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Fobba 2011 keynote handout

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Federation of Ontario Bed & Brea

Federation of Ontario Bed & Brea

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  • All innkeepers should be aware of who is competing for our guest.
  • The industry is made up of those who run B&Bs as a lifestyle decision – not so much to make a lot of money. Others rely solely on the B&B for their income. My presentations are aimed at the professional innkeepers, although I hope lifestyle innkeepers glean something meaningful as well
  • We also have innkeepers who are casual about their approach to B&B operations, and those who are serious. • I focus my presentation on the serious innkeepers. • Any day I would choose to stay with a serious, lifestyle innkeeper than a casual, professional innkeeper • The smallest of operations can offer the very best B&B experience
  • All innkeepers should be aware of who is competing for our guest.
  • All innkeepers should be aware of who is competing for our guest.
  • Hotels – they’re working hard to steal our market share of leisure travelers, often offering “B&B specials”. You can now search Hotels.com for hotels based on free amenities, i.e. parking, internet, breakfast, etc. These freebies were long our industry’s competitive advantage. Vacation rentals – can be both competition and ally. They are trying to get travelers to think of staying at places OTHER than hotels – that’s good for us. But, they compete too – offering home-type atmosphere, but in a self-service setting (lots of Gen X like self-service). AirBnB – allows anyone to rent a room in their house or apartment, mainly for budget travlers – but many innkeepers rent rooms on the site too. CouchSurfing.com – way down the food chain – people rent their couches to travelers! More of a social experience, but another alternative to the hotel. I’m very concerned about sites like AirBnB and CouchSurfing – they’re not paying occupancy taxes like B&Bs and there are no safety requirements or inspections. Buyer BETTER beware…
  • The B&B industry has done a fantastic job taking care of the “Baby Boomer” Most innkeepers are Boomers, so they’ve designed the B&B experience around the needs/wants of Boomers. What about Gen X? Did you know Gen X is already in their mid-40s? No longer a niche market – it is our new customer base. To all the Boomer innkeepers – have you changed anything about your inn to fall in line with what Gen X desires? I assert that Gen X is more likely to shy away from the personal service opportunities and seek self-service opportunities. Consider an approaching retail employee – Boomers might see it as good service, and Gen X will likely see it as bothersome. As innkeepers, we need to respond differently to the guests coming through our doors. When an internet fulfillment company is ranked #1 for customer service by Business Week, we know that we are living in a new age.
  • The “Victorian thing” was an asset to our industry in the 80s and 90s…now it’s a niche. Today’s traveler, unless they are LOOKING for the Victorian thing, want something fresh and new. Think Pottery Barn décor rather than Laura Ashley.
  • Everyone wants it “their way” Levis.com offers the opportunity for customers to enter their body measurements and order a customized pair of jeans. Every innkeeper has a database, but few are keeping “good” information on guests, i.e.likes, dislikes, etc. We have a unique advantage in the lodging world – we generally know ahead of time when guests are coming. If we take good notes on them while they are with us, we can use that knowledge to deliver a personal experience the next time. “Hi Judy! Oh, we know that you loved our orange muffins last time, so we baked them especially for your visit this season.” But you have to actually put notes in your system on these people!
  • Ypartnership reports 1 in 4 leisure travelers consults YouTube. I don’t believe this – at least I don’t believe that travelers are going to YouTube to do research. I think they are watching videos, and most of them are hosted on YouTube (even though they’re embedded on hotel, B&B web sites). I predict this number will rise sharply. Video will be utilized more and more over the coming months and years.
  • We participated in a study with a doctoral student at Texas Tech University. She asked 300 innkeepers, “What do you think is important to put on your web site?” She asked 300 B&B guests, “What do you think is important to see on a B&B web site?” The list here indicates those things that your guests feel are more important than you do for inclusion on a B&B web site. Virtual tours are no longer the 360‐degree panoramic photography of a room. Today’s virtual tour is VIDEO! Food, food, food. So few innkeepers highlight their food on the web sites, and your potential guests are begging you to share more – so do it!
  • 150 million Americans have a Facebook page. There has been no other medium of connectivity and marketing like it – ever!
  • I have 716 “friends” on TripAdvisor. When I write a review about a B&B on TripAdvisor, I have the option of sharing it on Facebook.
  • When in NYC at the Javits Center, I “checked in” using Facebook’s Places feature on my phone. 716 people say that I “checked in” to the Jacob Javits Convention Center. When checking in at the Boar’s Head Inn in Charlottesville, VA, there was no Boar’s Head Inn to be found on Facebook…they’re not on their social media game. If they were on their game, 716 friends would have seen that I checked in to the Boar’s Head Inn – what great social media marketing for that inn? But, someone is asleep at the wheel at the BHI.
