Posts Tagged ‘Economy’
I’ll admit it. My family has recently been patronizing the Golden Arches more than we probably should. When you are in my situation (two kids under 4, a kitchen that is operational, but still a construction zone, and a financial ground that has shifted under me), sometimes the path of least resistance is taken. Of course, being the fiscal conservative I am, the concept of cheap food can also be appealing. But it just occurred to me on our last trip that a trip to Mickey-D’s costs me upwards of $16. Wait a second! I thought you could feed a family at McDonald’s for something like eight bucks. How is this happening, and what the heck does this have to do with innkeeping?
Caught red-handed eating McDonald’s at Midway Airport on my way home
from the Heartland Innkeepers Conference. Shhh. Don’t tell my wife.
I’m a consumer and my antenna is now officially up. While my antenna was down, the price of fast food crept up. Peter Yesawich, a noted authority on travel trends and speaker at the upcoming Innkeeping Show, recently observed that affluent travelers (defined by household incomes greater than or equal to $75,000) will be comparison shopping MORE than their less affluent counterparts. Antennas are up. People are paying close attention to how they are spending their hard-earned, and seemingly less valuable, dollars. Isn’t it counterintuitive to think that the more affluent will be comparison shopping MORE than the less affluent? Yesawich also just released an interesting stat yesterday – his Traveler Sentiment Index is showing its first signs of upward momentum since January 2008, meaning travelers are feeling more positive about near-term travel possibilities than a year ago.
Tags: Economy, Marketing
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Tags: Economy, Innkeeping Show, Marketing, Online Reviews
Posted in Online Reviews | 3 Comments »
I recently spoke at the Mid Atlantic Innkeepers conference at The Homestead in Hot Springs, Virginia. It was great seeing innkeepers and vendors at this event.
I felt compelled to share the photo I took below. Upon entering my room, my eyes were drawn to the little jar of jelly beans. “How cute,” I thought. After seeing the price tag of “$15″ for the little jar of jelly beans, I didn’t think it was very cute.
Now is a GREAT time for innkeepers to remind potential guests about all the wonderful amenities you provide at no extra charge. While hotels are cutting back their amenities or charging for them (sometime an arm and a leg), we should capitalize on what’s happening and tell our story.
Also, I wanted to share with you a message that Scott Bushnell sent to his friends and clients in the innkeeping world about what innkeepers should be doing in this difficult environment. I have pasted it below.
Onward and upward, my innkeeping friends!
Jay______________________________________________________Email from Scott Bushnell:A couple of weeks ago I sent out a note suggesting your attendance at the Mid-Atlantic Innkeepers Conference and Trade Show in Virginia. I would like to pass on the BIGGEST LEARNING I picked up at the conference. The conference was packed with workshops and ideas on how to deal with the business of innkeeping, especially in this time of economic challenges.
Jay Karen, president of PAII, held a Town Hall Meeting and discussed the latest trends in the travel industry. But it was the results of the latest PAII business activity survey, summarizing the industry’s performance from September through November that really caught my attention.
Of the 218 innkeepers reporting their fall business levels, 30.3% reported stronger business than the same period the prior year and 19.3% reported about the same level. Half of the inns reported business as not as good as last year. But the REAL LEARNING came with the reasons why they feel their business was either up or down:
Tags: Economy, Marketing
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Someone shared with me that he had seen a sign in a storefront that said, “I hear there’s a recession going on. I choose not to participate,” or something like that. That is the ultimate in being “bullish” on the condition of the economy, but I like it. I’m not one to be a Pollyanna about things, but I do appreciate the optimism. I think many people will see themselves as victims of the economy and won’t do anything but take whatever changes may come their way. That is a recipe for struggle. When I think about the statistics and market research that I see coming out of the travel industry, I tend to be optimistic about innkeeping.
People just aren’t willing to give up their vacations. American workers receive the fewest vacation days per year among the world’s “industrialized” nations. The scarcity of vacation time means, by God, we’re going to take our vacations! That, I believe is true, even when the economy turns a bit sour. Workers have earned the right to relax, travel and tour, and there is nothing to suggest people are not going to take their vacations. Actually, some recent research by one of the travel industry’s leading forecasters, Peter Yesawich with Ypartnership, suggests people are planning to take more trips in the near future. Their research indicates that 16% plan to take fewer trips, but 27% plan to take more trips. In addition, according to YPartnership in research released in May, “six out of ten Americans who are currently planning a trip with their car, truck or SUV this summer will not change their travel plans even with the additional increases in the price of gas.”
Changes in Behavior
Just because people aren’t willing to give up their vacations, doesn’t mean they aren’t going to change some things during a financially tenuous time. I think the bed and breakfast industry is positioned well to welcome the four out of ten who intend to change their travel plans due to the rise in gas prices. Many indicate they will now drive shorter distances and stay for shorter periods of time. Our industry is in the sweet spot for those looking to change their plans a bit. As you know, B&Bs are perfect for the drive-in market, and our bread-and-butter are the two-to-four night stays. If travelers are going to opt out of the week-long, cross-country vacations to the giant theme parks and five-star resorts, I think they’ll opt in for the experiences innkeepers are offering.
Also, the Travel Industry Association (TIA) has reported on trends in travel preferences, most of which fall right in the lap of innkeepers. TIA calls these “markets of future opportunities.” Among the experiences travelers are increasingly seeking, and which overlap the B&B market, are:
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