Author Archives: Kristi Dement

10 Terrific Twitter Tips for B&B’s

10 twitter tips

 

Did you know that there are around 335 million monthly active Twitter users?  Did you know that 500 million tweets are sent each day?  Most of us know that Twitter is a popular social media website. In fact, a single day’s worth of tweets would fill a 10 million page book!

 

 

Here are some quick tips so you can get the best out of using Twitter to promote your bed and breakfast inn:

1) Know your audience in order to target your message to the right people.  You want to write to appeal to your specific market–not everyone.  What kind of bed and breakfast guests would you like to attract?    

  • Be pet friendly if you want guests with pets
  • Be couple friendly and require kids to be a minimum age
  • Promote being healthy by not allowing smoking on all grounds
  • Accommodate guests with allergies or restricted diets when you cook breakfasts
  • Reach out to those getting married or renewing their vows with ceremonies
  • Provide spa services to guests who like to be pampered
  • Offer extra amenities such as hot tubs or private balcony views

2) Regularly spend time listening to the needs and wants of your target market.  What would ease their pain and make their lives better?

  • Need time to get away from it all
  • Want to relax with a loved one
  • Want to visit a local relative without inconveniencing them
  • Like to visit tourist spots in your area
  • Want personal touch of a B&B versus big hotel

3) Have strategies behind who you follow.  You do not have to follow everyone. Be selective and show your audience what they like to see. 

  • Travel tips (give them useful information)
  • Scenic pictures of your area (entice them to visit)
  • Baby animals (who does not like baby animals?)
  • Recipes (you may even offer a cooking class to your guests)
  • Local activities (show them what they can do in your area)

4) Have a consistent presence online.  Tweet at least four to six times per day if possible.

5) Provide useful content based on your brands’ goals.  Selling should not be the focus.

  • Tweet powerful quotes
  • Update readers about your area events
  • Share meaningful stories

6) Tweet with images.  People are visual creatures and tweets with pictures are more than twice as likely to be retweeted.  Images can convey more than words do. 

  • Share pictures of the bedrooms in your bed and breakfast
  • Tweet pictures of your outdoor views including landscaping
  • Share pictures of your delightful breakfasts and goodies made
  • Share pictures of local community events including concerts and sports games

7) Be active on other social media channels and have a blog on your website.  Blogs provide fresh content the search engines love.  More online connections come from having a strong presence on other social media websites.

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Linked In
  • Pinterest

8) Use hashtags (#) so the reach of your tweets spreads to people searching for that term. Use trending hashtags (labeled “trends”) on the bottom left.  Make sure the hashtags are relevant to the tweet and two hashtags is plenty.

  • Newsworthy events
  • Celebrities
  • Holidays (including national food holidays)
  • This day in history
  • Sports
  • Trending area activities

9) Always have a call to action.  Know what you want them to do after they read your tweet.

10) Monitor your Twitter results with other websites.  Some Twitter tools are available for free or to use on a free trial basis.  Try them out to see which you prefer.

  • Buffer
  • Hootsuite
  • Tweetdeck

When you use these tips consistently, you will see a dramatic increase in your numbers:

  • More Twitter followers
  • More retweets
  • More blog subscribers
  • More guests
  • And more income!

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

Secrets To The Heart of Hospitality

vase of 3 red roses, book cover "The Heart of Hospitality", red heart-shaped chocolates, red welcome mat

Let’s get to the heart of hospitality. We feature Micah Solomon’s book “The Heart of Hospitality: Great Hotel and Restaurant Leaders Share Their Secrets.” Treat a guest as your only guest by focusing on their needs. Never stop believing in the importance of the individual guest and the individual guest interaction. Every interaction is an opportunity to make a guest feel cared for.

Hospitality should appear effortless and spontaneous to the guest yet service standards and systems need to be in place. When resolving any hospitality issues, be sure to apologize (even if you are not to blame), review the complaint with the guest, fix the problem and follow up to ensure that they are pleased with how it was handled. Document the problem in detail for your records and to have a plan in place for similar challenges.

People are the heart of hospitality. People who are hospitable have certain personality traits:

  • Conscientious of the details
  • Empathy
  • Energetic
  • Exceed expectations
  • Follow through
  • Integrity
  • Kind
  • Optimistic
  • Positive
  • Thoughtful
  • Warm
  • Work ethic

Strive to build a culture of saying “yes” to the guest. Even to questions or requests the customer has not voiced yet. Create “wow” moments that delight guests, make them want to share their story, and come again. Never say “no” without offering a “yes” at the same time. Offering an alternative solution and an apology makes it easier for the guest to accept. Pledge to commit to delivering excellence every day. What matters today is all about unique, memorable, and personal experiences.

