An important part of your website’s online presence is citations or listings on other websites and in the travel industry, there are plenty of those sites around. But if you’re a member of BedandBreakfast.com, you’ll notice some upcoming changes that could be impacting your bottom line and your directory listing.
BedandBreakfast.com is making changes that’ll impact its website traffic, links, and advertising opportunities. They note that, “Our business changes always entail a balance between both the needs of travelers and innkeepers.” What are these changes? When your renewal comes up, you’ll automatically be moved into their Instant Booking membership – meaning a pay per booking structure. They’ll remove their annual membership fee but instead you’ll pay commissions (at 15%) for reservations that are booked on BedandBreakfast.com and their partner sites, like HomeAway, VRBO, and VacationRentals.com.
It’s easy to connect your property through your PMS or your channel manager, but BedandBreakfast.com will not allow you to disable this instant booking feature. They note you don’t have to accept them but you cannot list your property on their site without accepting them… They’ll also be removing links to your own website.
“BedandBreakfast.com members will no longer have a link to their website. We plan to drive all travelers to book directly on BedandBreakfast.com vs. sending travelers to book via your website through the link that was previously provided. You’ll be able to better track the revenue and value that BedandBreakfast.com is driving directly to your property. Even without a direct link to your website, the Billboard Effect shows that exposure on OTAs still leads to incremental reservations on your own website.”
Another big change is with their Diamond Collection in that they’re no longer accepting new members to keep the program more exclusive and to maintain a high level of customer service for those members.
So what can you do? Obviously, these memberships and partnerships with travel associations are important but it’s equally important that you’re investing in your website! This change by BedandBreakfast.com is similar to TripAdvisor’s InstantBooking program where it’s designed to be appealing for travelers and the host company rather than for your own business. They tell you it’s for your benefit and so you can measure how well their programs are working. You should still keep memberships with worthy business partners when appropriate but you should also be working on your website and marketing plan to capture direct bookings.
Through SEO, website maintenance, email marketing, PPC, social media, and other online tactics, you can make sure your marketing dollars are being well spent and put right back in your pocket. We invite you to download our free resource guides on these marketing strategies or catch up on past webinars for tips and tricks to stay competitive!