  • Now, you can customize the look and feel of your page. And you can control which landing page a Facebook user will come to when going to yourpage. Getting more and more sophisticated.
  • The Facebook application on phones allows you to offer specials and promos to people who are physically nearby Could be great for last‐minute reservations.
  • When someone is checking out a city on TripAdvisor, they can see which of their Facebook friends have been to that city. They can ask their FB friends – where did you stay? What would you recommend? The TA/FB integration is very powerful.
  • 150 million Americans have a Facebook page. There has been no other medium of connectivity and marketing like it – ever!
  • 150 million Americans have a Facebook page. There has been no other medium of connectivity and marketing like it – ever!
  • Flash Sales/Social Buying is very hot right now – GroupOn and LivingSocial are the 2 largest. Local businesses (mostly spas, restaurants, etc.) offer incredible deals that are only good for 24 hours and have limited quantity. Buyers get a great deal and encourage friends to buy too…if 3 friends purchase, theirs may be free. B&B in Virginia sold 1,300 room nights in 24 hours in April 2010 on LivingSocial. Dozens of innkeepers are participating and having interesting results.
  • All innkeepers should be aware of who is competing for our guest.
  • We also have innkeepers who are casual about their approach to B&B operations, and those who are serious. • I focus my presentation on the serious innkeepers. • Any day I would choose to stay with a serious, lifestyle innkeeper than a casual, professional innkeeper • The smallest of operations can offer the very best B&B experience
  • We also have innkeepers who are casual about their approach to B&B operations, and those who are serious. • I focus my presentation on the serious innkeepers. • Any day I would choose to stay with a serious, lifestyle innkeeper than a casual, professional innkeeper • The smallest of operations can offer the very best B&B experience
  • We also have innkeepers who are casual about their approach to B&B operations, and those who are serious. • I focus my presentation on the serious innkeepers. • Any day I would choose to stay with a serious, lifestyle innkeeper than a casual, professional innkeeper • The smallest of operations can offer the very best B&B experience
  • They don’t even think about us as an option. I don’t know what I’m going to get. I don’t want to socialize with the guests or innkeeper. Too many rules or policies.
  • Some innkeepers view their B&B as “their” B&B – not a place for the guest, so they put their personal decorations all over tables and other horizontal surfaces. Be sure to leave as much horizontal space for your guests as possible.
  • They don’t even think about us as an option. I don’t know what I’m going to get. I don’t want to socialize with the guests or innkeeper. Too many rules or policies.
  • Some still believe they’re going to be forced to encounter the hovering, old innkeepers who knock on the door at 8:05 a.m. if you didn’t show at the breakfast table at the prescribed 8:00 am time. Many fear they are going to have rules and policies shoved down their throats – do this, don’t do this, etc. Posted (and ridiculous) signs have been the culprit – do away with them! How many of you have a policy page on your web site that is longer than your home page?
  • Outdated websites are our industry’s biggest Achilles’ Heels. Many innkeepers have web sites that look like they haven’t been really updated in 10 years or more. Guests will think that nothing in your inn or your business will have been updated in 10 years or more! Some even still rely on a directory listing as their primary web site! This is your storefront – make the best possible impression. It pays BIG dividends.
  • Even the average B&B web sites can be a liability…. A cursory review of the B&Bs on Google’s page 1 for “Colorado Springs B&B” shows a lot of homemade, not-so-good web sites. This is an area that will reap immediate rewards if innkeepers take the time and money to invest in modern web sites. It helps you…it helps our industry.
  • A good B&B web site can out compete the very best of hotel web sites. There are new generation web sites in our industry that will not break the bank. I highly encourage you to use only internet marketing companies that are native to the B&B industry. They understand our design needs and our unique SEO needs.
  • Looking only at same sample respondents for 2009 v 2008, average daily rate actually went UP during the recession! How about that!!!
  • Go to www.betterwaytostay.com to learn all about what PAII is doing to get MORE people staying at B&Bs
  • 13% <1% We might have 4% of total travel market. Moving to 5% would mean 25% more business for everyone!
  • Go to www.betterwaytostay.com to learn all about what PAII is doing to get MORE people staying at B&Bs
  • Go to www.betterwaytostay.com to learn all about what PAII is doing to get MORE people staying at B&Bs
  • Go to www.betterwaytostay.com to learn all about what PAII is doing to get MORE people staying at B&Bs
  • Go to www.betterwaytostay.com to learn all about what PAII is doing to get MORE people staying at B&Bs
  • Go to www.betterwaytostay.com to learn all about what PAII is doing to get MORE people staying at B&Bs
  • Go to www.betterwaytostay.com to learn all about what PAII is doing to get MORE people staying at B&Bs
  • Go to www.betterwaytostay.com to learn all about what PAII is doing to get MORE people staying at B&Bs

