Bed & Breakfast Inns to Ramp Up Marketing

The accommodations industry is beginning to emerge from a long downturn in both business and leisure travel. Operators are turning to new media formats to promote their best features and to engage with customers. That strategy may work well for trendy resorts in downtown locales or vacation destinations. But for bed & breakfast inn operators, the key to new business is all about emphasizing the right details in a marketing campaign.

The typical B&B guest possesses attractive income demographics – about 1 out of 6 leisure travelers with household incomes that exceed $125,000 stay in B&B inns. Further, 79% of surveyed leisure travelers have an interest in staying at a B&B this year.

Consumers who are likely to stay at B&B’s have definite ideas about why this type of lodging is appealing:

  • Private, less crowded, quiet ambiance: 64%
  • Provide a better sense of local culture: 56%
  • Personalized service of innkeeper: 54%
  • Home-​cooked meals: 52%
  • Romantic atmosphere: 47%
  • Social interaction with other guests: 39%

Innkeepers can appeal to prospective guests by marketing specific details. Food is important to travelers with 88% looking for complimentary, freshly prepared breakfast and 68% seeking the opportunity to taste unusual cuisines. Marketing campaigns can also emphasize the unique nature of the B&B building. B&B guests enjoy a distinctive theme or atmosphere (59%), distinctive architecture (55%), and reserving a specific room with an unusual decor or theme (53%).

B&B operators can improve business by marketing to a niche group of leisure travelers and playing up their unusual features. In doing so, they can differentiate themselves from the me-​too marketers in the lodging industry.

[Source: Yesawich, Peter. To B&B, or Not. Insights. June 2011. Web. 19 Jul. 2011] 
Kathy Crosett
Kathy is the Vice President of Research for SalesFuel. She holds a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Vermont and oversees a staff of researchers, writers and content providers for SalesFuel. Previously, she was co-​owner of several small businesses in the health care services sector.