Why not display vacancies on your site ?

Bed & Breakfast / Short Term Rental Host Forum

Help Support Bed & Breakfast / Short Term Rental Host Forum:

phil56

New member
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
Hello,
We are regular customers of B&B's specially in France and UK.
We usually break a trip in 2 legs and need to find a room in a given area available at a given date ... and it's always late notice !
Our usual process is this one:
- use all kind of means to find links to B&B websites (search engines, directories, tourist offices, B&B we already know, etc)
- browse these websites to see which offer seems the most appealing
- call or send a mail to inquire about vacancies
Sometimes it takes a lot of calls and disappointments (sorry no vacancies) before we actually book something.
So, I was wondering why there is no 'vacancies / no vacancies' sign on your website while there is nearly always one in front of your building ?
From my traveller's perspective, it would be so much quicker not to spend time on a website if I know that there is no vacancy for the date I want.
Thanks for you views on this subject
Update:
Thanks to all for your views ... I certainly don't want this thread to turn into an argument.

You should not take my question literally. What I mean is: it would be easier for me if all B&B had a way to simply display their availibility (whatever the means ... the vacancy/no vacancy sign is just a 'hardware' image).
I see that there are roughly 2 cases:
1. B&B using a reservation system: my question is not for them because their reservation system usually let you check the availability ... excellent.
2. B&B not using a reservation system. In this case it seems that we have a cultural diffence: the U.S. seem to systematically display their availability, Europe (certainly France) don't.
I have been inspired (should I say innspired here) and searched the web: there are some services which seem ok (simple and cheap) to display availability calendars without going through a reservation system (that must take a fair bit or your bookings I imagine) ...
As somebody (Alibi) mentionned, the best is just to mention it every time: no vacancy ? why don't you show an availability calendar so that we both save time ?
Anyway, apart from the times where an area get fully booked because of circumstances (mainly holiday departures and popular local events), I don't mind a nice chat on the phone to inquire about availabilities ... I always get there in the end
Nice summer everyone
 

Don Draper

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 10, 2008
Messages
2,863
Reaction score
1
I'm lucky if I have time to change my Vacancy/No Vacany sign in front of the Inn on a daily basis, I certainly wouldn't have time to change it on our website every day! We have an availability calendar, simply enter your dates and it takes 5 seconds to show if we have openings when you are looking. Maybe this is not the norm for European sites?
 

Joey Camb

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
4,793
Reaction score
0
on mine I have a book now button which takes you straight to the callendar where you can see exactly what we have. Most sites have online booking now maybe you just arnt looking in the right place?
 

Alibi Ike

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
0
You'll have to take that up with your Euro cousins. MOST B&B's in the U.S. DO show vacancies on their website. Look for 'Calendar' or 'Make a reservation' or 'Availability' buttons.
 

EmptyNest

Well-known member
Joined
May 22, 2008
Messages
8,741
Reaction score
1
Obviously the places you are looking aren't internet saavy. Everyone here shows their availablilty calendars. Just look for RESERVATIONS, BOOK HERE, AVAILABLITY etc.
 

Flower

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 19, 2011
Messages
952
Reaction score
0
How many Hotels or Motels have availability calendars! ? Yet we all find a place to stay while on the road.
I find most small B&Bs do not have any thing saying they had Availabilty Calendars. Not a biggie!!
Send an Email is nothing. I don't use directorys much either. Just google town and B&Bs then review site then send email or phone the place I am interested in.
I have traveled Europe a lot and also lived there. Never found it a problem. I guess I am different then most.
 

Breakfast Diva

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2009
Messages
5,911
Reaction score
29
How many Hotels or Motels have availability calendars! ? Yet we all find a place to stay while on the road.
I find most small B&Bs do not have any thing saying they had Availabilty Calendars. Not a biggie!!
Send an Email is nothing. I don't use directorys much either. Just google town and B&Bs then review site then send email or phone the place I am interested in.
I have traveled Europe a lot and also lived there. Never found it a problem. I guess I am different then most..
Flower said:
How many Hotels or Motels have availability calendars! ? Yet we all find a place to stay while on the road.
I find most small B&Bs do not have any thing saying they had Availabilty Calendars. Not a biggie!!
Send an Email is nothing. I don't use directorys much either. Just google town and B&Bs then review site then send email or phone the place I am interested in.
I have traveled Europe a lot and also lived there. Never found it a problem. I guess I am different then most.
All hotels/motels I know of have an availability calendar. It's their online reservation system. You enter your dates and it tells you what rooms you can reserve.
To the OP, most U.S. b&bs do have a calendar/reservation system. Most U.K. & European small b&bs do not them, but each year more are catching up with the technology.
 

