Over the last few years much has been written about the travelling public’s changing wants and needs. There was and is much talk about “experiential travel,” “live like a local” and other catching phrases that target today’s travelling public. Who better to deliver a local experience than our industry’s independent innkeeper? My last blog boldly stated that “2016 is the year of the entrepreneur/innkeeper.” Now I state that 2016 is the “rise of the independent innkeeper!” Read on.
“Travelers don’t necessarily want that golden bathtub anymore but would rather pay more for an unforgettable experience. Luxury is now shifting from ‘having’ to ‘being’.” From “The rise of independent hotels” By Mendes Cavin, Founder & Managing Partner, Miners Hospitality
Mr. Cavin points out in his writing that the smaller independent hotel has an advantage over the larger hotel chains because they can adapt quicker to the changing traveler trends.
“Being able to adapt to the quickly changing customer demands has become the biggest advantage of individual hotels and small hotel chains.”
Independent properties like our B&B’s and full service inns with restaurants can be more flexible and can create “experiential” packages, add new and unique amenities and create menus using local foods without the reporting layers and corporate red tape of a large chain. Mr. Cavin predicts that there will be “a shift of travelers moving from large brands to their unique type of hotels.”
Humm…I see an advantage here as well as a challenge.
“The world is in constant change and so should you. Guests want to see, feel, taste something new all the time or else it gets boring. As a hotelier you will have to keep re-inventing yourself to stay ahead of your competition.”
OK, independent properties like B&B’s and full service inns have the advantage, the question is, are you recognizing this advantage and working it to your advantage? Are you keeping it exciting and re-inventing yourself?
We all know it is very easy to get into a rut. Your business is increasing, you are receiving more return guests, it is “steady as she goes!” So you sit back and enjoy the view. (I see a rut coming.) And once you are in it, it is harder to dig yourself out. But dig you must. The alternative is not a pretty picture.
One way to do this is to network with other innkeepers, learn from industry experts and expand your mind and discover the opportunites available to help you”re-invent yourself and stay ahead of the competition.”
How? Easy. Look at your calender and mark the dates of April 4-6. The 2016 Knowledge Sharing Summit and Marketplace. Nashville TN, the place to be.
From personal experience the best way to learn, network with like-minded independent innkeepers, meet new friends, refresh and have fun at the same time is to attend an industry conference. When Rick and I became innkeepers in 1999, innkeepers from a neighboring B&B encouraged us to attend our first innkeeping conference. Actually as I recall they didn’t just encourage us but told us we HAD to go! It truly was the best advice given to us as new innkeepers. Throughout our careers as innkeepers and partners/owners of The B&B Team®, we have continued to attend Innkeeping conferences as sponsors, speakers and volunteers.
Make 2016 be the Year of the Independent Innkeeper. Take advantage of the vast knowledge that is so readily available to you at the upcoming AIHP conference. Rediscover your ability to be unique, inventive and creative. There is no one holding you back except you.
See you in Nashville!
Thanks for Listening,