The importance of online booking facilities

  • 5th October 2015
  • News
  • Stewart Hindley

It is fair to say that offering guests the chance to book online is one of the most crucial factors of running a bed and breakfast or any other hospitality business today. The importance of internet bookings, social media and review sites such as Trip Advisor cannot be exaggerated, as the majority of customers head straight to the web when looking for suitable accommodation. The truth is that every B&B business needs an online presence to facilitate success in the thriving yet competitive UK hospitality sector. Over half a million UK travellers book their rooms online, but not before they have consulted Trip Advisor beforehand.

Approximately 50% of all UK bookings are made using the internet. With more businesses becoming accessible through smartphones and tablets, the numbers are set to increase in the future, which means that every B&B needs to have a mobile optimised website. This applies particularly to businesses that are located in high profile UK tourist locations as they attract high volumes of overseas visitors who make all their bookings online.

Potential customers place a lot of stock in the experiences and opinions of past guests. It is now common practise to check Trip Advisor and social media websites to investigate the quality and standards of establishments before booking. It is important to remember that an online presence and mobile booking facilities increase your chances of reaching a wider demographic. Online reviews also help you build up your customer base through positive feedback and recommendations. As a B&B owner, you need to be aware of everything that is being said about your business in order to maintain consistency and address any issues.

Of course, another crucial aspect of running a bed and breakfast is obtaining the funding you need to open and develop it. When you apply for bed and breakfast finance, it is essential that you present a comprehensive plan. Along with a detailed financial forecast, you need to offer a complete overview of how you will make your business as profitable as possible. Lenders are inclined to lend against B&B establishments, which is a positive starting point, and we can help you structure an application that is attractive to lenders in every way.

Stewart Hindley

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