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For Immediate Release from BedandBreakfast.com – June 29, 2009
Contact: John Banczak, John.Banczak@BedandBreakfast.com or 512-322-2721
BedandBreakfast.com offers a host of new products and features for innkeepers using RezOvation and Webervations services
Austin, TX – BedandBreakfast.com, the leading specialty travel website focused on inns and B&Bs, today announced that it is offering an extended line of products and services to help innkeepers better market and monetize their websites, including trip insurance, reservations for local attractions, and increased consumer reviews.
B&Bs using either the RezOvation or Webervations booking engines will soon be able to offer potential guests additional products and services in the checkout path, providing innkeepers with both additional revenue streams and increased reservations. These new optional products/features include trip insurance sold through Access America and add-ons like event tickets and local sightseeing tours, purchased right on inns’ online reservation checkout pages. Properties will also be able to embed BedandBreakfast.com reviews in their check-out path, providing positive reinforcement to prospective guests at a key decision point in the reservation process. RezOvation and Webervations customers can also allow their guests to receive a BedandBreakfast.com review reminder after they have stayed at a property, minimizing the need for innkeepers to solicit reviews directly. Each property will have the option of using any or all of the additional features on its booking engine.
“Our goal is to enable B&Bs to offer the same kind of rich website features as larger properties,” explained Eric Goldreyer, CEO of BedandBreakfast.com. “Until now, smaller properties couldn’t offer trip insurance, generally considered a win-win for travelers and properties alike. In addition, consumers are increasingly demanding to see property reviews, and these new products will help innkeepers both increase the number of reviews they have, and display those reviews to prospective guests.”
None of the additional features require any website changes or work on the part of the innkeepers, except to let BedandBreakfast.com know which features they wish to use. Each feature will be rolled out over the coming months, starting with travel add-ons and the review products; innkeepers will be notified directly in advance of each new feature launch, including details on how to customize, add, or drop the services for their property.
Trip insurance will be sold through an agreement between BedandBreakfast.com and Access America. Consumers booking on a RezOvation or Webervations property website will see a check-box on the final page of the checkout and will be able to choose whether or not they want to purchase insurance. If they decide to take the insurance – which will protect them against such problems as trip delays, illness, and lost luggage – their information will be shared with Access America which issues the insurance policy. Properties will earn revenue on every sale made from their websites and can discontinue the program at any time; all billing and revenue sharing is done automatically. In addition, when travelers are offered trip insurance, it’s easier for innkeepers to implement their cancellation policies; after all, the prospective guests had the option to protect themselves with low-cost insurance.
Travel add-ons will be sold through an agreement between BedandBreakfast.com and Viator, a leading online resource for travel experiences, providing access to 5,500 tours, attractions, and activities in 450 destinations in 75 countries. This feature will be limited to U.S. properties in areas where Viator has coverage. Consumers who book via a RezOvation or Webervations booking engine will see a link to Viator on the reservation confirmation page; they can click through to a Viator web page with add-on activities relevant to their destination, and can purchase any of interest. As with trip insurance, properties will earn revenue on every sale, and the billing and revenue sharing will be done automatically.
The BedandBreakfast.com reviews widget can be displayed in the checkout path to help increase the conversion. The technique of putting third-party reviews into the checkout pages has shown tremendous conversion increases in the retail sector, and is expected to lead to more reservations by consumers wary of staying at lesser-known properties. It will also help generate more consumer reviews for participating properties. The monthly income from just a few travel add-on or trip insurance sales can cover the monthly cost of a booking engine; just one review a month on BedandBreakfast.com earns a property up to $60 annually in membership credits. The reviews can be shown in a separate window when someone checks availability on a property website or as a customized graphic embedded into the room results pages.
BedandBreakfast.com began offering the same embedded review widget in January 2009. More than 600 properties have already added the review widget to their own website, and those properties are generating four times as many reviews on BedandBreakfast.com as properties that do not use the review widget.
One of the most successful techniques for properties to get more consumer reviews is a follow-up email sent to a guest several days after check-out. While this is a very effective tool, many innkeepers are reluctant to solicit reviews, and guests may question whether their information will truly be kept private if an email comes directly from a property. RezOvation and Webervations users will soon be able to give consumers the option of having BedandBreakfast.com send a reminder email to their guests after check-out. This will help innkeepers who want to avoid soliciting reviews themselves and will convey to guests that they are working with a well-respected third party to generate their reviews. Properties using the feature can expect to increase the number of reviews as well as their review credits with no additional effort.
“Travelers will now start to see professional features on small property websites, and they will be more comfortable than ever booking a B&B when they see reviews from the leader in specialty lodging,” commented John Banczak, Chief Operating Officer for BedandBreakfast.com. “We are happy to be able to offer these products to help enable small lodgings attract broader audiences. The products and services available at B&Bs around the world are better than they have ever been; our goal is to help consumers realize what a wonderful travel experience awaits when they stay at B&Bs.”
Founded in 1994, BedandBreakfast.com is the leading specialty travel website, with detailed information on over 7,500 B&Bs worldwide. Travelers can research information including over 50,000 photos, read over 70,000 unbiased consumer reviews, and make confirmed reservations instantly at nearly 1,700 properties. Welcome at more than 4,000 B&Bs, BedandBreakfast.com Gift Cards never expire; they have no restrictions or blackout dates, and are available online or at over 20,000 retail locations.
RezOvation is a Microsoft Gold-certified company and the industry leader in property management systems, online reservations, website design and internet marketing for the small hotel, inn, and B&B market. Over 7,500 properties actively use RezOvation and Webervations software. RezOvation is part of the BedandBreakfast.com family of companies. RezOvation's suite of products is ideal for bed and breakfasts, inns, boutique hotels, lodges, and many other types of businesses.