WHYDFML?

That’s not a typo. It’s just a long acronym. It stands for “what have you done for me lately?” I suppose we’re not always best at tooting our own horn, but we have some fantastic things going on I want to share with everyone – a few things we’ve already announced and others that will be news to members. As I travel to state association meetings throughout the country, I’m often asked by non-members (including many former members) about what PAII is like today and what we are doing. Similarly, when we talk to busy members about renewing their membership, we find many have been too busy to really pay attention to what’s happening. You pay dues to PAII – so you should know what’s happening. Here’s a short list of what’s happening now. There’s a lot more in the on-deck circle, so stay tuned for more!

Prescription Drug Program
Soon PAII members will be receiving in the mail a letter and two cards that give you access to discount prices on prescription drugs at nearly all major pharmacies. We know being self-employed doesn’t always afford you the best health coverage, including many times weak or no pharmacy coverage. With this card, you and your family can enjoy attractive savings. If you don’t want to wait for the direct mail piece, simply go to http://www.sunrxdiscount.com/paii to print your own card now. At this web site you can go ahead and check the prices you’ll pay for your prescriptions – both over-the-counter and mail order. This is not an insurance program, but rather a nationwide discount program. If you have good prescription coverage, this program might not benefit you – but do yourself a favor and check it out! I’ve been using the card myself, and have enjoyed the savings.

IQ Circulation

Beginning this January, Innkeeping Quarterly magazine will be circulated to all innkeepers throughout the United States, not just PAII members. To date we’ve been sending this leading trade publication to members every quarter, as well as a different group of 3,000 non-member innkeepers. The advertisers want the greater reach, and we believe the entire industry should be reading the timely content in this publication. We’re looking for a few good writers! If you have significant writing experience and want to contribute to the industry’s only trade magazine, please email Ingrid Thorson at ingrid@paii.org

Research Project Open to State Associations
Every two years, PAII has published the Industry Study on Operations and Finance, which contains valuable data on average daily rates, occupancy, profit and loss and much more. We’re making two important changes to this study. First and foremost, we have worked out an arrangement with our research partners, Industry Insights, to assist any interested state association in publishing a state-level report. The California Association of Bed and Breakfast Inns (CABBI) is the first to jump on board. For about 5% of the cost of the national study, participating state associations will have access to their own comprehensive report. This should make the benchmarking process much more valuable for all innkeepers. If you’re a board member of a state association, and you’re interested in learning more, please contact me at jay@paii.org. The second important change to the study is that we will start collecting data on a quarterly basis, so that we can report on quarterly business in our industry. The hotel industry collects and reports on data every month. We can do better than every two years! So, when the quarter is over, PAII will be asking for a few measurements every quarter, such as revenue, rate and occupancy. We guarantee that all data collected will remain 100% confidential.
Engaging TripAdvisor for Innkeepers

As you hopefully know by now, I have an important meeting lined up on September 17th with the senior leadership of TripAdvisor. Over 250 innkeepers have shared their TripAdvisor stories, grievances, praises and criticisms with me. I am currently processing all of this information and will be going to the top of the ladder with these matters. As I have said before, the impact of TripAdvisor has been the quintessential double-edged sword. Many innkeepers have benefited greatly from the free exposure and positive reviews. But just as many innkeepers seem to have been burned by fraudulent negative reviews, unresponsive customer service and just plain extortion by customers wielding the threat of a negative review. I believe it is our responsibility as your trade association to represent your voice on matters that impact your business so greatly.

Lunchtime Learning Webinar Series
In less than two weeks, at 2:00 p.m. EST on September 16th, PAII will host our first “webinar” in our new Lunchtime Learning Webinar Series. The topic will be “Converting Callers and Walk-ins to Guests,” presented by PAII favorite, Don Farrell. We know many of you cannot make the Innkeeping Conference every year to take advantage of the great education, so we will bring to you and your inn some popular topics every quarter. All you need is 60 minutes, a phone line (to hear the speaker live) and internet access to view the PowerPoint presentation – all live. Go ahead and register for the first one by logging in to Members Only. Other upcoming topics include getting more mid-week business travelers, changing your marketing during a tough economy and time management strategies.

Media Support
And just a final tidbit of information, since we oftentimes forget to let members know that we frequently talk to the press
on behalf of the bed and breakfast industry. These past few months have been busy with media requests for interviews and information. In addition to talking with reporters from several regional and local newspapers in several states, we have helped writers with their stories at Conde Nast Traveler, Everyday with Rachel Ray and Inc. magazine. We do our best to provide helpful and relevant information, as well as portray a positive image of our industry.

I welcome your thoughts on any or all of the above. Again, we have a number of other projects in the works not mentioned here, including a new PAII web site and database and some wonderful marketing tools to help you with getting more “heads in beds.” Rest assured that the PAII board and staff are working hard to both serve your needs and lead the way on important matters.

With best regards,

Jay

Author: Jay Karen

Jay is the President & CEO of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International.

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