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Topic: Strategy

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Survival B&b Strategy In Collapsing Tourism Market

Posted by fla on 250 Points
My B&B accommodation ( operates in a small village (Chile). From the beginning till last January it had a very good occupancy rate. Since a few months that rate has sharply dropped due to two main reasons:
1) a drop in international tourists arrival in the country and especially in my area. Nothing I can do about it.
2) an increase of the offer in the area. The cake is now smaller and the slice got thinner.

Since the quality of my service is better than the competitors', I did not lower the price. I think that decision would be a suicide. Comparing to my closest competitor, my price is +/- 20% higher and my quality 35% higher. Unfortunately many tourist get hooked by the lower price without considering the benefits by choosing my B&B.

I'm starting a strategy with a colleague (same business) in the nearest city. Clients booking one of our B&B will get a discounted rate, and a special assistance, in both. This strategy will probably help a little even if it is not the solution to the problem.
I was also thinking at improving my quality of service, without increasing the price, to keep a wider difference in quality from my direct competitor.

Another problem is that many tourists book via, Expedia etc., which don't show and don't list most of my services, such as multilingual staff, better heating system, better breakfast, better parking etc. Most tourist are blind and deaf, and only see the lower price.

What to do?

  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    I'd start by upgrading your website (there's at least one typo I saw - "confort"). Your website doesn't convey the differentiations that you listed (how amazing is your service - your website says you have "good service"). If you charge a premium price, then convey the premium experience from their first interaction with you – your website. Having a coupon at the top of your website also conveys discount, not premium.

    Offer to have a friends & family discount for returning guests or their friends. Encourage word of mouth.

    Have you surveyed your recent guests to find out why they booked a stay with you? Would they recommend you? Was their experience greater than their expectations?
  • Posted by mgoodman on Accepted
    Jay is right. Your website doesn't convey how good your property is. It doesn't say anything about how it is different from/better than other B&Bs nearby or why it's such a better value.

    Your strategy is right, but you need to communicate the value consistently. Lose the $5 coupon and replace it with one of your unique benefits. Do you take pictures of all guests? Do you have a few routes pre-planned for tourists/hotel guests? Use the word "discover" a lot, so they get the idea this is an adventure. Etc.
  • Posted by fla on Author
    Thanks Jay Hamilton-Roth and mgoodman for your answers, which will both be accepted.
    I'm changing the old Web with a modern version and will follow all your recommendations.
    Just a last question. Since I'm removing the Coupon Discount, do you think it is useful to offer a service - for free - instead? Since I'm a editor for tourist maps of the area, I could offer a free map to guests booking directly. What do you think?
    Many thanks again.
  • Posted by Jay Hamilton-Roth on Accepted
    A free map is unlikely to encourage a booking. Instead, if you're a editor for guest maps, why not tell about your tourism expertise on your website? That's another factor that'll distinguish yourself from the competition.
  • Posted by fla on Author
    Oh Yes! And that tip gave me another idea. Starting a YouTube channel.
    Thanks a lot.

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