Business Travelers Turn to Bed and Breakfasts for their Internet Savvy and Extra Value Lisa Kolb
Bed and Breakfasts (B&Bs) are Plugged In People expect a B&B to radiate charm and coziness. Travelers seek them out for their distinctive character, along with the personalized attention thrown in. But high-tech savvy?
You bet! Despite their down-home demeanor, the typical B&B is exceptionally attuned to the benefits of the Internet. The B&B industry is closely linked up via the World Wide Web. Searchable B&B directories make it convenient for tourists to locate exactly what they require in faraway destinations, and book it with confidence.
Travelers can find even the most "tucked away" inn online, before they leave home. Almost all B&Bs have a Web site. These abundantly illustrated sites provide detailed information about: rates and policies, local tourist attractions and surrounding vistas, photographs of the inn (including each room), as well as contact information (with directions and maps).
About 20% of the bookings we receive are made online, using our availability software. But 85% to 90% of our business comes from the Internet, either by a direct email or by phone call.
Business travelers have different needs than tourists do A person traveling on business isnít there to take pleasure in a romantic getaway, golf vacation, or local sightseeing. They want business accommodations with the comforts of home and modern conveniences like Internet access. According to a recent study by Travelocity, the amenity that road-weary business travelers value the most is comfortable bedding - a concern that B&Bs take very seriously.
The B&B industry is promoting business-traveler friendly practices. Nowadays, most inns are eager to serve up the additional services business people require.
Top ten essentials for business travel 1. Flexible cancellation policy 2. Acceptance of all major credit cards 3. Special midweek rates for business travelers 4. In-room telephone/data port with fax machine availability
5. Well-lit, in-room table or desk with appropriate seating 6. Well-lit private bathroom with hair dryer. 7. Flexibility on late check-ins. 8. Early and/or healthy breakfast options; private table if preferred
9. In-room television.
10.Real-time online reservations or availability calendars
Courtesy of http://www.BedandBreakfast.com, the leading online B&B reservation network, listing over 27,000 B&Bs and inns
B&Bs deliver the extras prized by business people on the road
B&Bs cater to business travelers by providing them needed services. These are the kinds of extras and fees that can really jack up the cost of a hotel bill. Yet B&B owners include them for free, or for a nominal charge. That makes a B&B stay a relative bargain.
Free business services and benefits - Breakfast - always included - Local and toll free calls - free, no charge for long distance calls made on a calling card - Convenient Internet access to send and receive email - Ability to send and receive faxes - Concierge services like reservations or local resource recommendations
- No need to tip the owner for every little assistance provided
Providing the comforts of home and the office The B&B I operate is located in Colorado Springs, Colorado, next to Pikeís Peak and the Rocky Mountains. Itís a romantic Victorian property, thatís in demand year round - http://www.lennoxhouse.com. Tourists come from all over to see the U.S. Air Force Academy, the Garden of the Gods, and the Olympic Training Center.
As spectacular as such attractions are, business people seldom have time to enjoy them. Theyíre focused on the job at hand and want to get done and back home ASAP.
But because of my background in banking software, I used to travel two out of four weeks each month on business. So I totally understand what business travelers require in accommodations. And Iíve made sure theyíre all included in my inn. We want business people to keep coming back to Lennox House whenever Colorado Springs is on their route.
The extra services and friendliness travelers can expect from their B&B hosts provides a homey note. Between that and the availability of necessary online access, businesses travelers can "tend to business" with minimal hassles. And get back home.
©Lisa Kolb, 2004
--Lisa Kolb combines innkeeping and Web development at Lennox House, http://www.lennoxhouse.com in Colorado Springs, CO, at the base of the Rocky Mts. Acorn Internet Services, http://www.acorn-is.com
serves the hospitality industry. (877)226-7699