Joey Camb

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
4,793
Reaction score
0
How many Hotels or Motels have availability calendars! ? Yet we all find a place to stay while on the road.
I find most small B&Bs do not have any thing saying they had Availabilty Calendars. Not a biggie!!
Send an Email is nothing. I don't use directorys much either. Just google town and B&Bs then review site then send email or phone the place I am interested in.
I have traveled Europe a lot and also lived there. Never found it a problem. I guess I am different then most..
Flower said:
How many Hotels or Motels have availability calendars! ? Yet we all find a place to stay while on the road.
I find most small B&Bs do not have any thing saying they had Availabilty Calendars. Not a biggie!!
Send an Email is nothing. I don't use directorys much either. Just google town and B&Bs then review site then send email or phone the place I am interested in.
I have traveled Europe a lot and also lived there. Never found it a problem. I guess I am different then most.
All hotels/motels I know of have an availability calendar. It's their online reservation system. You enter your dates and it tells you what rooms you can reserve.
To the OP, most U.S. b&bs do have a calendar/reservation system. Most U.K. & European small b&bs do not them, but each year more are catching up with the technology.
.
it helps that the big online companies provide the code for online booking for your web site which helps as it is one less thing to update.
 

Alibi Ike

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
0
How many Hotels or Motels have availability calendars! ? Yet we all find a place to stay while on the road.
I find most small B&Bs do not have any thing saying they had Availabilty Calendars. Not a biggie!!
Send an Email is nothing. I don't use directorys much either. Just google town and B&Bs then review site then send email or phone the place I am interested in.
I have traveled Europe a lot and also lived there. Never found it a problem. I guess I am different then most..
I think what many have an issue with is wanting to plan right now or being on the road and not wanting to wait for returned calls or emails. If they can look at the site, see the calendar and make a reservation right then and there then they are happy. If they can't do that they move on to the next place.
Now, if I were traveling in a country where it was not standard to have this information available, then I would do what the locals do. But around here I want to know NOW if this place has a room or not. I don't want to wait until the innkeeper is done with breakfast and cleaning rooms and grocery shopping before I know if I have a place to stay.
Or, if I am booking a place 3 times zones away I don't want to call someone too late ot too early. Easier if I can just look at their website and make a decision quickly.
 

Alibi Ike

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
0
If you're thinking of a banner at the top of the site that says 'Vacancy' or 'No Vacancy' for that specific night, most innkeepers wouldn't do that for the simple reason that a guest looking to stay TOMORROW would say, 'Oh, they're full,' and never bother to call or email or look for a calendar.
That's why most of us post a calendar that we update all day.
 

phil56

New member
Joined
Jun 25, 2011
Messages
2
Reaction score
0
If you're thinking of a banner at the top of the site that says 'Vacancy' or 'No Vacancy' for that specific night, most innkeepers wouldn't do that for the simple reason that a guest looking to stay TOMORROW would say, 'Oh, they're full,' and never bother to call or email or look for a calendar.
That's why most of us post a calendar that we update all day..
The vacancy/no vacancy sign is just an image: in my opinion, it would be very helpful if all B&B clearly stated their availabilities.
When I read all the comments that were made in this thread I think that we are in agreement.
Although some comments may suggest it, I am not exceptionally bad at searching the web and my choices are not always B&Bs which belong to the middle age :))
I reckon there is one truth per type of B&Bs. I made a few queries at random to get a better picture:
1/ It seems that most of the B&Bs in the U.S. are linked to a reservation system whatever the size of the B&B
2/ In the U.K, some B&Bs use a reservation system that give access to availibility information (such as the owner of Camberley hotel). However, there are plenty of smaller B&Bs in the countryside whose website does not give this information (just a phone number or an inquiry form). I am usually more interested in the smaller B&Bs.
3/ In France, the B&Bs (chambre d'hotes) have a maximum of 5 bedrooms. So there are systematically small businesses and they don't display their availabilities on their own websites (some of them work for 'labels' but the calendars are always innacurate because they are not updated when the owner deals directly)
This is my experience.
Thanks for your interesting points of view
 