Guests today are looking for what they perceive as genuine hospitality experiences. Focus on authentic, unscripted conversations and interactions with your guests. Instead of saying, “you owe us this amount of money” you can rephrase it by stating, “our records indicate a balance of this amount of money.” Hospitality requires the ability to adjust, depending upon the situation and the guest.

Find ways to share the authentic and uniquely local aspects of your area with your guests. Consider providing guests with your very own custom-made travel guide. Guests desire to live the life of a local.

Your challenge, with each guest, is to envision what an enjoyable experience looks like and to put together the pieces that make this happen. Pay attention to smaller touch points. More and more customers are looking for experiences, to participate in something they can look back on with pride. Balance novelty with consistency.

Finally, Micah Solomon, states that providers of accommodations should focus on how your hospitality experience is shared with two or more guests. Build opportunities for social sharing into the customer experience. In hospitality, a brand often serves as a backdrop to the story of each customer’s life. What matters is getting to the heart of hospitality.

 

Are You Making These Easy Mistakes With Your Bed and Breakfast?

camera next to lap top and social media icons

As a bed and breakfast owner and/or innkeeper, you want your hospitality business to shine. However, there may be some things that you are doing, easy mistakes, that are causing you to lose potential guests who decide to book elsewhere. I’m talking about making mistakes that are relatively straightforward to fix yet are powerful in their results. This post will focus on photography, social media, and website tips.

Photography

Professional photography is essential to increasing your occupancy rates. Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Is the photography on my website done by a professional hospitality photographer?
  • Are the photos attractive and do they inspire others to want to visit?
  • Are my pictures large enough and well lit so people can easily see in the rooms?
  • Do my pictures of indoor rooms also feature the view outside our rooms?
  • Does the image contain anything unsightly (such as a toilet or a trash can)?
  • Does the room look clean and well-organized (and free of clutter)?
  • Were the images made to include extra special touches like a vase of colorful flowers, a delicious-looking tray of tasty food, premium assorted chocolates, and your own branded pottery mugs (or wine glasses)?
  • Have your guests ever said that your pictures do not do your place justice? Or that your inn is so much better in person?
  • Do you feature everything your guests will see?
    • all the guest rooms (with detailed descriptions of their amenities)
    • your bath rooms (if they are attractive and without view of any toilet)
    • all the common rooms for your guests to hang out (including conference and entertainment rooms)
    • the outside of your B&B (including the grounds, any flower or vegetable gardens, private lakes, swimming pools, etc.)
    • anything else open to guests and/or the public on your property (restaurant, spa, tea room, game room, etc.)

Social Media

Social media is a great way for guests to know you more. In addition to sharing images and recipes, you can share blog posts, let people know about upcoming events (at your inn and/or your local area), use #hashtags so your content can be found by others easier, and much more.

Are you regularly sharing social media content so you stay top of mind?

Here is 2019 social media statistics of some of the most popular networks:

  • Facebook: 1.4 billion daily active users, 300 millions photos uploaded daily, 8 billion videos
  • Instagram: 500 million daily active users, 95 million photos uploaded daily
  • LinkedIn: 200 million dailiy active users, 20 million company pages
  • Pinterest: 200 million daily active users, 1 billion boards created, 100 billion pins created
  • Snapchat: 178 million daily active users, 3 billion daily snaps, 10 billion daily videos
  • Twitter: 100 million daily active users, 140 million daily published tweets
  • YouTube: 30 million daily active users, 5 billion views daily, average length of visit 40 minutes

Website

Your website is a window that potential guests can get a sneak peek through before they decide to book. This is an ideal place to showcase everything your inn and local area offers to guests. The following questions are about key website features that will set you apart from other inns.

