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Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cornell Issues Comprehensive Marketing Guide For B&B Inns

10 August 2006

Cornell Issues Comprehensive Marketing Guide For B&B Inns


Ithaca, NY -- Accompanied by a handy checklist, a comprehensive new marketing guide offers dozens of suggestions for promoting bed and breakfast inns. The checklist, “A Comprehensive Guide to Merchandising Bed and Breakfast Inns,” was developed by William Carroll, Ph.D., of Cornell University, three Cornell students, and Pamela Lanier, director of Bed & Breakfasts Inns & Guesthouses International, publisher of numerous guides and books for B&Bs, and host of Travelguides.com and Lanierbb.com. The guide is the newest publication in the CHR Tools for Industry series. The guide and checklist are available at no charge from the Cornell University Center for Hospitality Research.

“Our goal is to make sure that innkeepers have a comprehensive list of both the traditional methods of promoting B&Bs, as well as the expanding methods for using the internet,” said Carroll, who is a senior lecturer at the Cornell University School of Hotel Administration. “We know that innkeepers won’t need every idea that we offer, but we want to make sure that nothing is overlooked.”

In addition to listing the promotion ideas, the guide explains how each promotion idea can be used in different circumstances. “Promoting a B&B is different from marketing a hotel, because of the personal touch,” Lanier explained. “Even though it’s important for an inn to have strong internet presence, for example, many customers still prefer to telephone the innkeeper for reservations. That means the innkeeper has to promote the B&B through both traditional and electronic means.”

As examples of traditional methods for promoting a B&B, the inn can be listed in guidebooks, become a venue for special events, and send out direct-mail pieces by various means. Electronic promotion hinges on offering an attractive website, but that’s just the beginning, since that site must feature keywords that search engines will notice and handle guests’ requests for rates and availability. It is important that the inn’s name comes up strongly in search engines, which is often achieved by joining inn and B&B directories that themselves come up well in organic and ppc-sponsored searches. Along that line, email contact is a logical way for innkeepers to remain in touch with guests and potential guests.

The report is free to users of the site, but you do need to register with them for free.

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