurring new ideas for our fellow contributors from the B&B directory sites.
Thanks for starting things off with a good idea.
A couple very obvious ones for me come from a response I gave to JBanczak in another thread.
"Only 4% of consumers stay at B&B's. Why?"
"Because the small, modern, professionally run B&B is a relative newcomer to the lodging world as compared to the corporately owned and heavily marketed world of hotels and motels.
The sheer independence of and small size of B&Bs puts them at an extraordinary exposure and organizing disadvantage compared to the mega chains, multi-national hosptaility corporations, hotel associations, giant hospitality focused advertising firms, etc."
I'll try and dig up some revenue numbers for even just the top ten hotel corporations and their marketing budgets just to illustrate why the average consumer demographics skew the way they do.
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
First, let me say that I have very strong and mixed opinions about how bandb.com and other directories have brought our industry more to the forefront of the consumer. They have tried and been relatively successful in helping to bring B&Bs in to the mainstream. but at what price? A lot of us have spent major money adding the luxuries to our properties to create high end rooms, private baths, etc so we can compete with hotels. When I started my career as an innkeeper nearly 9 years ago there was not this pressure to have "hot deals", specials, commissions, and bargains. Too often those who want us to be in the mainstream encourage us to cheapen our rooms, play in the same ball park (expedia, hotels.com, etc) as the big boys. It's my opinion, and I know that some will disagree, that it has actually hurt us as an industry.
It was we innkeepers who transitioned the norm of a B&B from "granny's house" to what it is today, a high quality lodging choice. As you said, In most cases its not necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend.
So, the question is how do we inform the traveling public that we are here and we are a good fit for those who have never stayed at a B&B before?
The past few years I have been very successful in crossing over from the B&B crowd to the "mainstream". I get a huge percentage of guests who have never been to a B&B before and have chosen to stay with us because we offer the privacy they need along with the extra little details that can't be found in a hotel. I market to highlight the privacy. My B&B is not the "typical" B&B since we deliver breakfast to their room and we have created a different "feel" of a traditional B&B. This is what works for us and we have a much higher occupancy rate than the other B&Bs in our region.
I'm not looking down on or thinking negatively of any of you who are more traditional. This is what works for us....we seem to give the traveling public what they want....we have the numbers to prove it. We are all different.
Here's my suggestion; look at all the lodging establishments around where you live. Who is the busiest? Hotel? Motel? B&B? Camping? See if you can make adjustments to your place and/or change a few of your steadfast views of what a "B&B should be" and I think you'll take a bigger chunk out of the 96% of the hotel crowd.
At a conference I went to once, there was a speaker who said that you needed to look at the traveling public as if it were a pie. So, the wedge of pie for B&Bs is 4%. There are only two ways to increase the size of that wedge...either you have to get a bigger pie (not likely) or make your wedge bigger within that pie. For me, I choose to make my wedge bigger and that means grabbing those hotel people (NOT motel people), but to do that you have to offer them what they want.
Needless to say, that the only real way you can bring in more guests is to spend money on marketing. Spend wisely and it will pay off.
.
I think it's great that you have found your niche. What's hard for me to understand (in my town) is how to get the guest to even think about a B&B when there are 7 chain hotels. What used to be our corner of the market, the 'walkability' of our location was severely undercut when the town allowed a huge chain hotel to build right in the center of downtown, where they had been 'forbidden' for years.
THAT'S where our cut of the pie went. Because we don't have a pool and a lounge and a restaurant guests will now stay where they get all of that and the ease of walking to everything. Trying to recoup that has been uphill all the way.
 

