Fla. (July 5, 2011) - The terms “bed &
breakfast” (B&B) and “inn”
conjure up romantic images of stately Victorian houses
nestled among majestic oaks, graciously operated by entrepreneurs we
admire because they finally decided to follow their dream. Yet how do
seductive images translate into market appeal?
Results of the just-released Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2011 Portrait of American Travelers(SM) reveal the answer.
Fully one out of every eight (13 percent) American leisure travelers stayed at a B&B or inn at least once during the previous year, the survey reveals.
This incidence rises to one out of six (17 percent) among leisure travelers with an annual household income of $125,000 or more. And a remarkable eight out of ten (79 percent) leisure travelers express interest in staying at a B&B during the year ahead. Why is this notion so appealing? Not surprisingly, it’s the lure of their distinctive ambiance.
When asked why they patronize B&Bs and inns, leisure travelers who did so during the previous year cited reasons that point to the unique, authentic experiences they enjoy during their stay. Nearly two-thirds (64 percent) of patrons prefer the private, less crowded, quiet atmosphere of small inns and B&Bs. More than half feel B&Bs offer a better sense of local culture (56 percent). Personalized service delivered by the innkeeper (54 percent), unique architecture and décor (53 percent) and home-cooked food (52 percent) are also cited as appealing aspects of B&B travel. When compared to a traditional hotel/motel, more than two in five travelers find B&Bs more romantic (47 percent) and feel more pampered (45 percent), while slightly less enjoy socializing with other guests (39 percent) and feel B&Bs are a more affordable escape (37 percent). One in five (19 percent) appreciates a general pet-friendly policy maintained by most B&Bs and small inns.
Among leisure travelers who express interest in staying at a B&B or inn on a future trip, the home-like ambiance and amenities they expect to find in these properties are the primary motivators. The majority of survey respondents cited comfortable beds/linens (92 percent), friendly staff (91 percent), complimentary, fresh-made breakfast (88 percent), free time to relax and unwind (87 percent) and knowledgeable innkeepers (80 percent) as desirable attributes of B&Bs. Other aspects include the opportunity to taste different or unusual cuisines (68 percent), free Wi-Fi availability (67 percent), romantic ambiance (63 percent), distinctive theme or atmosphere (59 percent), unique architecture (55 percent) and the ability to reserve a specific room with unique décor (53 percent). Two in five travelers are eager to socialize with other interesting guests (41 percent).
Clearly, consumers believe B&Bs and inns offer an alluring residential ambiance that is not found in most conventional hotels and resorts. When combined with the personal touches of the host innkeeper, this appeal is very alluring.
The Ypartnership/Harrison Group 2011 Portrait of American Travelers(SM) is national survey of 2,539 U.S. households that was conducted in February 2011. The nationally representative results provide an in-depth examination of the impact of the current economic environment, social values and media habits on the travel habits of Americans with an annual household income of $50,000 or more. For more information, please visit the Publications section of http://www.ypartnership.com.
Ypartnership is America's leading marketing services company serving travel, leisure, lifestyle and entertainment clients. The agency's Insights group is widely acknowledged as the preeminent source of market intelligence on emerging business and leisure travel trends. The firm also coauthors the quarterly travelhorizons(TM) survey with the U.S. Travel Association. For more information, visit http://www.ypartnership.com .
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Christie Gregovich or Noel Perkins
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