Local U surveyed 1300 American adult internet users to better understand their behaviors when making a decision as to which bed and breakfast they would choose. The bulk of activity when looking for a B&B starts (and likely ends) at the search engines. The decline of print is articulated in these results as is the low usage of Facebook and other social networks.
Local U asked three questions that moved from the broader question of where visitors started their search, offline or online, and examined their behaviors as they moved through the decision process. The specific questions were:
If you were looking to book a Bed & Breakfast where would you start your search?
If you were to search for a Bed and Breakfast on the Internet what would be most important to you?
If you searched for a Bed & Breakfast on Google, what would you do first?
Summary: Almost half of all adult Internet users rely on search engines to start their search for a bed and breakfast. Off line word of mouth, travel sites, a B & B’s website and reviews were all important elements in making a final decision as to where to stay. Printed materials were a small source of customers and social media was an insignificant contributor. While social media sites are critical for customer relations they should not be viewed as a client acquisition source.
There were some age-specific behaviors indicating that Social Networks might be a source for visitors in the future, particularly among younger adults. Older adults were more likely to prefer travel sites as a way to locate a b & b and, while all adults preferred search engines, this was particularly true among younger ones.
Get the full story and download the complete survey at Local U
Read also "Website Analytics Advice for B&B’s (and SMB’s)" at Local U