Inn Consultants and Brokers Since 1993

Rick Wolf and Peter Scherman (that’s Rick on the left and Peter on the right) are both experienced speakers who have presented on a range of innkeeping related topics at the state, regional, and national level. They gather and analyze research for the Innkeeping industry and welcome the opportunity to share it with others. Contact Us

The B&B Team
 

Understanding the i.guest

Who is the i.guest? What is an i.guest? The i.guest is the contemporary traveler who is changing the face of hospitality marketing. Welcome to Travel 2.0.

The i.guest is Informed. Internet-empowered. Independent. And, importantly for innkeepers, is Identified.

The i.guest is finding places to stay and booking rooms (not just seeing availability at midnight) on the Web. Everyone knows that. But many innkeepers don’t realize yet that their prospective guest is not just looking at their website to make a decision. Increasingly, especially with a younger demographic, the i.guest insists upon hearing what others have said about your inn. They want independent confirmation of your advertising claims from first hand experience. Tripadvisor is king. But so, increasingly, are other social media sources and communities on the Internet.

Your i.guest wants to learn about you and your area from more than one source, and they will book at their leisure and pleasure, not yours, but only if you let them. This independent and informed guest uses the Internet as their core tool, but blogs and other social media sites will affect their decision to buy more than your inn’s website. So, what are YOU doing to attract the i.guest? Do you have a blog at your inn? How does it work? Do you track reviews on Tripadvisor? We’re all ears!

Peter

2 Responses to “Understanding the i.guest”

  1. Peter:
    This article about the i.guest is right on the money.
    Just as the internet came “out of the gates” some years back and quickly became enormously vital, traveler reviews have raced forward in importance and are used by more and more potential guests.
    Blogs, like “The Innkeeper’s Resource” speak for themselves in terms of importance. If you are reading this blog, you are likely an innkeeper or aspiring to be an innkeeper. With the wealth of information offered on this blog for free, it makes one wonder what else this author must have to offer his clients. That’s marketing!
    Just as “targeted” blogs are delivering relevant information on a variety of topics, Bulletin Boards are also popping up with very targeted subjects. For example, in researching our own vacation for the coming winter, one of our guests directed me to http://www.traveltalkonline.com. I was able to post a question to other readers seeking their ideas for accomodations that would best suit our needs. Within a couple of days I had enough information to make an “Informed” decision.
    The pace of change is amazing. It makes me wonder what’s next.

  2. Elisse Clark says:

    Yes, we do track our reviews on TripAdvisor, as well as on bedandbreakfast.com, and other sites, and have been blessed with a number of wonderful reviews. I personally have used TripAdvisor, and while it is of value, I usually take the negative reviews with a grain of salt. As an Innkeper it is a scary thing; there is no way to undo the damage that a bad review does, and we have seen businesses get totally slammed on several sites, often quite meanly; it seems that the “social networking” sites are sometimes (ab)used by people to vent, or, perhaps, as a “power play”… I personally review only places I think are great; if something is Seriously Bad, I contact management first & give them the chance to rectify it- and they almost always have.
    We do have a Blog: http://www.southernwestvirginia.blogspot.com , & we also are on Facebook (www.facebook.com). One of the big problems is how Time Consuming it is to run a website, an online gift shop, facebook, review sites, a blog, and a business!!!

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