NW BB

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
309
Reaction score
0
96% to 4% of the traveling public. This number is skewed because there are FAR less B&Bs than hotel/motels. A better number would be to compare occupancy rates..
I introduced the topic to allow for all variables, ideas, solutions, explanations, etc. to freely flow and hopefully for the benefit of spurring new ideas for our fellow contributors from the B&B directory sites.
Thanks for starting things off with a good idea.
A couple very obvious ones for me come from a response I gave to JBanczak in another thread.
"Only 4% of consumers stay at B&B's. Why?"
"Because the small, modern, professionally run B&B is a relative newcomer to the lodging world as compared to the corporately owned and heavily marketed world of hotels and motels.
The sheer independence of and small size of B&Bs puts them at an extraordinary exposure and organizing disadvantage compared to the mega chains, multi-national hosptaility corporations, hotel associations, giant hospitality focused advertising firms, etc."
I'll try and dig up some revenue numbers for even just the top ten hotel corporations and their marketing budgets just to illustrate why the average consumer demographics skew the way they do.
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
First, let me say that I have very strong and mixed opinions about how bandb.com and other directories have brought our industry more to the forefront of the consumer. They have tried and been relatively successful in helping to bring B&Bs in to the mainstream. but at what price? A lot of us have spent major money adding the luxuries to our properties to create high end rooms, private baths, etc so we can compete with hotels. When I started my career as an innkeeper nearly 9 years ago there was not this pressure to have "hot deals", specials, commissions, and bargains. Too often those who want us to be in the mainstream encourage us to cheapen our rooms, play in the same ball park (expedia, hotels.com, etc) as the big boys. It's my opinion, and I know that some will disagree, that it has actually hurt us as an industry.
It was we innkeepers who transitioned the norm of a B&B from "granny's house" to what it is today, a high quality lodging choice. As you said, In most cases its not necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend.
So, the question is how do we inform the traveling public that we are here and we are a good fit for those who have never stayed at a B&B before?
The past few years I have been very successful in crossing over from the B&B crowd to the "mainstream". I get a huge percentage of guests who have never been to a B&B before and have chosen to stay with us because we offer the privacy they need along with the extra little details that can't be found in a hotel. I market to highlight the privacy. My B&B is not the "typical" B&B since we deliver breakfast to their room and we have created a different "feel" of a traditional B&B. This is what works for us and we have a much higher occupancy rate than the other B&Bs in our region.
I'm not looking down on or thinking negatively of any of you who are more traditional. This is what works for us....we seem to give the traveling public what they want....we have the numbers to prove it. We are all different.
Here's my suggestion; look at all the lodging establishments around where you live. Who is the busiest? Hotel? Motel? B&B? Camping? See if you can make adjustments to your place and/or change a few of your steadfast views of what a "B&B should be" and I think you'll take a bigger chunk out of the 96% of the hotel crowd.
At a conference I went to once, there was a speaker who said that you needed to look at the traveling public as if it were a pie. So, the wedge of pie for B&Bs is 4%. There are only two ways to increase the size of that wedge...either you have to get a bigger pie (not likely) or make your wedge bigger within that pie. For me, I choose to make my wedge bigger and that means grabbing those hotel people (NOT motel people), but to do that you have to offer them what they want.
Needless to say, that the only real way you can bring in more guests is to spend money on marketing. Spend wisely and it will pay off.
.
I agree to a certain extent, and I got tons of first-time B&Bers too. I've found that gearing my SEO to the attractions and activities in my area has helped tremendously. While some people see the website and like it, book, and THEN figure out what there is to do, by far the larger number know pretty much where they're going to go and what they're going to do, just not where they're going to stay.
Ours is a younger and highly active crowd so I promoe our proximity to the neighboring ski resort and the surrounding XX ski and snowshoe trails in the winter and the hiking trails, lakes and such during the warm season.
My opentracker shows me just how the use of area-related keywords that change with the season's activities have helped us. We get alot more traffic from that than from searches like "mycity bed and breakfast".
Just my two cents worth.
.
Little Blue said:
I agree to a certain extent, and I got tons of first-time B&Bers too. I've found that gearing my SEO to the attractions and activities in my area has helped tremendously. While some people see the website and like it, book, and THEN figure out what there is to do, by far the larger number know pretty much where they're going to go and what they're going to do, just not where they're going to stay.
Ours is a younger and highly active crowd so I promoe our proximity to the neighboring ski resort and the surrounding XX ski and snowshoe trails in the winter and the hiking trails, lakes and such during the warm season.
My opentracker shows me just how the use of area-related keywords that change with the season's activities have helped us. We get alot more traffic from that than from searches like "mycity bed and breakfast".
Just my two cents worth.
Exactly! Promoting your proximity is a great strategy. That's a great way to nab those folks who are looking to come to your area. Once they see your website, hopefully they will see the special service and unique lodging choice. This is a great example of not just promoting yourself as a B&B. With the help of Acorn-IS (my web design & seo company) we are now on the 1st page when Googling xxxxcoast lodging! This is a huge accomplishment since we're playing with the big boys for those key words. We have to get our website seen by those who have never stayed at a B&B before they will ever book with us.
 

egoodell

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 1, 2008
Messages
3,023
Reaction score
0
It could be that guests are having a hard time booking B&Bs because they are using Trip Advisor, where you can never find them.
Or they are using Expedia and all the other big booking sites that list us with a "reserve" button, and when you hit the reserve button they take you only to a list of hotels.
If they are looking for wine tours and B&Bs here they can find us just fine so long as they google the town and none of those big boys.
Riki.
Egodell,
When you Google for wine tours (not B&B), does your website come up? If not, this is an area that good marketing & seo will make a big difference.
.
NW BB said:
Egodell,
When you Google for wine tours (not B&B), does your website come up? If not, this is an area that good marketing & seo will make a big difference.
The B&B is riding the coattails of the Wine Tour company. I've been touring for 6 years and the B&B is in it's second year. I get good placement by calling it "Arcady Vineyard Wine Tours and B&B"
Otherwise I would be buried by all the other older B&Bs in my area that have over 350 Tripadvisor Reviews and pay for placement.
It's not because I'm so smart in making my website. I'm an amateur. They don't give classes here execept for on Saturdays and we're always touring that day.
It's because I had a once-in-a-lifetime glimmer of intelligence that hit me over the head with a hammer which had me list my business "Wine tours & B&B" in the Google Business listing thingy that comes up first. So I come up with tours and with B&Bs.
The only reason the tour website comes up so high is that there is nobody who does ESCORTED all inclusive priced tours. The others are a part time guy who does not always answer his email and limos who don't answer unless you are contacting them to book. And I am working hard to get Yahoo Travel reviews on my tours. TripAdvisor will not allow reviews of tours. Must not bring them any money, or they don't own any tour companies...
RIki
 

SweetiePie

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
614
Reaction score
0
GreenFireTimes.com wants to keep up with you on Twitter. Now we are being solicited to Twitter even when we are not nor have any intention of ever doing it.
 

