May 2, 2017

Want More Business? Look Over the Fence

Over the years gas prices, the economy, and Airbnb have all played a role in getting guests interested in getaway experiences that are closer to home. Whether they are called staycations, holistays, minimoons or something else, they add up to opportunities to attract new guests. Simply put, there is often an untapped market of guests closer than you think.

Most innkeepers know to market their inn to local CVB's Chamber's, etc. so that their property is recommended when out of town travelers inquire about places to stay. What about spreading the word locally that "You Don't Have to Travel Far: You're Already Here"? You're not just hospitality experts, you're also local experts. Whether you've hosted just a handful hundreds of guests, you know firsthand what they like, what they want to avoid, and what will make their experience special.

How do you get the word out? Creating a Locals' Package is a start. Networking and spreading the word is next, but how? What publications do your neighbors read and where do they get local information? Once you find out who to target, invite the staff of local papers, school newspapers, and church bulletins over to share your locals' package and to brainstorm about a possible partnership for their followers and readers.

Staying closer to home cuts down costs and takes the stress out of traveling. It's also a chance for locals to learn more about their own area - making them much more interesting hosts the next time their friends and family come to visit. Sure, you're filling rooms when you offer a Staycation package, but you're also doing your neighbors a favor by providing a much needed and perhaps undiscovered getaway!


March 29, 2017

Inns with New Amenities: The ABCs of Bed & Breakfast Value

A is for Amenities and the over-the-top, ahead-of-the-curve, guest-centric features offered at your bed & breakfasts.

B is for Breakfast, the scrumptious (COMPLIMENTARY) morning meals that you serve every day.

C is for the Concierge personal service, local knowledge, and attention to detail that has always been a part of the bed & breakfast experience.

While this may seem elementary, I’m continuously impressed with the new amenities, breakfast selections, and concierge services innkeepers offer so that your guests always wake up someplace special, as the BnBFinder.com tagline conveys ;)  I’m excited to use my next three columns to cover some of your innovative offerings, as I know we can gain inspiration from each other!

If there were a “New Amenity Award,” innkeepers would surely be the winners. While many AirBnB hosts will make area recommendations, you take experience to a whole new level with the amenities that you offer. And, unlike hotels, you don’t have to endure lengthy planning meetings or go up the corporate hierarchy to implement them!

For example, Platinum Pebble Boutique Inn has guests floating on Air Couches that they can use at the inn or even bring to the beach; and when not relaxing on air, guests can take to the skies in a helicopter tour whisking them to a empty island for a romantic meal. And if you choose one of their adventure packages, ask them to use the GoPro HERO5 – it's complimentary!

Casa Grandview’s guests slumber on “hybrid beds,” which combine the best features of foam or gel mattresses with the benefits of traditional inner spring mattresses. It is not uncommon for their guests to come to breakfast raving about the bed and wondering what they have slept on.

Fire pits are kindling camaraderie at inns such as Hillbrook Inn & Spa, while electric car chargers are easy to find at many bed & breakfasts across North America, including Lookout Point Lakeside Inn. At The Iris Inn, the entire guest room has evolved into a separate amenity by giving couples the chance to sleep in a luxurious glass tree house.

At BnBFinder, we are using the ABCs of Bed & Breakfast Value to let guests and the media know about the ever-changing special aspects that have always been a part of the bed & breakfast experience. I welcome your thoughts and always want to know what's new at your inn. Please email me, mary@bnbfinder.com