  • Does your website look professional, clean, and uncluttered (with easy-to-read font and plenty of white space)?
  • Is your website mobile responsive (does it adjust to whatever device it is being viewed from)?
  • Do you have an “About Us” page that details things like the history of your inn (if you own a historical property) and the reason you became an innkeeper?
  • Do you have pictures of every room/suite/cabin that guests can stay in? Do you list the individual amenities of each place?
  • Are the website pictures clickable for people to pin on Pinterest?
  • Do you have visible social media icons that represent everywhere your inn has a presence online?
  • Do you let people know what to expect for breakfast time? What about your complimentary refreshments and goodies?
  • Do you share the logos of professional organizations (like Select Registry and B&B associations) you belong to and major hospitality achievements (like Trip Advisor ratings or awards) you have received?
  • Do you have a Google map and directions for people to find you easily?
  • Do you have a mobile friendly booking engine connected to your website so people can “Book Now”?
  • Do you list your guest packages and specials? How easy can they be added by those booking online?
  • Is there a short (ideally less than five minutes) video of your inn that people can view directly from your website?
  • Do you have a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page that answers questions people often ask you?
  • Do you offer a downloadable vacation guide to your local area?
  • Is it clear to people how they can contact you (phone number, email address and/or contact form)?

In this post we focused on three areas where easy mistakes can happen: your photography, your social media presence, and your website. When these areas are strong, your business will likely be strong, too.

How To Make a Successful Bed and Breakfast Press Kit

bed and breakfast press kit

 

 

A successful bed and breakfast press kit can increase your inn’s likelihood for receiving media attention. Wondering what is a press kit? It is a package of media about your inn that makes it easier for a journalist or reporter to do a story about your bed and breakfast.

 

When you do most of the work for reporters up front, they will be more receptive to your pitch for press for their website, publication, or news story. In addition, it looks more professional and makes your bed and breakfast more appealing to write about.

 

Consider adding a press kit link on your website.  “Are you a journalist working on a story about inns or bed and breakfasts? We would be happy to help you with your story or article.”

 

Your valuable bed and breakfast press kit can include:

 

  • Contact’s name, phone number, and email address (the owner, innkeeper, public relations person)
  • High resolution photos (your gorgeous view, the outside of your inn, your guest rooms and common rooms, the best breakfasts meals you serve, etc.)
  • Map of your local area (and its nearby attractions)
  • Brief history of your inn (its location, year it was built, original owners, type of architecture, its history as a bed and breakfast, etc.)
  • Innkeepers/owners story (share your story or how your B&B came to be, a little about yourself and your team, and why you’re doing what you’re doing)
  • Pictures of your luxurious amenities (such as a pool or private hot tub, fireplace, library, spa, garden, etc.)
  • Current promotions (your own specials, custom packages, and description of private events you host like weddings, etc.)
  • Awards received (from bed and breakfast associations, contests won, your AAA Diamond rating, your BBB grade, etc.)
  • Online guest reviews (share links to positive guest testimonials)
  • Your blog (which features local activities and area events)
  • Existing press coverage (list of and links to articles in newspapers, magazines, and online attention)
  • Videos (made about your B&B or that you had filmed to promote your inn)

 

Include anything you think will enhance your reputation as providing exceptional hospitality. This is your opportunity make it accessible for the press to report about your bed and breakfast. Even curious potential guests will be impressed by it when they see it.

 

Having an available press kit, makes you media friendly and more likely to get more publicity for your inn.  If you do not mind members of the press coming to your bed and breakfast to interview you and/or make a video, then be sure to state that on-site tours can be arranged. There is nothing better than free publicity!

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

What About Bed and Breakfast Tea Rooms?

bed and breakfast tea rooms

 

There are several bed and breakfast tea rooms in America.  Tea rooms can be open to the public or limited to their own bed and breakfast guests.  Tea rooms are great for small gatherings and often they serve brunch and lunch. Each tea room has their own hours or some serve “by reservation only.”

 

The Channel Bass Inn Bed and Breakfast and Tea Room is located in Chincoteague, Virginia. Opened in 1995 by innkeepers Barbara and David Wiedenheft, The Tea Room offers afternoon tea three days a week to their guests (as well as to the public) to enjoy a taste of England. The first course is something savory like tea sandwiches or tea scones. Next, are the “world-famous” scones served with butter, jam, and cream. The third course is more sweet like a decadent chocolate truffle, butterscotch pecan tart, or pound cake with blueberries, strawberries, and cream. For hearty eaters, Barbara offers an additional jam tart, macaroon, or butter “biscuit” (cookie).