Alibi Ike

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
0
If you're thinking of a banner at the top of the site that says 'Vacancy' or 'No Vacancy' for that specific night, most innkeepers wouldn't do that for the simple reason that a guest looking to stay TOMORROW would say, 'Oh, they're full,' and never bother to call or email or look for a calendar.
That's why most of us post a calendar that we update all day..
The vacancy/no vacancy sign is just an image: in my opinion, it would be very helpful if all B&B clearly stated their availabilities.
When I read all the comments that were made in this thread I think that we are in agreement.
Although some comments may suggest it, I am not exceptionally bad at searching the web and my choices are not always B&Bs which belong to the middle age :))
I reckon there is one truth per type of B&Bs. I made a few queries at random to get a better picture:
1/ It seems that most of the B&Bs in the U.S. are linked to a reservation system whatever the size of the B&B
2/ In the U.K, some B&Bs use a reservation system that give access to availibility information (such as the owner of Camberley hotel). However, there are plenty of smaller B&Bs in the countryside whose website does not give this information (just a phone number or an inquiry form). I am usually more interested in the smaller B&Bs.
3/ In France, the B&Bs (chambre d'hotes) have a maximum of 5 bedrooms. So there are systematically small businesses and they don't display their availabilities on their own websites (some of them work for 'labels' but the calendars are always innacurate because they are not updated when the owner deals directly)
This is my experience.
Thanks for your interesting points of view
.
If this is something you want to have changed, start asking for the calendar when you email or call a B&B that doesn't have it. If a business gets a number of requests for something they will usually change to accommodate that in order to stay in business and keep up with what their guests want.
WiFi is only the latest example. Online calendars that are updated could be brought about in a similar manner. If guests demand it, B&B's will provide it or perish.
There's a saying around here to combat the innkeeper who insists no one wants X, Y or Z because no one ever asks for it...'Absence of proof is not proof of absence.' Just because no one HAS asked doesn't mean they didn't just move on to somehwere that anticpated their needs much better.
But actually getting comments and complaints is proof.
 

Generic

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 24, 2011
Messages
7,615
Reaction score
128
If you're thinking of a banner at the top of the site that says 'Vacancy' or 'No Vacancy' for that specific night, most innkeepers wouldn't do that for the simple reason that a guest looking to stay TOMORROW would say, 'Oh, they're full,' and never bother to call or email or look for a calendar.
That's why most of us post a calendar that we update all day..
The vacancy/no vacancy sign is just an image: in my opinion, it would be very helpful if all B&B clearly stated their availabilities.
When I read all the comments that were made in this thread I think that we are in agreement.
Although some comments may suggest it, I am not exceptionally bad at searching the web and my choices are not always B&Bs which belong to the middle age :))
I reckon there is one truth per type of B&Bs. I made a few queries at random to get a better picture:
1/ It seems that most of the B&Bs in the U.S. are linked to a reservation system whatever the size of the B&B
2/ In the U.K, some B&Bs use a reservation system that give access to availibility information (such as the owner of Camberley hotel). However, there are plenty of smaller B&Bs in the countryside whose website does not give this information (just a phone number or an inquiry form). I am usually more interested in the smaller B&Bs.
3/ In France, the B&Bs (chambre d'hotes) have a maximum of 5 bedrooms. So there are systematically small businesses and they don't display their availabilities on their own websites (some of them work for 'labels' but the calendars are always innacurate because they are not updated when the owner deals directly)
This is my experience.
Thanks for your interesting points of view
.
phil56 said:
....In France, the B&Bs (chambre d'hotes) have a maximum of 5 bedrooms. So there are systematically small businesses and they don't display their availabilities on their own websites (some of them work for 'labels' but the calendars are always innacurate because they are not updated when the owner deals directly)
We are limited to the same basic rules as in France where I live. Some of the B&Bs have chosen to show availability and others don't. There are a number of reasons for this, including some B&Bs that want minimum stays or some that may want to interview guests before reservations. Personally, I don't do it. But I also don't take same day reservations. We all make choices that are right for us. We see what works for us and what doesn't work for us.
 

