According to statistics about U.S. B&Bs compiled by the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) :
“In 1980, there were one thousand B&Bs/country inns serving one million guests. In 2001, there were 19,000 professionally-run, fully licensed bed and breakfasts/country inns, plus 10,000 home-stay B&Bs, collectively serving a total of 55 million guests annually.”
Key study findings show the following:
* Average number of rooms for B&Bs is 8.5, up from 8 rooms in 2000. The average number of rooms for country inns was 8, down from 14.6 in 2000.
* 95% of B&B respondents offer rooms with private baths. 96% of country inn respondents offer rooms with private baths.
* 93% – 94% of inns/B&Bs are non-smoking
* The average inn employs 4.6 people
* 42% of B&Bs have meeting rooms, 45% of country inns have meeting rooms.
* Approximately 5,000 B&Bs/country inns (just over 1/4th of all facilities) take an extra step and submit to a travel industry inspection which further guarantees the inn’s safety, cleanliness, maintenance and hospitality.
* Buildings housing B&B/country inns average 99 years in age, though 2% of all newly opened inns are purpose-built as commercial lodging.
According to research from the Travel Industry Association of America’s 2004 Domestic Travel Report, baby boomers (usually defined as children born from 1946 to 1964), generated the highest travel volume in 2003 resgistering 268.9 million trips. Baby boomers are also the most likely guests to stay at a B&B.
One in four household trips in the U.S. (26%) include children under 18, or 170.1 million trips in total in 2003. Most (91%) trips with children are for leisure, nearly half of which are taken to visit friends or relatives. Four in ten (44%) overnight trips with children include a stay in a hotel, motel or bed and breakfast establishment. More than half (55%) of trips with children are taken by households headed by Baby Boomers (age 35-54).
If you live in an area where gambling is legal, the Travel Industry Association of America’s 2003 Domestic Travel Report indicates that there were 78.6 million individual trips in 2002 related to gambling. Households that partake in gambling while traveling have an average annual income of $62,100. 79% of these people required overnight lodging in a hotel, motel, or bed and breakfast.
As a matter of further interest, shopping is the main activity most travelers seem to enjoy. 25% of all travelers who shop get shopping information from their lodging facility. Sources of shopping information include maps, brochures, a TV, or the hotel concierge.
Sources of information:
What sort of practical information can we glean from these reports?
1) If baby boomers (as head of households) comprise the biggest B&B customer market, we need to consider the fact that these individuals are aging and should consider adjusting our facilities and guest services to cater to accomodate older guests.
2) Network with other businesses. If shopping is the favorite activity of travelers, form a relationship with area businesses. Leave business cards and brochures at wineries and other local attractions and offer to display information about these businesses at your facility. If you have a website, highlight shopping under a “things to do” category. Shopping interests will include antiques, auctions, farmers’ markets, and local handicrafts.
3) Families with children are a potentially large market. Some posts at this site have suggested that B&B’s exclude travelers with young children as this vies with the romantic getaway theme of many facilities. Although it is true that romantic couples may not appreciate the presence of children, the market reality is that families travel.
Since B&B’s cannot be all things to all people, my personal feeling is that we need to identify our target market and to adjust our services to cater to that specific market.