Your Menu Options Include:

  • Croissants
  • Quiche
  • Salads
  • Sandwiches
  • Scones
  • Soups
  • Sweets (like cookies and cakes)
  • Tea (bottomless usually costs extra)

Your Open Times:

  • Regular year round hours
  • Reservation only
  • Seasonal hours
  • Sunday brunch

Events You Can Host:

  • Baby shower
  • Birthday party
  • Bridal shower
  • Club meeting
  • Girls get together
  • Group meeting
  • Private parties

Items You Can Sell:

  • Antiques
  • Jewelry
  • Tea
  • Tea cups
  • Tea pots

Marketing Opportunities:

  • Blog: great fresh content for your website
  • E-mail marketing: send out information to those on your e-mail list
  • Photos of your bed and breakfast, tea room, food, and guests (with their permission)
  • Social media: Facebook fan page, Pinterest pins, Twitter updates, etc.
  • Website: you can have one of your main headings labeled “Tea Room”

When thinking of ways to increase your business, if you do not already have a tea room, bed and breakfast tea rooms could be a great idea. For those who do have tea rooms, are you consistently promoting them online? Kristi Dement of Bed and Breakfast Blogging is happy to help you with this.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

How to Choose Your Bed and Breakfast Name

outside of blue historic bed and breakfast with landscaped yard and iron fence with brick pillars

Your bed and breakfast name sets the tone for what your guests can expect.  A good name says a lot about an inn.  You want the name to be memorable and give a great first impression.  It is important to take your time and come up with a long list of potential names before deciding. Get a talented group of friends together and just start randomly calling out names.  Have someone write down all the bed and breakfast name suggestions.

 

Permit your gathering of people to suggest whatever name comes to mind.  By allowing everything to be spoken, eventually you will have a list of great potential bed and breakfast names.

 

Only after you have generated this list of names should you then start to evaluate them.  Make sure that your bed and breakfast name is:

  • Simple to pronounce aloud by others (have others repeat the name aloud)
  • Spelled like it sounds (makes it easier to find)
  • Without an unintended meaning (think of the words in various contexts)
  • Not too common (make sure it is fresh)
  • Appropriate to your local surroundings (e.g. do not have beach in the name unless there really is one)
  • Not too funny (this may suggest you do not care about your hospitality business)
  • Easy for guests to remember (name recognition)

 

Top business blogger Brandon Gaille recommends the following practical advice when it comes to finding the perfect business name:

  • It should be easy to recognize in an email subject line or a tweet
  • Check the international implications of your name (make sure it is not offensive in any other language)
  • Unique names can come from inventing a name, adding a letter, dropping a letter, or adding an “ly” or an “ify” on the end (however, as mentioned, spelling it like it sounds makes it easier for people to find)
  • Make sure you reserve the business name (or a shortened version) consistently across all social media accounts

 

Other words for bed and breakfast include:

  • B&B
  • cabins
  • cottage
  • country inn
  • estate
  • farm
  • garden inn
  • guest house
  • hideaway
  • house
  • hotel
  • inn
  • lodge
  • manor
  • mansion
  • oasis
  • palace
  • place
  • ranch
  • resort
  • street inn
  • suites
  • valley
  • village inn

 

Visualize how your business name will look in a logo, outdoor sign, and on your website.  Be sure to get your own email address to be something like:

innkeeper@yourbedandbreakfastname.com

 

When you know what you want to call your bed and breakfast, you must make sure that the domain name (website address) is available before you register your business name.  If there are already bed and breakfast inns with that name (even in a different state), it is best to choose a different name or a variation of the name to avoid confusion.

 

Above all, make sure you absolutely love your bed and breakfast name since you will likely say it over and over throughout your time as a bed and breakfast owner.  Smart innkeepers ask for ideas from others and take plenty of time when they choose their bed and breakfast name.

 

Image by Marcus Berg of Unique Angles Photography

 

How To Develop The Right Idea At The Right Time

Book Cover "The Creative Curve: How To Develop The Right Idea At The Right Time" next to computer keyboard with button "create"

The Creative Curve: How To Develop The Right Idea At The Right Time by Allen Gannett is an inspiring read for all entrepreneurs, including hospitality providers. I absolutely loved this book. With compelling research and examples, the author shows us that creativity is not limited to the chosen few. The author argues that the world’s best known creative people actually follow a consistent pattern of behavior.

