We sent out surveys in March to both travelers and innkeepers to gain insight into B&B travel trends. Below are some of the highlights from both surveys. Some of the most interesting findings are that many of the top 20 summer destinations for travelers are small towns, and close to half of innkeepers think rising gas prices may actually increase their reservations.
Highlights from the Traveler Survey
How many trips are they planning and how long are they going?
- Even with ever-increasing gas prices, nine out of 10 (90.3%) say they will take at least one weekend getaway this summer, and nearly two-thirds (62.3%) say they will take two or more weekend getaways this summer.
- Nearly two-thirds (64.5%) of travelers say they will take one or two long weekend getaways this summer, and 70% will take one or two week-long vacations this summer.
Where are they going?
- Click here to see the top 20 destinations for summer 2011.
How do they choose where to stay?
- When deciding where to stay, travelers rank consumer reviews the highest (49.6%), followed closely by photos (48.7%), ability to book online (44.4%) and friends’ recommendations (44%).
Why do they stay at B&Bs?
- B&B travelers say B&Bs allow them to get away from masses staying at hotels, while offering unique, interesting, and intimate accommodations that are adult/couple-oriented.
Highlights from the Innkeeper Survey
How did their business perform in 2010?
- More than three out of four (75.8%) said their 2010 revenue was as good or better compared to 2009, with more than half of those saying revenue was up 10% or more.
- Almost 19 percent of innkeepers said revenue in 2010 was up 20% or more.
Are they optimistic for 2011?
- Two-thirds of innkeepers (63.3%) said they expect their reservations to increase in 2011.
Do they think rising gas prices will affect their business?
- With no end in sight for rising prices, 61% said yes.
- Interestingly, 40% of innkeepers think reservations will go down slightly due to consumers traveling less, while another 40% think reservations will go up slightly as people choose weekend stays over long vacations.
What led to success for those who had increased reservations?
- Innkeepers overwhelmingly attribute online reviews (74%) for improved bookings in 2010, but also say social media like Facebook and Twitter (28.9%) and publicity (28.9%) contributed to their improved performance.
By Emily Starbuck Crone