In the beginning of the twentieth century America started to dream of independent travel in the automobile. Anyone who could afford a car could also afford leisure travel. Mr. Ford made the affordability more accessible. Family vacations on the open roads expanded tourism to become the nation’s largest industry.
The automobile became a symbol of success and expanded the freedom of movement. Roadside country inns, motels and campgrounds flourished in the early days of automobile travel. Mom and Pop guesthouses that eventually became our B&Bs. Highways developed and byways paved. National and statewide systems of numbers were established to help travelers from getting lost. Roadmaps and AAA and Mobil Travel Guides, the list goes on, all to establish…
As innkeepers a large part of your guests may be ‘drive by or drop ins’ as well as planned road trips. That 50 to 250 mile radius from your location is essential to your business. In these times of limited air travel and other public transportation, the freedom of automobile travel is a benefit we may have taken for granted in the past.
Fall is an excellent time to travel the open roads. The September issue of Yankee Magazine listed 85 Best Things to Do In New England. Sometimes all you need to do is read an article like this, pack your bags, and hit the road. But…
TRAVEL NOTE: Since many businesses and venues are adjusting their operations in response to COVID-19 health concerns, please contact them directly or check their websites before making travel plans.
Many B&Bs have been doing an excellent job of informing travelers of their aggressive approach for making a stay at their inn safe and clean. If travelers feel confident in your message, they will come. A personal phone call to reassure a potential guest is always welcome, for you and for them.
ALP’s August/September Inn Ovations magazine Heather Turner’s article, What Does Your Messaging Say (Or Not Say)?The following are quotes from the article.
As a lodging owner you have. ”a golden opportunity to capture the market of people who are leery of traveling and are very concerned for their safety. While most B&Bs and other lodging properties are making a point somewhere on their websites of mentioning what they are doing to keep guests safe, Some are not. That needs to be fixed, especially if your property is implementing additional safety standards. Your potential guests won’t take the time to inquire, they will just go elsewhere.”
If your property is taking the extra time and added expense to enhance your cleaning and safety standards, please let your guests know about it. They want reassurance and you can advertise that you care, but you need to let them know you do in ways they will see and remember.
~Heather Turner, ALP Marketing Director
Select Registry has a campaign called Select Safe. In their recent newsletter they wrote:
“A survey conducted by AHLA in August, showed that… improvements to health and sanitation protocol at U.S. hotels would have considerable impact on guests’ comfort levels staying there, with the top three including face coverings for employees (87% a lot/some impact) and guests (85%), suspending daily housekeeping of rooms (86%), and utilizing technology to reduce direct contact (85%). Eight out of ten (81%) respondents said that “they feel comfortable staying in a hotel that has implemented… enhanced cleaning and safety protocols”.
In addition to improving guest comfort level with booking a stay in the first place, according to Rick Wolf of The B&B Team, participating in a safe stay program has an additional benefit that shows up in your online reviews. “The value is that you can have safe, happy and satisfied guests who are more than happy to share their observations with other prospective guests who may be unsure about staying at a particular inn. It is of course important for the inn’s site to clearly spell out their Covid policies and procedures, but the ‘unvarnished’ comments from guests is the key to more guests!”
Please take all these wise recommendations to heart. Open roads may be more limited today, but they are not closed. People want to travel, to experience the thousands of majestic open byways our country is known for. Most every state has a National Park and all have state parks.
Look ahead and stay positive and your guests will feel the same.
To end I will quote a famous open road advocate.
“Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.” — Jack Kerouac
Thanks for Listening,
Janet Wolf, The B&B Team