NW BB

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
309
Reaction score
0
96% to 4% of the traveling public. This number is skewed because there are FAR less B&Bs than hotel/motels. A better number would be to compare occupancy rates..
I introduced the topic to allow for all variables, ideas, solutions, explanations, etc. to freely flow and hopefully for the benefit of spurring new ideas for our fellow contributors from the B&B directory sites.
Thanks for starting things off with a good idea.
A couple very obvious ones for me come from a response I gave to JBanczak in another thread.
"Only 4% of consumers stay at B&B's. Why?"
"Because the small, modern, professionally run B&B is a relative newcomer to the lodging world as compared to the corporately owned and heavily marketed world of hotels and motels.
The sheer independence of and small size of B&Bs puts them at an extraordinary exposure and organizing disadvantage compared to the mega chains, multi-national hosptaility corporations, hotel associations, giant hospitality focused advertising firms, etc."
I'll try and dig up some revenue numbers for even just the top ten hotel corporations and their marketing budgets just to illustrate why the average consumer demographics skew the way they do.
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
First, let me say that I have very strong and mixed opinions about how bandb.com and other directories have brought our industry more to the forefront of the consumer. They have tried and been relatively successful in helping to bring B&Bs in to the mainstream. but at what price? A lot of us have spent major money adding the luxuries to our properties to create high end rooms, private baths, etc so we can compete with hotels. When I started my career as an innkeeper nearly 9 years ago there was not this pressure to have "hot deals", specials, commissions, and bargains. Too often those who want us to be in the mainstream encourage us to cheapen our rooms, play in the same ball park (expedia, hotels.com, etc) as the big boys. It's my opinion, and I know that some will disagree, that it has actually hurt us as an industry.
It was we innkeepers who transitioned the norm of a B&B from "granny's house" to what it is today, a high quality lodging choice. As you said, In most cases its not necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend.
So, the question is how do we inform the traveling public that we are here and we are a good fit for those who have never stayed at a B&B before?
The past few years I have been very successful in crossing over from the B&B crowd to the "mainstream". I get a huge percentage of guests who have never been to a B&B before and have chosen to stay with us because we offer the privacy they need along with the extra little details that can't be found in a hotel. I market to highlight the privacy. My B&B is not the "typical" B&B since we deliver breakfast to their room and we have created a different "feel" of a traditional B&B. This is what works for us and we have a much higher occupancy rate than the other B&Bs in our region.
I'm not looking down on or thinking negatively of any of you who are more traditional. This is what works for us....we seem to give the traveling public what they want....we have the numbers to prove it. We are all different.
Here's my suggestion; look at all the lodging establishments around where you live. Who is the busiest? Hotel? Motel? B&B? Camping? See if you can make adjustments to your place and/or change a few of your steadfast views of what a "B&B should be" and I think you'll take a bigger chunk out of the 96% of the hotel crowd.
At a conference I went to once, there was a speaker who said that you needed to look at the traveling public as if it were a pie. So, the wedge of pie for B&Bs is 4%. There are only two ways to increase the size of that wedge...either you have to get a bigger pie (not likely) or make your wedge bigger within that pie. For me, I choose to make my wedge bigger and that means grabbing those hotel people (NOT motel people), but to do that you have to offer them what they want.
Needless to say, that the only real way you can bring in more guests is to spend money on marketing. Spend wisely and it will pay off.
.
I think it's great that you have found your niche. What's hard for me to understand (in my town) is how to get the guest to even think about a B&B when there are 7 chain hotels. What used to be our corner of the market, the 'walkability' of our location was severely undercut when the town allowed a huge chain hotel to build right in the center of downtown, where they had been 'forbidden' for years.
THAT'S where our cut of the pie went. Because we don't have a pool and a lounge and a restaurant guests will now stay where they get all of that and the ease of walking to everything. Trying to recoup that has been uphill all the way.
.
Bree said:
I think it's great that you have found your niche. What's hard for me to understand (in my town) is how to get the guest to even think about a B&B when there are 7 chain hotels. What used to be our corner of the market, the 'walkability' of our location was severely undercut when the town allowed a huge chain hotel to build right in the center of downtown, where they had been 'forbidden' for years.
THAT'S where our cut of the pie went. Because we don't have a pool and a lounge and a restaurant guests will now stay where they get all of that and the ease of walking to everything. Trying to recoup that has been uphill all the way.
That is a struggle. There is a town south of me about 1/2 hour that is wall to wall cheap hotels, motel & vacation rentals. There are 5 or 6 B&Bs there and most do pretty well but it does put a different dynamic on the situation. In your town is there a Y or some other public club/spa/gym that you can partner with so your guests can use their facilities?
I would probably try to promote the B&B as a place to stay where they are not a nameless, faceless person, but will receive better than hotel amenities and where they will feel special and pampered.
When you do a Google search for your area (not B&B), does your website appear at all? If not, I would work on that and really try to work the seo for keywords for your area.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,352
Reaction score
224
96% to 4% of the traveling public. This number is skewed because there are FAR less B&Bs than hotel/motels. A better number would be to compare occupancy rates..
I introduced the topic to allow for all variables, ideas, solutions, explanations, etc. to freely flow and hopefully for the benefit of spurring new ideas for our fellow contributors from the B&B directory sites.