 

4 Ways To Develop The Right Idea At The Right Time:

 

  • Imitation: Learning the necessary constraints and formulas of your industry. Constraints include length of guest stay, dietary restrictions, and guest budget. Guest satisfaction comes from factors like attention to detail and offering extras including packages. This leads to positive reviews, returning guests, and guest referrals.
  • Creative Communities: Building communities refines skills, increases motivation, and finds people with whom to collaborate. This includes:
    • Certifications: from respected organizations like TripAdvisor
    • Listings: in elite clubs like Select Registry & Historic Hotels of America
    • Memberships: in professional hospitality associations
    • Partnerships: with local businesses (florist, restaurants, spa, etc.)
  • Iterations: Being aware of timing and engaging in iterations enables using data and processes to improve work. Ways to measure progress include:
    • Accounting: evaluating revenue/profit (from bookings, events, packages, etc.) and costs/loss (food, maintenance, staff, etc.)
    • Email service provider: email open rates, clicks on links, etc.
    • Google Analytics: to tell the performance of website pages and blog
    • Guest reviews: take note of what guests are saying about you (share positive reviews and make necessary improvements)
    • Reservation software: mobile friendliness, occupancy rates, visitor behavior, etc.
    • Social media: reach, likes, comments, follows, shares, clicks, etc.

Author Allen Gannett refers to “The Creative Curve” as a measure of the balance of the familiar (for guests to feel comfortable) and the novel (different enough to attract their interest). Implementing and monitoring these four ways enables hospitality providers to find that sweet spot and to develop the right idea at the right time.

Are You Happy With Your Hospitality Business Results?

Bed and Breakfast Blogging's logo and green paper money with white dollar bill sign on it

How often do you think about your hospitality business results? Is there a nagging feeling like you know you need to do something different, but you aren’t sure what? My clients hate relying on online travel agencies (OTAs) for bookings and they hate losing out to uninsured AirBnB properties, but that’s okay because I’m here to help them consistently and easily attract their ideal guests without having to lose OTA commissions.

I also show them how to generate more revenue by offering profitable guest packages (that save your guests time and attract them to your inn) as well as highlighting your local area (since people often choose their location before they choose their accommodations).

I also know how to write content that attracts people to your website, and more importantly, attracts visitors to your bed and breakfast! My philosophy when it comes to marketing your inn is to showcase your unique amenities and your friendly hospitality (what your guests tell you they love the most).

If you’re looking for instant results, we might not be a fit, because in my experience it is consistent effort that leads you to a better bottom line. My clients recognize the value of promoting other local businesses and events and the advantage of being seen in the media and that’s my style, too.

Are you a hospitality provider that wants to consistently earn more revenue? Do you need to improve your occupancy rate? Would you like to offer guest packages? Ready to boost your business like never before? 

This can all be achieved by putting the needs of your guests first. After all, without guests you just have a property. Let me help you grow your business.

My name is Kristi Dement and I have been working with luxury accommodations since 2013. What’s so special about me? I treat every client’s hospitality business as if it were my own. My success depends upon your success.

Use my contact page, call me at (919) 931-6168, or email me (contact@bedandbreakfastblogging.com). I’m here to get you the hospitality business results you want!

 

How To Be Featured In Bed and Breakfast Magazine

Bed and Breakfast Magazine with Nicolette Johnston

 

Have you checked out Bed and Breakfast Magazine? This is published by Nicolette Johnston of Colette Publications who recently presented on a PAII (Professional Association of Innkeepers International) webinar about “How To Pitch To Journalists” hosted by Heather Turner, the PAII Marketing Director.

The traditional (but more formal) way of getting press is by submitting a query letter (by email or snail mail) or sending a press release (through a specific channel or direct email). Nicolette likes how trackable emails (which are less formal) can be when she recalls a previous email that was sent to her. While she may not be able to use your images or information in the current issue she is working on, what you propose may be ideal for a future issue, depending upon the theme of the particular issue.

Since editors and marketing divisions of the press are becoming more accessible, you can contact some by direct message on social media. Some things to ask BEFORE you approach the press:

  • Is this interesting to their readers?
  • How well will this sell?
  • Does they have similar content already in this magazine?
  • Does it fall in line with the theme of the magazine?

Nicolette’s tips for sharing things via the press:

  • Be creative, unique, succinct, original, and creative
  • Know who you are pitching (research the publication beforehand)
  • A picture is worth a thousand words (and food images and recipes sell)!
  • A good story works well, too!
  • Provide as much information for the journalist as possible so they do not have to dig for information
  • Keep a query letter to no more than one page and include a brief background

Press releases can be about:

  • Winning an award
  • Highlighting an upcoming event
  • Showcasing a unique fact
  • Piggybacking on the success of local businesses and restaurants in your area

In social media:

  • Use hashtags (such as #bedandbreakfast, #innkeepers, #breakfastrecipe)
  • Follow the press
  • Comment and like other posts
  • Direct message press
  • Tag @bedandbreakfastmagazine and other press
  • Editors scour social media for unique and eye-catching images

Nicolette said in this webinar that the press is always looking for great content. If you do not get a response, then follow up in a couple weeks asking if they need more photos or a recipe. Be sure to send good images, especially for recipes.