Joey Camb

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 2, 2010
Messages
4,793
Reaction score
0
If you're thinking of a banner at the top of the site that says 'Vacancy' or 'No Vacancy' for that specific night, most innkeepers wouldn't do that for the simple reason that a guest looking to stay TOMORROW would say, 'Oh, they're full,' and never bother to call or email or look for a calendar.
That's why most of us post a calendar that we update all day..
The vacancy/no vacancy sign is just an image: in my opinion, it would be very helpful if all B&B clearly stated their availabilities.
When I read all the comments that were made in this thread I think that we are in agreement.
Although some comments may suggest it, I am not exceptionally bad at searching the web and my choices are not always B&Bs which belong to the middle age :))
I reckon there is one truth per type of B&Bs. I made a few queries at random to get a better picture:
1/ It seems that most of the B&Bs in the U.S. are linked to a reservation system whatever the size of the B&B
2/ In the U.K, some B&Bs use a reservation system that give access to availibility information (such as the owner of Camberley hotel). However, there are plenty of smaller B&Bs in the countryside whose website does not give this information (just a phone number or an inquiry form). I am usually more interested in the smaller B&Bs.
3/ In France, the B&Bs (chambre d'hotes) have a maximum of 5 bedrooms. So there are systematically small businesses and they don't display their availabilities on their own websites (some of them work for 'labels' but the calendars are always innacurate because they are not updated when the owner deals directly)
This is my experience.
Thanks for your interesting points of view
.
I think part of the trouble is a lot of the smaller B&B's ie 3 rooms are either run for pin money or the owner can only cope with so much business so are happy with their level of occupancy so don't change. If they were struggling then they would make a change. For example my friend Marie doesn't do any online booking but is never quiet as she does a good price and keeps very good relations with various building companies and setting up firms runs at about 75% occupancy which as a single mum with the help of a housekeeper who has become ill is a much as she can cope with so why add online booking? I will admit some people are dinosaur but its up to them to join the 21st C. Some people would much rather speak to every customer who they book especially if they are a woman alone.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,744
Reaction score
9
Hello Phil
YES and It's called an AVAILABILITY CALENDAR. You go there, check the date and if there is a room it shows there is one available, if none it shows none.
Unfortunately we have no control over other B&B's. If you checked mine you would know EXACTLY WHAT IS AVAILABLE and HOW MUCH. If an inn has no online reservations then THEY ARE S.O.L. They are foolish and miss out on having YOU AS THEIR GUEST!
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,744
Reaction score
9
How many Hotels or Motels have availability calendars! ? Yet we all find a place to stay while on the road.
I find most small B&Bs do not have any thing saying they had Availabilty Calendars. Not a biggie!!
Send an Email is nothing. I don't use directorys much either. Just google town and B&Bs then review site then send email or phone the place I am interested in.
I have traveled Europe a lot and also lived there. Never found it a problem. I guess I am different then most..
Flower said:
How many Hotels or Motels have availability calendars! ? Yet we all find a place to stay while on the road.
I find most small B&Bs do not have any thing saying they had Availabilty Calendars. Not a biggie!!
You are staying in the wrong places. Majority on this forum ARE SMALL B&B's!
Everyone on this forum has an availability calendar. Go to RESERVE NOW or BOOK NOW or whatever they want to call it and check and voila if it is available or not it will show for ANY DATE YOU CHOOSE.


 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,744
Reaction score
9
How many Hotels or Motels have availability calendars! ? Yet we all find a place to stay while on the road.
I find most small B&Bs do not have any thing saying they had Availabilty Calendars. Not a biggie!!
Send an Email is nothing. I don't use directorys much either. Just google town and B&Bs then review site then send email or phone the place I am interested in.
I have traveled Europe a lot and also lived there. Never found it a problem. I guess I am different then most..
Flower said:
How many Hotels or Motels have availability calendars! ? Yet we all find a place to stay while on the road.
I find most small B&Bs do not have any thing saying they had Availabilty Calendars. Not a biggie!!
Send an Email is nothing. I don't use directorys much either. Just google town and B&Bs then review site then send email or phone the place I am interested in.
I have traveled Europe a lot and also lived there. Never found it a problem. I guess I am different then most.
All hotels/motels I know of have an availability calendar. It's their online reservation system. You enter your dates and it tells you what rooms you can reserve.
To the OP, most U.S. b&bs do have a calendar/reservation system. Most U.K. & European small b&bs do not them, but each year more are catching up with the technology.
.
Breakfast Diva said:
Flower said:
How many Hotels or Motels have availability calendars! ? Yet we all find a place to stay while on the road.
I find most small B&Bs do not have any thing saying they had Availabilty Calendars. Not a biggie!!
Send an Email is nothing. I don't use directorys much either. Just google town and B&Bs then review site then send email or phone the place I am interested in.
I have traveled Europe a lot and also lived there. Never found it a problem. I guess I am different then most.
All hotels/motels I know of have an availability calendar. It's their online reservation system. You enter your dates and it tells you what rooms you can reserve.
To the OP, most U.S. b&bs do have a calendar/reservation system. Most U.K. & European small b&bs do not them, but each year more are catching up with the technology.
Now having just planned a trip to Tybee Island Georgia, for whatever insane reason NONE of the hotels/resorts show availability on their website, every last one of them says CALL FOR RATES. So it is a regional thing, if one got them then they all would get them. I found pockets of places in Florida do the same thing. But YES agreed in Europe (and I will get nailed by one of our forum members) most list on multiple directories vs have their own website and very few have their OWN online reservations, they rely on other systems.
They will wise up soon, they NEED to look at the US Model for this, and they will. Euro is going nuts the last 5 years on TA, Facebook and eBay...so this too shall come to pass.
 