Thanks for starting things off with a good idea.
A couple very obvious ones for me come from a response I gave to JBanczak in another thread.
"Only 4% of consumers stay at B&B's. Why?"
"Because the small, modern, professionally run B&B is a relative newcomer to the lodging world as compared to the corporately owned and heavily marketed world of hotels and motels.
The sheer independence of and small size of B&Bs puts them at an extraordinary exposure and organizing disadvantage compared to the mega chains, multi-national hosptaility corporations, hotel associations, giant hospitality focused advertising firms, etc."
I'll try and dig up some revenue numbers for even just the top ten hotel corporations and their marketing budgets just to illustrate why the average consumer demographics skew the way they do.
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
First, let me say that I have very strong and mixed opinions about how bandb.com and other directories have brought our industry more to the forefront of the consumer. They have tried and been relatively successful in helping to bring B&Bs in to the mainstream. but at what price? A lot of us have spent major money adding the luxuries to our properties to create high end rooms, private baths, etc so we can compete with hotels. When I started my career as an innkeeper nearly 9 years ago there was not this pressure to have "hot deals", specials, commissions, and bargains. Too often those who want us to be in the mainstream encourage us to cheapen our rooms, play in the same ball park (expedia, hotels.com, etc) as the big boys. It's my opinion, and I know that some will disagree, that it has actually hurt us as an industry.
It was we innkeepers who transitioned the norm of a B&B from "granny's house" to what it is today, a high quality lodging choice. As you said, In most cases its not necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend.
So, the question is how do we inform the traveling public that we are here and we are a good fit for those who have never stayed at a B&B before?
The past few years I have been very successful in crossing over from the B&B crowd to the "mainstream". I get a huge percentage of guests who have never been to a B&B before and have chosen to stay with us because we offer the privacy they need along with the extra little details that can't be found in a hotel. I market to highlight the privacy. My B&B is not the "typical" B&B since we deliver breakfast to their room and we have created a different "feel" of a traditional B&B. This is what works for us and we have a much higher occupancy rate than the other B&Bs in our region.
I'm not looking down on or thinking negatively of any of you who are more traditional. This is what works for us....we seem to give the traveling public what they want....we have the numbers to prove it. We are all different.
Here's my suggestion; look at all the lodging establishments around where you live. Who is the busiest? Hotel? Motel? B&B? Camping? See if you can make adjustments to your place and/or change a few of your steadfast views of what a "B&B should be" and I think you'll take a bigger chunk out of the 96% of the hotel crowd.
At a conference I went to once, there was a speaker who said that you needed to look at the traveling public as if it were a pie. So, the wedge of pie for B&Bs is 4%. There are only two ways to increase the size of that wedge...either you have to get a bigger pie (not likely) or make your wedge bigger within that pie. For me, I choose to make my wedge bigger and that means grabbing those hotel people (NOT motel people), but to do that you have to offer them what they want.
Needless to say, that the only real way you can bring in more guests is to spend money on marketing. Spend wisely and it will pay off.
.
I think it's great that you have found your niche. What's hard for me to understand (in my town) is how to get the guest to even think about a B&B when there are 7 chain hotels. What used to be our corner of the market, the 'walkability' of our location was severely undercut when the town allowed a huge chain hotel to build right in the center of downtown, where they had been 'forbidden' for years.
THAT'S where our cut of the pie went. Because we don't have a pool and a lounge and a restaurant guests will now stay where they get all of that and the ease of walking to everything. Trying to recoup that has been uphill all the way.
.
Bree said:
I think it's great that you have found your niche. What's hard for me to understand (in my town) is how to get the guest to even think about a B&B when there are 7 chain hotels. What used to be our corner of the market, the 'walkability' of our location was severely undercut when the town allowed a huge chain hotel to build right in the center of downtown, where they had been 'forbidden' for years.
THAT'S where our cut of the pie went. Because we don't have a pool and a lounge and a restaurant guests will now stay where they get all of that and the ease of walking to everything. Trying to recoup that has been uphill all the way.
That is a struggle. There is a town south of me about 1/2 hour that is wall to wall cheap hotels, motel & vacation rentals. There are 5 or 6 B&Bs there and most do pretty well but it does put a different dynamic on the situation. In your town is there a Y or some other public club/spa/gym that you can partner with so your guests can use their facilities?
I would probably try to promote the B&B as a place to stay where they are not a nameless, faceless person, but will receive better than hotel amenities and where they will feel special and pampered.
When you do a Google search for your area (not B&B), does your website appear at all? If not, I would work on that and really try to work the seo for keywords for your area.
.
I've had a lot of trouble with Google and my website. So, no, I don't show up until page 7, long after the guests have found all the hotels and all the other B&B's. If the guest is looking for a B&B, then yes, I'm right on page one, but not if they are just looking at the area in general. Luckily, I am listed on all the directory-type sites that show up before my own website does.
I'm not sure how to handle the issues with Google (the map pin moving, not updating when I've made changes, not listing my website URL correctly, a whole slew of ongoing issues). Latest one is that Google is now listing another completely different biz with my website link on the Local Map feature.
I've been working on SEO but until Google revisits my website it's not picking up any of the changes I've made in the last month. Even tho the cached page says it's from June 15, I made changes long before that that haven't been picked up.
 

