While we have been emphasizing the increasing importance of offering online reservations both on your website as well as through distribution channels such as Expedia, hotels.com, Kayak, Travelocity, etc., this new study from the well-known Ypartnership makes it clear how important online reservations are to running a successful inn. (CEO Peter Yesawich is recently spoke at the PAII conference in Atlanta, and is well known to many innkeepers).
As reported in Hotel Marketing.com:
"While the percentage of leisure travelers who report making reservations online has grown more than thirty-seven percent (37%) since the year 2000, “Consumers’ search behavior has changed in recent years as people have become more familiar with search technology and the number of travel planning/purchasing sites has grown exponentially,” said Peter C. Yesawich, chairman and CEO of Ypartnership.
"According to the just-released National Travel MONITOR(SM), fully sixty-six percent (66%) of leisure travelers now use the Internet to plan some aspect of their travel (versus 35% in 2000), while fifty-six percent (56%) now report making reservations online. The nationally representative survey of 1,590 active travelers was conducted during the months of February and March, 2009, and is co-authored annually by Ypartnership and Yankelovich, Inc.
"Travelers visit search engines such as Google, Yahoo or MSN first (34%) when considering vacation destination alternatives. The Web sites of specific countries or destination boards are visited next (23%), followed by online travel agencies such as Expedia and Travelocity (22%). Only one percent (1%) of travelers commence their search for a vacation destination by visiting a blog.
"Search patterns for selecting an airline or lodging accommodation are understandably different. Consumers who are searching for these travel services first visit the Web sites of online travel agencies (42% and 31%, respectively). Brand-specific sites (41%) follow closely when leisure travelers are selecting an airline, yet significantly less so when they select lodging (21%). Meta search engines that compare fares are visited first by over one-out-of-ten travelers (13%) when selecting an airline."
If the only way prospective guests can book a room at your property is by telephoning or emailing you, there is absolutely no question that you are losing reservations every single day. Adding the RezOvation Booking Engine or Webervations to your website will increase your occupancy immediately, and at no risk, so please contact Sales@RezOvation.com or call (866) 565-1800 for details. Participating in BedandBreakfast.com Online Reservations is now easier than ever, thanks to seamless links for both RezOvation and Webervations customers, and gets you in front of those 22% of travelers who head to the big online travel agencies mentioned above.