Alibi Ike

Well-known member
Staff member
Joined
Aug 8, 2010
Messages
2,928
Reaction score
0
If you're thinking of a banner at the top of the site that says 'Vacancy' or 'No Vacancy' for that specific night, most innkeepers wouldn't do that for the simple reason that a guest looking to stay TOMORROW would say, 'Oh, they're full,' and never bother to call or email or look for a calendar.
That's why most of us post a calendar that we update all day..
The vacancy/no vacancy sign is just an image: in my opinion, it would be very helpful if all B&B clearly stated their availabilities.
When I read all the comments that were made in this thread I think that we are in agreement.
Although some comments may suggest it, I am not exceptionally bad at searching the web and my choices are not always B&Bs which belong to the middle age :))
I reckon there is one truth per type of B&Bs. I made a few queries at random to get a better picture:
1/ It seems that most of the B&Bs in the U.S. are linked to a reservation system whatever the size of the B&B
2/ In the U.K, some B&Bs use a reservation system that give access to availibility information (such as the owner of Camberley hotel). However, there are plenty of smaller B&Bs in the countryside whose website does not give this information (just a phone number or an inquiry form). I am usually more interested in the smaller B&Bs.
3/ In France, the B&Bs (chambre d'hotes) have a maximum of 5 bedrooms. So there are systematically small businesses and they don't display their availabilities on their own websites (some of them work for 'labels' but the calendars are always innacurate because they are not updated when the owner deals directly)
This is my experience.
Thanks for your interesting points of view
.
I think part of the trouble is a lot of the smaller B&B's ie 3 rooms are either run for pin money or the owner can only cope with so much business so are happy with their level of occupancy so don't change. If they were struggling then they would make a change. For example my friend Marie doesn't do any online booking but is never quiet as she does a good price and keeps very good relations with various building companies and setting up firms runs at about 75% occupancy which as a single mum with the help of a housekeeper who has become ill is a much as she can cope with so why add online booking? I will admit some people are dinosaur but its up to them to join the 21st C. Some people would much rather speak to every customer who they book especially if they are a woman alone.
.
See, that's an instance of someone who doesn't have to change. What she does works for her right now. We have friends who have a resort and they don't have online reservations, either. You call, if they have room you get in. But their repeat biz is like 80% year to year so they really don't need to have a calendar. Altho, it would cut down on calls for weeks that are already full. But, they can turn those calls into bookings by suggesting different weeks.
 

JBloggs

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Oct 7, 2008
Messages
17,744
Reaction score
9
If you're thinking of a banner at the top of the site that says 'Vacancy' or 'No Vacancy' for that specific night, most innkeepers wouldn't do that for the simple reason that a guest looking to stay TOMORROW would say, 'Oh, they're full,' and never bother to call or email or look for a calendar.
That's why most of us post a calendar that we update all day..
The vacancy/no vacancy sign is just an image: in my opinion, it would be very helpful if all B&B clearly stated their availabilities.
When I read all the comments that were made in this thread I think that we are in agreement.
Although some comments may suggest it, I am not exceptionally bad at searching the web and my choices are not always B&Bs which belong to the middle age :))
I reckon there is one truth per type of B&Bs. I made a few queries at random to get a better picture:
1/ It seems that most of the B&Bs in the U.S. are linked to a reservation system whatever the size of the B&B
2/ In the U.K, some B&Bs use a reservation system that give access to availibility information (such as the owner of Camberley hotel). However, there are plenty of smaller B&Bs in the countryside whose website does not give this information (just a phone number or an inquiry form). I am usually more interested in the smaller B&Bs.
3/ In France, the B&Bs (chambre d'hotes) have a maximum of 5 bedrooms. So there are systematically small businesses and they don't display their availabilities on their own websites (some of them work for 'labels' but the calendars are always innacurate because they are not updated when the owner deals directly)
This is my experience.
Thanks for your interesting points of view
.
phil56 said:
The vacancy/no vacancy sign is just an image: in my opinion, it would be very helpful if all B&B clearly stated their availabilities.
Phil for what dates? Are you talking about daily? Holy cow! I would NEVER put a No vacancy sign up on a website, that is absurd. Come now, just click the book now and check availability.
Those who do not provide an easy ONE CLICK to check are losing your business. They should be here reading that, not you, aye!

 

greyswan

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2008
Messages
625
Reaction score
0
we have an online system that shows availability. We don't have a vacancy/no vacancy sign outside.... is that a common thing to have? I'm not sure i'd want drive-bys all the time. I like the phone ahead reservation
 
Top