Interesting PWC statistics published recently provide great news for the bulk of our clients who offer a more personalized overnight experience. A lot more guests seem to want to feel at home when away!
Over the next 3 years the number of guest houses in South Africa will grow by around 4.2% to an estimated 11 200 rooms in 2016.
~ Price Waterhouse Coopers South African Hospitality Outlook
What can Hotels offer that Guest Houses Usually Don’t?
Hotels are classified as ‘formal service accommodation’ by the Tourism Grading Council. This means guests will most probably have 24-hour assistance with any problem they might have, early or late check-in/outs or food available when they order it at any time.
Security might be important to these guests with key cards and security guards making them feel more at ease (this could especially be important to females travelling on their own).
Why Travellers Might Still Prefer Guest Houses
It seems travellers are starting to appreciate a homely experience where their surroundings are similar to those where they normally live. They like having snacks and drinks in the fridge, full DSTV and free WiFi, just like they would have when they are not travelling.
Guest Houses provide a more comfortable experience from the get-go. You are likely to deal with the owner himself, who would most often do the welcoming and act as concierge – advising you on dinner or activity options.
So go ahead – cook a home-cooked meal for your guests and make your establishment as homely as possible to take advantage of changing travelling preferences! Your guests will surely return for more!
As we discussed in our previous blog post, rich content is very important in all your online marketing efforts.
With printed content you work on it once and leave it at that. Online content is more like a living, breathing sales person for your property. It is your job to make sure your ‘sales person’ is updated, polished and creates a great impression.
Let’s discuss a few more tips on upgrading what you have online at the moment: Read more
We asked Dave Jack to give us some advice on hospitality insurance especially with reference to the damage caused by natural disasters. Dave is a director of BnB Sure, a specialist hospitality insurance company that offers customised insurance for B&B and Guesthouse accommodation. This is what he had to say:
All too often we hear “It’ll never happen to me” and when it does happen the comment is usually “I don’t know how it happened”. In some cases it is possible to lessen the chances, in others it is almost impossible to do anything about it and in many cases Mother Nature is involved. Read more
NightsBridge is proud to announce full integration with 2 more Property Management Systems, namely Micros Opera and ResRequest. This enables even more establishments to distribute their availability through NightsBridge’s extensive network of local and international marketing channels.
If you want to take realtime bookings online and update your websites or agents with live availability data, your inventory needs to be updated somewhere. The best place to get the availability information is the system where you add all your bookings. E.g. when you get an email or phone booking, it goes into your front-office booking system (Property Management System, or PMS). Read more
The Consumer Protection Act came into force in South Africa in 2011. Basically this is an act that protects consumers and brings legislation in South Africa in line with the legislation that exists in many first world countries.
It means that the consumer is entitled to get what he expects. So be aware of the expectations you raise if there is a possibility that you can’t fulfil them.
This includes overbooking since you are then contracting to sell a room which you actually don’t have available. Read more
“No one comes to your website to be entertained. They have questions they think you can answer. Content answers questions.” ~ Jay Baer, Convince and Convert
Regular, relevant and useful content published on your website will ensure that visitors will want to share items from it, revisit it and be comfortable enough to book through it.
If people spend more time on your site, they are more likely to become a customer. Provide them with useful information to read through and they will be more likely to book online. The simplest way to group all of this additional content together is in blog format. Read more