Fobba 2011 keynote handout Fobba 2011 keynote handout Presentation Transcript

  • The B&B Industry’s Weaknesses, Strengths, Challenges and Opportunities – A Unique Perspective FOBBA November 9, 2011
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  • THE LANDSCAPE
  • Competition
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  • Changing Customers… Changing Desires
  • Multi-Generational Guests
  • WILL GENERATIONS X AND Y BE THE B&B INDUSTRY’S BEST CUSTOMERS? SELF-RELIANT INFORMAL INDEPENDENT WIRED TECHNOPHILES SEEKING EXPERIENCES SKEPTICAL
  • Changing Tastes
  • Desire for Personalization
  • 1 out of 4
  • Knowing What Customers Need or Want
    • What do consumers feel is more important on your web site than you do?
    • Virtual tours Property safety systems
    • Promotion information Information about the city
    • Tour event packages Transportation information
    • Contact persons Copy of the menu
    • Mailing addresses Dining service hours
    • Frequently asked questions Description of the dining area
    • Feedback forums Photos of the dining area
    • Fax numbers Photos of menu items
    • Personal safety assurance Recipes of menu items
    • Source: BED-AND-BREAKFAST WEBSITE DIMENSIONS AND ATTRIBUTES: COMPARISON OF CONSUMER AND INNKEEPER PERCEPTIONS
  • Social Butterfly or Caterpillar?
  • 1 out of 2
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  • Where is all of this going to go? Will you get tons of bookings?
  • Flash Sale Travel is UP! 14% up to 20%...50% involved lodging Source: 2011 Portrait of the New American Traveler
  • LOOKING IN THE MIRROR
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  • The dichotomy in which we live…
    • Value for the price
    • Room rate
    • Location
    • Previous experience
    • Reputation
    • Premium quality mattress and bed linens*
    • Free breakfast*
    • Quiet, soundproofed guest rooms
    • Free Internet*
    • Late checkout at no extra charge
    • * up significantly over prior year
    • Source: New American Traveler
    Top Factors When Choosing a Hotel
  • We have nearly everything (and more?) guests want from hotels. So, why do B&Bs get overlooked or eschewed?
  • What is the #1 reason travelers do not choose B&Bs and inns? The #2 reason? The #3 reason? The #4 reason?
  • Myths and Generalizations
  • I stayed in a B&B once. My girlfriend booked it, and she apologized for it before it was even over . It wasn't exactly what either of us had thought it was going to be. But seeing as you can get a hotel and meals combined cheaper, with much better privacy and food , the B&B really should be nearing extinction .   I stayed at a B&B in Scarborough with my girlfriend. After the bloke showed us the room, we immediately got down to some bedroom gymnastics, and after the festivities, nipped across the hall to the shower, only to find him just walking away from our door after listening in to our antics. Brrrrr.   B & Bs are often highly creepy, and remind me of the in-laws and the huge amount of time they have on their hands. Youth hostels, by contrast, are very relaxed and fun, and are great for families. No candlewick bedspreads either. I thought the funniest moment in Three In A Bed was when the woman admitted that she didn't like younger couples to stay in case they had sex on her pristine sheets. It made us feel instantly rather sorry for her husband, in so many ways. Couldn't agree more. B&Bs represent the worst of both worlds - all the awkwardness of being a guest in someone else's home, none of the supposed pleasure of staying with friends or relatives. Why anyone would want to stay in them, when faced with the alternatives (camping, anonymous chain hotels, nice boutique hotels, sleeper train services, cottage rentals, even dare I whisper caravans ) is quite beyond me.   b+b's should not be rated on there hygiene..food ...fixtures and fittings .ect.... but on the weirdness of their owners
  • Innkeeper Sign Language
  • Outdated Websites
  • Typical Websites
  • Awesome Websites
  • What I am encountering…
  •  
  • Despite our real or perceived issues…
    • Benchmark Metrics
    • Occupancy
    • 39% (Up from 37.6%)
    • Average Daily Rate
    • $151 (Up from $150)
    • Revenue per Available Room (RevPAR)
    • $57 (Flat)
    • Source: Industry Study of Innkeeping Operations and Finance
    • Privacy
    • Less crowded
    • Quiet ambiance
    • Better sense of local culture
    • Try new things
    • Personalized services
    • Home-cooked food
    • Unique architecture/décor
    • More romantic
    • Feel more pampered
    • Like to interact with other guests
    • More affordable
    • Pet-friendly
    • Source: New American Traveler
    Why do people love B&Bs?
    • Sense of place
    • Scents
    • Crossing the threshold
    • Memorable rooms
    • Memorable people
    • Love
    • Source: Jay Karen’s Brain
    What makes a B&B special?
  • THE NEED FOR A MOVEMENT
  • What percentage of leisure travelers stayed at an inn or B&B last year? What percentage of business travelers stayed at an inn or B&B last year? Imagine if we could move the percentage up just 1 point!
  • Are you adapting? Or is your market shrinking? (“…they have their place…”) Innkeepers must do things differently So does the B&B industry…
  • What it is NOT … another top-ten most romantic inns list … … old school …
  • What it is… … edgy, humorous, worthy of sharing… … portal to existing assets … … new school … … unique promotions …
  • Since the launch
  • Kick Gas Media Pick Up
  • Vets Media Pick Up
  •  
  • What else is in store? Deployment of Videos IDTDW? Contests of Facebook LivingSocial Themed Week? AirBnB Attack Mancations Tons of ideas!
  • What’s the role for innkeepers? “One room for one night…” What’s the role for associations? Support the GRASSROOTS campaign! JOIN PAII!
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  • Mark your calendars! Innkeeping Conference & Trade Show January 23-26, 2012 The Peabody Hotel - Little Rock, Arkansas