Advertising your bed and breakfast holiday

Advertising your bed and breakfast holiday
Selling A Bed & Breakfast Holiday

Selling a B&B holiday is sometimes difficult because B&B owners rarely have the marketing pull or budget that hotels have. Remember that you are selling a good time and a good holiday, as well as your short-term stay or holiday rental. You are selling more than a building and services; you are selling a Bed & Breakfast holiday.


If you are selling your Bed & Breakfast services and only have a limited space to do it, then highlight the key factors that address a consumer’s buying decision. These factors include being safe, clean, comfortable, in a good location, nice staff, and a price that isn’t a rip off. A short magazine advert may look something like, “Harley’s B&B, in the centre of Amsterdam, clean, respected and a family favourite.”

As a sidenote, be careful when saying a place is a “Family favourite.” People with young kids (tweens or younger) will think your place is ideal because you are more likely to be tolerant of noise and overexcitement. People with older kids or people without kids will see “Family friendly” and run the other way because they will expect noise and rowdy children, so be careful how you use the term “family friendly.”

Do People Expect A Lower Price In A Bed & Breakfast?

In a Bed & Breakfast, people do expect a lower price. The term B&B conjures up ideas of family businesses and smaller rooms with more of a homely feel. If they were called hotels, then people may be more inclined to expect higher prices. Does this mean that you have to charge a lower price if you are running a Bed & Breakfast? No it doesn’t, it just means that your target audience are probably going to be hunting for a lower price. Do not mistake this for thinking people will purchase at the lowest price, it just means that your target audience is more inclined to search for a lower price.

Do Your Target Audience Only Buy Discount Holidays?

This is a massive “No” with bells on. Your target audience may be looking for a budget-friendly holiday if they are looking for a B&B instead of a hotel, but that doesn’t mean they are only going to buy discount holidays. Even despite the fact there are many comparison sites, your target consumer is not going to buy the cheapest every time.

There are some people who will purposefully avoid the lowest priced holidays through the assumption there must be something wrong with the holiday if they are selling it cheap. There are also people who recognise the flaw behind a website full of discount holidays. Many people are smart enough to ask themselves, “If these holidays are so great, why do they have to sell them at a discount?

It is true that some of your target audience are going to prefer a lower priced Bed & Breakfast, and some of your target audience will only buy discount holidays--but not all of them.

People Will Pay More For A Bed & Breakfast In A Great Location

When people go on holiday, they prefer to stay in a place where all the action is. They take a look at the area they are going to visit, they look at the attractions, and they look for a Bed & Breakfast. If yours is in the centre of the town, where all the action is, then it is far more appealing than a place that looks as if it is quite a drive away. People want to be able to fall out of their hotel or Bed & Breakfast and start enjoying their holiday. They don’t like the idea that they have to travel quite a distance to get where they need to be.

They are especially unwilling to travel a long distance back to their Bed & Breakfast at night, especially when they cannot be sure if the public transport system will support their travels late at night. Some people may only be staying for a short visit, for something such as a stag or hen night, and will want to be able to walk to and from the local attractions. If your Bed & Breakfast has a great location, then you really need to push it on your target audience and remind them that it is worth booking a holiday with you because of where you are located.

People Prefer The Guarantee Of A Good Time Over That Of A Low Price

There is a common belief that if you buy at the lowest rate, then you get the hotel or Bed & Breakfast with cockroaches or get a place in a high-crime area. When people look for a holiday rental, they do want a good price, but they would prefer a guarantee that they are going to have a good time. If there were good-time insurance for holidays, then people would buy it by the millions.

The trouble is that charging a high price is no guarantee that your Bed & Breakfast is going to be a good one or that people are going to have a good time. It is important that if you are charging a low price, or selling your Bed & Breakfast on the merits of a low price, that you also make it clear that many people have a good time at your Bed & Breakfast.

Talk about your many happy customers. You can even claim that your happy customers are the reason you can charge so little. You can tell your target consumer that your Bed & Breakfast is so full of happy people who return yearly, that you do not have to put up your prices to make ends meet. You can charge a low price because you know you are going to be full next year.

You Should Not Be Selling To People With Your Prices

If you haven’t got the hint yet, “Stop selling on price!” There are literally hundreds of different things you could promote about your Bed & Breakfast, and if you have been reading carefully, you will have noticed some of them pop up in this article already.

You do not have to sell on price, and the worst thing is that if you do sell on price, then your main selling point and your main argument is lost the second a competitor charges less than you.

Shouldn’t you also consider the fact that if you charge less than the others, then you cannot provide as good of a service? Your chambermaids, chefs and managers are not going to work for free, nor are they going to be 100% committed to their jobs of you are paying them a pittance. If you are the biggest discount Bed & Breakfast in the area, then what do your staff have to be proud of?

Charging less will also attract a less-desirable class of clientele. This doesn’t mean that all people with less money are bad, or that they are less desirable. It simply means you are more likely to attract a less-desirable class of clientele. For example, how many times do you think the Ritz have had their curtains or kettles stolen from their rooms?

Give Them The Good And The Bad

Maybe this is a more controversial piece of advice, but you may do better if you give people the negative sides of your holiday accommodation as well as the positive sides. There are a number of reasons why this piece of advice may serve you well.

  • When all your competitors claim to be the best, and you say that you are good but not the best, which company is the customer going to believe?

  • Logically, if you were being honest about the bad, such as the 20 minutes walk to the nearest bus stop, then maybe you were being honest about the good things such as how secluded the place is.

  • People have become immunized to marketing that claims a company/hotel/B&B is faultless and fantastic.

  • Nothing but positive copywriting may make people think your Bed & Breakfast is too good to be true/honest.

Be Careful About The Negative Things You Tell People

It is important to be honest in your adverts. This will not only help you make more sales in the long term, but will also help avoid disappointment when people get to your Bed & Breakfast. If they turn up expecting a hostel, and are instead met with a family atmosphere, they may be happy. If they go there expecting the Ritz and end up with the nits, they are going to be furious and spread a lot of dirt about you online when they get home.

Being honest is good, but you need to be careful about how honest you are. Instead of saying, “At dusk the smell from the sea is pungent,” you can say, “Our views are magnificent, even if during the evening there is the occasional blowback from the sea.” You could phrase it a little better, but you get the idea.

You can even wrap the negative in a positive sandwich. This is where you state a positive, a negative and a positive. You could write something such as, “Bus routes are plentiful, albeit expensive, but can take you to all corners of the city within minutes.
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