NW BB

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 6, 2009
Messages
309
Reaction score
0
96% to 4% of the traveling public. This number is skewed because there are FAR less B&Bs than hotel/motels. A better number would be to compare occupancy rates..
I introduced the topic to allow for all variables, ideas, solutions, explanations, etc. to freely flow and hopefully for the benefit of spurring new ideas for our fellow contributors from the B&B directory sites.
Thanks for starting things off with a good idea.
A couple very obvious ones for me come from a response I gave to JBanczak in another thread.
"Only 4% of consumers stay at B&B's. Why?"
"Because the small, modern, professionally run B&B is a relative newcomer to the lodging world as compared to the corporately owned and heavily marketed world of hotels and motels.
The sheer independence of and small size of B&Bs puts them at an extraordinary exposure and organizing disadvantage compared to the mega chains, multi-national hosptaility corporations, hotel associations, giant hospitality focused advertising firms, etc."
I'll try and dig up some revenue numbers for even just the top ten hotel corporations and their marketing budgets just to illustrate why the average consumer demographics skew the way they do.
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
First, let me say that I have very strong and mixed opinions about how bandb.com and other directories have brought our industry more to the forefront of the consumer. They have tried and been relatively successful in helping to bring B&Bs in to the mainstream. but at what price? A lot of us have spent major money adding the luxuries to our properties to create high end rooms, private baths, etc so we can compete with hotels. When I started my career as an innkeeper nearly 9 years ago there was not this pressure to have "hot deals", specials, commissions, and bargains. Too often those who want us to be in the mainstream encourage us to cheapen our rooms, play in the same ball park (expedia, hotels.com, etc) as the big boys. It's my opinion, and I know that some will disagree, that it has actually hurt us as an industry.
It was we innkeepers who transitioned the norm of a B&B from "granny's house" to what it is today, a high quality lodging choice. As you said, In most cases its not necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend.
So, the question is how do we inform the traveling public that we are here and we are a good fit for those who have never stayed at a B&B before?
The past few years I have been very successful in crossing over from the B&B crowd to the "mainstream". I get a huge percentage of guests who have never been to a B&B before and have chosen to stay with us because we offer the privacy they need along with the extra little details that can't be found in a hotel. I market to highlight the privacy. My B&B is not the "typical" B&B since we deliver breakfast to their room and we have created a different "feel" of a traditional B&B. This is what works for us and we have a much higher occupancy rate than the other B&Bs in our region.
I'm not looking down on or thinking negatively of any of you who are more traditional. This is what works for us....we seem to give the traveling public what they want....we have the numbers to prove it. We are all different.
Here's my suggestion; look at all the lodging establishments around where you live. Who is the busiest? Hotel? Motel? B&B? Camping? See if you can make adjustments to your place and/or change a few of your steadfast views of what a "B&B should be" and I think you'll take a bigger chunk out of the 96% of the hotel crowd.
At a conference I went to once, there was a speaker who said that you needed to look at the traveling public as if it were a pie. So, the wedge of pie for B&Bs is 4%. There are only two ways to increase the size of that wedge...either you have to get a bigger pie (not likely) or make your wedge bigger within that pie. For me, I choose to make my wedge bigger and that means grabbing those hotel people (NOT motel people), but to do that you have to offer them what they want.
Needless to say, that the only real way you can bring in more guests is to spend money on marketing. Spend wisely and it will pay off.
.
I think it's great that you have found your niche. What's hard for me to understand (in my town) is how to get the guest to even think about a B&B when there are 7 chain hotels. What used to be our corner of the market, the 'walkability' of our location was severely undercut when the town allowed a huge chain hotel to build right in the center of downtown, where they had been 'forbidden' for years.
THAT'S where our cut of the pie went. Because we don't have a pool and a lounge and a restaurant guests will now stay where they get all of that and the ease of walking to everything. Trying to recoup that has been uphill all the way.
.
Bree said:
I think it's great that you have found your niche. What's hard for me to understand (in my town) is how to get the guest to even think about a B&B when there are 7 chain hotels. What used to be our corner of the market, the 'walkability' of our location was severely undercut when the town allowed a huge chain hotel to build right in the center of downtown, where they had been 'forbidden' for years.
THAT'S where our cut of the pie went. Because we don't have a pool and a lounge and a restaurant guests will now stay where they get all of that and the ease of walking to everything. Trying to recoup that has been uphill all the way.
That is a struggle. There is a town south of me about 1/2 hour that is wall to wall cheap hotels, motel & vacation rentals. There are 5 or 6 B&Bs there and most do pretty well but it does put a different dynamic on the situation. In your town is there a Y or some other public club/spa/gym that you can partner with so your guests can use their facilities?
I would probably try to promote the B&B as a place to stay where they are not a nameless, faceless person, but will receive better than hotel amenities and where they will feel special and pampered.
When you do a Google search for your area (not B&B), does your website appear at all? If not, I would work on that and really try to work the seo for keywords for your area.
.
I've had a lot of trouble with Google and my website. So, no, I don't show up until page 7, long after the guests have found all the hotels and all the other B&B's. If the guest is looking for a B&B, then yes, I'm right on page one, but not if they are just looking at the area in general. Luckily, I am listed on all the directory-type sites that show up before my own website does.
I'm not sure how to handle the issues with Google (the map pin moving, not updating when I've made changes, not listing my website URL correctly, a whole slew of ongoing issues). Latest one is that Google is now listing another completely different biz with my website link on the Local Map feature.
I've been working on SEO but until Google revisits my website it's not picking up any of the changes I've made in the last month. Even tho the cached page says it's from June 15, I made changes long before that that haven't been picked up.
.
It may be time for a professional to try to straighten things out. I know it costs $, but worth it in the long run.
 