The typical editorial schedule:

  • Newspapers and blogs: 1 day to 1 month
  • Monthly publications: 1 to 3 months in advance
  • Quarterly publications: 3 to 9 months in advance
  • Social media: immediate to 6 weeks

Bed and Breakfast Magazine is a quarterly magazine. The Spring Issue goes to print on June 1st and will be on news stands in the beginning of July. They can be found at Barnes and Noble bookstores. Nicolette says she plans on there being both print and digital formats of the magazine.

The Bed and Breakfast Magazine Summer Issue (2019) will feature North Carolina Bed and Breakfast Inns, which are located across the Tarheel State. From the Mountains to the Piedmont to the Coast. They are including a recipe from NCBBI Member (and Past-President) Monica Edwards of Morehead Manor Bed and Breakfast for her delicious Pecan Stuffed Croissant with Homemade Raspberry Sauce.

The Yellow House Bed and Breakfast in Waynesville, North Carolina will also be featured. They have 10 luxurious rooms and suites situated on five lush acres with scenic mountain views. They host elegant weddings and memorable family reunions (with the option to rent their entire inn) for your event. I (Kristi Dement) am honored to be a Contributor to this issue.

The Fall Issue of Bed and Breakfast Magazine (since it is published four times per year) will feature Victorian bed and breakfasts as well as Cookie Tours and Christmas Villages. To be featured in Bed and Breakfast Magazine, please email (editorial@colettepublications.com) and visit Colette Publications for more information about subscribing to their Bed and Breakfast Magazine.

 

Why You Need a Vacation Guide On Your Website

"traveling is everything" poster with camera and journal

Consider putting together a local vacation guide on your website for guests. It is so vital to promote your local area, so others will know exactly what they can do and see during their stay. Often innkeepers will have a list of places, brochures, and even menus available on-site for their guests to look at. Your local area guide can and should be put on your website for potential guests to easily download AND join your email list!

Activities and Entertainment

  • Galleries
  • Historic Monuments and Sites
  • Museums
  • Shopping
  • Spas (if you have your own spa, then just promote that one)
  • Sports Arenas
  • Theaters and Shows
  • University Campuses
  • Wildlife Areas and Zoos

Annual Events

  • Concert Series
  • Conferences
  • Cultural Celebrations
  • Festivals
  • Holiday Festivities
  • Marathons
  • Parades
  • Restaurant Weeks
  • Tournaments

Food and Drink

  • Bakeries and Cafes
  • Breweries
  • Casual Eateries
  • Coffee and Tea
  • Deli and Sandwich Shops
  • Dessert
  • Fine Dining
  • Food Trucks
  • Quick Bites
  • Restaurants
  • Wineries

Outdoor Recreation

  • Bird Watching
  • Canoeing (or kayaking)
  • Fishing
  • Golf (or miniature golf)
  • Hiking and Biking
  • Horseback Riding
  • Photography
  • Sailing
  • Skiing (snow and/or water)
  • Tennis
  • Zip lining

For each place you are featuring, be sure to link to its website as well as to Google directions. By making it easy for guests to learn about your local area, you make it more likely that they will choose to stay at your accommodations.

Think about what activities, restaurants, and sites your guests rave about. Those should definitely be included in your guide. Of course, what you put in your local guide will depend upon what is in your local area (so not everything listed will apply to your inn).

Customize packages that guests can buy ahead of time. By making it easy for them to get local tickets and restaurant reservations (among other options), guests are willing to pay more to have this already done for them. Think of a creative and catchy name for your package.

Partner with other local places to exclusively promote each other. For example, if there are two horseback riding places in your area, you can make a deal with one to exclusively promote them in exchange for your guests getting a discount (or by making some other fair arrangement).

Regularly email those now on your list (because they requested your vacation guide). You can update them with the latest news related to your inn or local area. Emails are also a great place to share links to your most recent blog posts.

By staying in regular communication with guests (with the required unsubscribe link at the bottom of each email), they will be reminded of their desire to come for the first time or return for another visit. Thus, I recommend having a vacation guide on your website.

You may know where your guests like to go, but you may have no interest or desire to put together a local vacation guide. Contact Kristi Dement for a free consultation about putting a local vacation guide on your own website (and getting guests to opt into your email list).

 

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