by Pamela Lanier
Over the past three years, we at Bed Breakfasts, Inns and Guesthouses International (BBIGI), have been conducting an extensive, three-year survey to determine B&B occupancy rates. What we found was very interesting. According to our study, more than 70% of all innkeepers want to increase their occupancy rates.
The reasons why innkeepers want to raise their occupancy rates vary, but for the most part, innkeepers realize there are a number of substantial benefits to be derived from obtaining higher occupancy rates. Innkeepers, who have recently purchased or constructed an inn, need to raise their occupancy rates to recover their investment. Raising occupancy rates also decreases the amount of stress for new innkeepers carrying heavy mortgages. In addition, the higher the occupancy rate, the easier it becomes for existing innkeepers to refurbish their inns and hire additional staff, thereby reducing their workload. Perhaps even more importantly, it can also substantially increase the asking price of an inn when it is time to sell. Potential buyers are always concerned with a B&B’s occupancy rate.
With so much to gain, it’s no wonder why most innkeepers are anxious to fill their rooms. But the trick is how to do it? Most innkeepers have attended every conference, read every article and have basically tried every recommended marketing technique, all with varying degrees of success. But the one thing innkeepers have not been able to do, is enter the mainstream on-line reservations industry that spends millions of dollars every year informing travelers about available rooms. However, for the first time ever, innkeepers are now able to list their properties with Hotels.com – the world’s largest, premier online-reservation company.
What exactly does mainstream reservations mean to an innkeeper? Well, Hotels.com spent over $50 Million dollars last year alone on advertisements to inform the traveling public of rooms available on their network. More impressively, they have also partnered with over 40,000 other web sites, including many favorite search engines. This powerful distribution network generates 1 room booked every 2.5 seconds! As you can see, the results speak for themselves. By listing empty rooms on a mainstream on-line reservations system like Hotels.com, a B&B can substantially increase its occupancy rate.
Wishing your occupancy rates were higher? Wanting to refurbish your inn, reduce the stress of a high mortgage, hire additional staff, or increase the sales price of your inn? Try placing your empty rooms on Hotels.com. No matter which way you look at it, a full house is an attractive house to anyone looking to purchase a Bed and Breakfast property.
For more information on the Hotels.com Full House partnership for B&B owners, please contact Lanier Publishing at # 707-780-1904.
Pamela Lanier is author of The Complete Guide to Bed & Breakfasts, Inns and Guesthouses, presently in its 18th annual edition, host of TravelGuideS.com available on over 7,000 Internet sites and portals, and creator of Bed & Breakfast Club Gazette, e-mail newsletter. When not writing or speaking, Pamela loves to cook for and entertain family and friends.
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