swirt

Forum founder. Former Owner.
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
3,210
Reaction score
0
96% to 4% of the traveling public. This number is skewed because there are FAR less B&Bs than hotel/motels. A better number would be to compare occupancy rates..
I introduced the topic to allow for all variables, ideas, solutions, explanations, etc. to freely flow and hopefully for the benefit of spurring new ideas for our fellow contributors from the B&B directory sites.
Thanks for starting things off with a good idea.
A couple very obvious ones for me come from a response I gave to JBanczak in another thread.
"Only 4% of consumers stay at B&B's. Why?"
"Because the small, modern, professionally run B&B is a relative newcomer to the lodging world as compared to the corporately owned and heavily marketed world of hotels and motels.
The sheer independence of and small size of B&Bs puts them at an extraordinary exposure and organizing disadvantage compared to the mega chains, multi-national hosptaility corporations, hotel associations, giant hospitality focused advertising firms, etc."
I'll try and dig up some revenue numbers for even just the top ten hotel corporations and their marketing budgets just to illustrate why the average consumer demographics skew the way they do.
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
First, let me say that I have very strong and mixed opinions about how bandb.com and other directories have brought our industry more to the forefront of the consumer. They have tried and been relatively successful in helping to bring B&Bs in to the mainstream. but at what price? A lot of us have spent major money adding the luxuries to our properties to create high end rooms, private baths, etc so we can compete with hotels. When I started my career as an innkeeper nearly 9 years ago there was not this pressure to have "hot deals", specials, commissions, and bargains. Too often those who want us to be in the mainstream encourage us to cheapen our rooms, play in the same ball park (expedia, hotels.com, etc) as the big boys. It's my opinion, and I know that some will disagree, that it has actually hurt us as an industry.
It was we innkeepers who transitioned the norm of a B&B from "granny's house" to what it is today, a high quality lodging choice. As you said, In most cases its not necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend.
So, the question is how do we inform the traveling public that we are here and we are a good fit for those who have never stayed at a B&B before?
The past few years I have been very successful in crossing over from the B&B crowd to the "mainstream". I get a huge percentage of guests who have never been to a B&B before and have chosen to stay with us because we offer the privacy they need along with the extra little details that can't be found in a hotel. I market to highlight the privacy. My B&B is not the "typical" B&B since we deliver breakfast to their room and we have created a different "feel" of a traditional B&B. This is what works for us and we have a much higher occupancy rate than the other B&Bs in our region.
I'm not looking down on or thinking negatively of any of you who are more traditional. This is what works for us....we seem to give the traveling public what they want....we have the numbers to prove it. We are all different.
Here's my suggestion; look at all the lodging establishments around where you live. Who is the busiest? Hotel? Motel? B&B? Camping? See if you can make adjustments to your place and/or change a few of your steadfast views of what a "B&B should be" and I think you'll take a bigger chunk out of the 96% of the hotel crowd.
At a conference I went to once, there was a speaker who said that you needed to look at the traveling public as if it were a pie. So, the wedge of pie for B&Bs is 4%. There are only two ways to increase the size of that wedge...either you have to get a bigger pie (not likely) or make your wedge bigger within that pie. For me, I choose to make my wedge bigger and that means grabbing those hotel people (NOT motel people), but to do that you have to offer them what they want.
Needless to say, that the only real way you can bring in more guests is to spend money on marketing. Spend wisely and it will pay off.
.
I think it's great that you have found your niche. What's hard for me to understand (in my town) is how to get the guest to even think about a B&B when there are 7 chain hotels. What used to be our corner of the market, the 'walkability' of our location was severely undercut when the town allowed a huge chain hotel to build right in the center of downtown, where they had been 'forbidden' for years.
THAT'S where our cut of the pie went. Because we don't have a pool and a lounge and a restaurant guests will now stay where they get all of that and the ease of walking to everything. Trying to recoup that has been uphill all the way.
.
Bree said:
I think it's great that you have found your niche. What's hard for me to understand (in my town) is how to get the guest to even think about a B&B when there are 7 chain hotels. What used to be our corner of the market, the 'walkability' of our location was severely undercut when the town allowed a huge chain hotel to build right in the center of downtown, where they had been 'forbidden' for years.
THAT'S where our cut of the pie went. Because we don't have a pool and a lounge and a restaurant guests will now stay where they get all of that and the ease of walking to everything. Trying to recoup that has been uphill all the way.
That is a struggle. There is a town south of me about 1/2 hour that is wall to wall cheap hotels, motel & vacation rentals. There are 5 or 6 B&Bs there and most do pretty well but it does put a different dynamic on the situation. In your town is there a Y or some other public club/spa/gym that you can partner with so your guests can use their facilities?
I would probably try to promote the B&B as a place to stay where they are not a nameless, faceless person, but will receive better than hotel amenities and where they will feel special and pampered.
When you do a Google search for your area (not B&B), does your website appear at all? If not, I would work on that and really try to work the seo for keywords for your area.
.
I've had a lot of trouble with Google and my website. So, no, I don't show up until page 7, long after the guests have found all the hotels and all the other B&B's. If the guest is looking for a B&B, then yes, I'm right on page one, but not if they are just looking at the area in general. Luckily, I am listed on all the directory-type sites that show up before my own website does.
I'm not sure how to handle the issues with Google (the map pin moving, not updating when I've made changes, not listing my website URL correctly, a whole slew of ongoing issues). Latest one is that Google is now listing another completely different biz with my website link on the Local Map feature.
I've been working on SEO but until Google revisits my website it's not picking up any of the changes I've made in the last month. Even tho the cached page says it's from June 15, I made changes long before that that haven't been picked up.
.
Latest one is that Google is now listing another completely different biz with my website link on the Local Map feature.
I'm not seeing this for your site. Local listings are showing me the correct domain for your site.
I've been working on SEO but until Google revisits my website it's not picking up any of the changes I've made in the last month. Even tho the cached page says it's from June 15, I made changes long before that that haven't been picked up.
The cache date is for that page only, not the other pages of your site. Each page will have its own cache date.
 

swirt

Forum founder. Former Owner.
Joined
May 17, 2008
Messages
3,210
Reaction score
0
Keep in mind that the 4% number I keep quoting I believe is number of travelers who have ever tried a B&B, not an annual or occupancy number... There have to be more than 1 in 20 travelers who would make good B&B customers..
Was this from a sample of travellers or just a sample of people?
It would be interesting to know the converse....of that same sample, what percent have never tried a hotel ... what percentage have never tried a cottage rental... what percent have never rented a car ...what percent never camped in a tent. Not that the individual numbers would be all that interesting, but it would help put them all in perspective to one another.
I agree though, more people considering a B&B is the ideal.
 

JBanczak

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 25, 2008
Messages
479
Reaction score
0
96% to 4% of the traveling public. This number is skewed because there are FAR less B&Bs than hotel/motels. A better number would be to compare occupancy rates..
I introduced the topic to allow for all variables, ideas, solutions, explanations, etc. to freely flow and hopefully for the benefit of spurring new ideas for our fellow contributors from the B&B directory sites.
Thanks for starting things off with a good idea.
A couple very obvious ones for me come from a response I gave to JBanczak in another thread.
"Only 4% of consumers stay at B&B's. Why?"
"Because the small, modern, professionally run B&B is a relative newcomer to the lodging world as compared to the corporately owned and heavily marketed world of hotels and motels.
The sheer independence of and small size of B&Bs puts them at an extraordinary exposure and organizing disadvantage compared to the mega chains, multi-national hosptaility corporations, hotel associations, giant hospitality focused advertising firms, etc."
I'll try and dig up some revenue numbers for even just the top ten hotel corporations and their marketing budgets just to illustrate why the average consumer demographics skew the way they do.
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
First, let me say that I have very strong and mixed opinions about how bandb.com and other directories have brought our industry more to the forefront of the consumer. They have tried and been relatively successful in helping to bring B&Bs in to the mainstream. but at what price? A lot of us have spent major money adding the luxuries to our properties to create high end rooms, private baths, etc so we can compete with hotels. When I started my career as an innkeeper nearly 9 years ago there was not this pressure to have "hot deals", specials, commissions, and bargains. Too often those who want us to be in the mainstream encourage us to cheapen our rooms, play in the same ball park (expedia, hotels.com, etc) as the big boys. It's my opinion, and I know that some will disagree, that it has actually hurt us as an industry.
It was we innkeepers who transitioned the norm of a B&B from "granny's house" to what it is today, a high quality lodging choice. As you said, In most cases its not necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend.
So, the question is how do we inform the traveling public that we are here and we are a good fit for those who have never stayed at a B&B before?
The past few years I have been very successful in crossing over from the B&B crowd to the "mainstream". I get a huge percentage of guests who have never been to a B&B before and have chosen to stay with us because we offer the privacy they need along with the extra little details that can't be found in a hotel. I market to highlight the privacy. My B&B is not the "typical" B&B since we deliver breakfast to their room and we have created a different "feel" of a traditional B&B. This is what works for us and we have a much higher occupancy rate than the other B&Bs in our region.
I'm not looking down on or thinking negatively of any of you who are more traditional. This is what works for us....we seem to give the traveling public what they want....we have the numbers to prove it. We are all different.
Here's my suggestion; look at all the lodging establishments around where you live. Who is the busiest? Hotel? Motel? B&B? Camping? See if you can make adjustments to your place and/or change a few of your steadfast views of what a "B&B should be" and I think you'll take a bigger chunk out of the 96% of the hotel crowd.
At a conference I went to once, there was a speaker who said that you needed to look at the traveling public as if it were a pie. So, the wedge of pie for B&Bs is 4%. There are only two ways to increase the size of that wedge...either you have to get a bigger pie (not likely) or make your wedge bigger within that pie. For me, I choose to make my wedge bigger and that means grabbing those hotel people (NOT motel people), but to do that you have to offer them what they want.
Needless to say, that the only real way you can bring in more guests is to spend money on marketing. Spend wisely and it will pay off.
.
I think it's great that you have found your niche. What's hard for me to understand (in my town) is how to get the guest to even think about a B&B when there are 7 chain hotels. What used to be our corner of the market, the 'walkability' of our location was severely undercut when the town allowed a huge chain hotel to build right in the center of downtown, where they had been 'forbidden' for years.
THAT'S where our cut of the pie went. Because we don't have a pool and a lounge and a restaurant guests will now stay where they get all of that and the ease of walking to everything. Trying to recoup that has been uphill all the way.
.
Bree said:
What's hard for me to understand (in my town) is how to get the guest to even think about a B&B when there are 7 chain hotels.
What I am trying to say is that it is an industry thing - big reasons consumers don't think about B&B's are because they are under the impression that they are difficult to book, that they have such varied services levels and they don't find many consumer reviews on them, that credit card security is missing, etc. etc. Of course there are others like price, chain affinity, etc.
There are so many we can easily correct that at a minimum we can get rid of the advantage that large chains used to have on things like booking engines, distribution, consumer reviews, etc.
 

Morticia

Administrator
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
17,352
Reaction score
224
96% to 4% of the traveling public. This number is skewed because there are FAR less B&Bs than hotel/motels. A better number would be to compare occupancy rates..
I introduced the topic to allow for all variables, ideas, solutions, explanations, etc. to freely flow and hopefully for the benefit of spurring new ideas for our fellow contributors from the B&B directory sites.
Thanks for starting things off with a good idea.
A couple very obvious ones for me come from a response I gave to JBanczak in another thread.
"Only 4% of consumers stay at B&B's. Why?"
"Because the small, modern, professionally run B&B is a relative newcomer to the lodging world as compared to the corporately owned and heavily marketed world of hotels and motels.
The sheer independence of and small size of B&Bs puts them at an extraordinary exposure and organizing disadvantage compared to the mega chains, multi-national hosptaility corporations, hotel associations, giant hospitality focused advertising firms, etc."
I'll try and dig up some revenue numbers for even just the top ten hotel corporations and their marketing budgets just to illustrate why the average consumer demographics skew the way they do.
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
.
Tim_Toad_HLB said:
My bigger point in all of this is that it isn't necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend, its a classic david vs. goliath dynamic in my opinion. And one that has been in place in every economic sector since capitalism was created.
First, let me say that I have very strong and mixed opinions about how bandb.com and other directories have brought our industry more to the forefront of the consumer. They have tried and been relatively successful in helping to bring B&Bs in to the mainstream. but at what price? A lot of us have spent major money adding the luxuries to our properties to create high end rooms, private baths, etc so we can compete with hotels. When I started my career as an innkeeper nearly 9 years ago there was not this pressure to have "hot deals", specials, commissions, and bargains. Too often those who want us to be in the mainstream encourage us to cheapen our rooms, play in the same ball park (expedia, hotels.com, etc) as the big boys. It's my opinion, and I know that some will disagree, that it has actually hurt us as an industry.
It was we innkeepers who transitioned the norm of a B&B from "granny's house" to what it is today, a high quality lodging choice. As you said, In most cases its not necessarily deficiencies or glaring lack of consistency or quality on our parts that created the trend.
So, the question is how do we inform the traveling public that we are here and we are a good fit for those who have never stayed at a B&B before?
The past few years I have been very successful in crossing over from the B&B crowd to the "mainstream". I get a huge percentage of guests who have never been to a B&B before and have chosen to stay with us because we offer the privacy they need along with the extra little details that can't be found in a hotel. I market to highlight the privacy. My B&B is not the "typical" B&B since we deliver breakfast to their room and we have created a different "feel" of a traditional B&B. This is what works for us and we have a much higher occupancy rate than the other B&Bs in our region.
I'm not looking down on or thinking negatively of any of you who are more traditional. This is what works for us....we seem to give the traveling public what they want....we have the numbers to prove it. We are all different.
Here's my suggestion; look at all the lodging establishments around where you live. Who is the busiest? Hotel? Motel? B&B? Camping? See if you can make adjustments to your place and/or change a few of your steadfast views of what a "B&B should be" and I think you'll take a bigger chunk out of the 96% of the hotel crowd.
At a conference I went to once, there was a speaker who said that you needed to look at the traveling public as if it were a pie. So, the wedge of pie for B&Bs is 4%. There are only two ways to increase the size of that wedge...either you have to get a bigger pie (not likely) or make your wedge bigger within that pie. For me, I choose to make my wedge bigger and that means grabbing those hotel people (NOT motel people), but to do that you have to offer them what they want.
Needless to say, that the only real way you can bring in more guests is to spend money on marketing. Spend wisely and it will pay off.
.
I think it's great that you have found your niche. What's hard for me to understand (in my town) is how to get the guest to even think about a B&B when there are 7 chain hotels. What used to be our corner of the market, the 'walkability' of our location was severely undercut when the town allowed a huge chain hotel to build right in the center of downtown, where they had been 'forbidden' for years.
THAT'S where our cut of the pie went. Because we don't have a pool and a lounge and a restaurant guests will now stay where they get all of that and the ease of walking to everything. Trying to recoup that has been uphill all the way.
.
Bree said:
I think it's great that you have found your niche. What's hard for me to understand (in my town) is how to get the guest to even think about a B&B when there are 7 chain hotels. What used to be our corner of the market, the 'walkability' of our location was severely undercut when the town allowed a huge chain hotel to build right in the center of downtown, where they had been 'forbidden' for years.
THAT'S where our cut of the pie went. Because we don't have a pool and a lounge and a restaurant guests will now stay where they get all of that and the ease of walking to everything. Trying to recoup that has been uphill all the way.
That is a struggle. There is a town south of me about 1/2 hour that is wall to wall cheap hotels, motel & vacation rentals. There are 5 or 6 B&Bs there and most do pretty well but it does put a different dynamic on the situation. In your town is there a Y or some other public club/spa/gym that you can partner with so your guests can use their facilities?
I would probably try to promote the B&B as a place to stay where they are not a nameless, faceless person, but will receive better than hotel amenities and where they will feel special and pampered.
When you do a Google search for your area (not B&B), does your website appear at all? If not, I would work on that and really try to work the seo for keywords for your area.
.
I've had a lot of trouble with Google and my website. So, no, I don't show up until page 7, long after the guests have found all the hotels and all the other B&B's. If the guest is looking for a B&B, then yes, I'm right on page one, but not if they are just looking at the area in general. Luckily, I am listed on all the directory-type sites that show up before my own website does.
I'm not sure how to handle the issues with Google (the map pin moving, not updating when I've made changes, not listing my website URL correctly, a whole slew of ongoing issues). Latest one is that Google is now listing another completely different biz with my website link on the Local Map feature.
I've been working on SEO but until Google revisits my website it's not picking up any of the changes I've made in the last month. Even tho the cached page says it's from June 15, I made changes long before that that haven't been picked up.
.
Latest one is that Google is now listing another completely different biz with my website link on the Local Map feature.
I'm not seeing this for your site. Local listings are showing me the correct domain for your site.
I've been working on SEO but until Google revisits my website it's not picking up any of the changes I've made in the last month. Even tho the cached page says it's from June 15, I made changes long before that that haven't been picked up.
The cache date is for that page only, not the other pages of your site. Each page will have its own cache date.
.
Last listing on the local maps has my URL instead of their own URL. MY listing also has my URL. So, my URL is listed twice for 2 different businesses. I am dreading the day that Google decides that the sailing biz is really me and deletes MY listing and leaves theirs.
And that's the page I changed awhile ago but Google didn't pick up the changes and is still showing the old description.
 
Top