BedandBreakfast.com, Rezovation, and Webervations Raise Prices

BedandBreakfast.com, Rezovation, and Webervations have raised prices again.  Upon recently visiting their websites to update our analysis of comparative pricing, we discovered that another wave of price increases have been rolled out in the last 6 months.  But don’t take our word for it, visit their websites for yourself.

BedandBreakfast.com for example now charges about $433 per year for a “Silver” membership.  This is up about 8.5% from last year’s price.  Apparently BedandBreakfast.com, which was bought up by a vacation site holding company called Homeaway in 2010, believes that their hold on the North American B&B industry demands more value.  Their increase in pricing seems to ignore the fact that many specialty bed and breakfast directories (BedBreakfastTraveler.com included) still offer B&B memberships for free.

This is not to say that BedandBreakfast.com doesn’t offer value for their price.  For example, the price you pay enables a B&B hotel to participate in BedandBreakfast.com’s online reservation system.  This is a system that will charge a B&B an additional 25% commission (on top of the membership price) to publish their availability on the BedandBreakfast.com-owned sites, as well as Expedia, Hotels.com, Travelocity, and a selection of others.

So, Bedandbreakfast.com does offer some value for B&B’s who absolutely want exposure to Expedia, Hotel.com, and other premium sites.  But is 25% too high a price to pay (we didn’t mention that they charge 30% to some properties, depending on the specifics of their arrangement).  Consider BedBreakfastTraveler.com’s new IWB Channel Manager service (presented by Instant World Booking).  With  a free membership at BedBreakfastTraveler.com, B&B’s have access to join IWB Channel Manager, which offers connections to Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Travelocity.com, and others for a total commission rate of only 18% (compare to BedandBreakfast.com’s 25% – 30% commission).  Assuming an average reservation value of $200 and about 60 reservations per year (conservative assumptions), after considering all membership fees, commissions, etc., BedBreakfastTraveler.com comes in at savings of about 31% versus a BedandBreakfast.com Silver membership, or about $1,260 in the first year.  Quite significant savings indeed.

What about Rezovation and Webervations?  Well, Webervations have now increased their pricing for the smallest B&Bs by 11% – 18% over last year’s prices.  This is really quite a substantial increase in a down economic cycle.  But, let’s consider Rezovation, which now offers a more full service set of options.  Prices for Rezovation GT Basic software increased between 20% – 33% in the range of property sizes between 1 and 19 rooms.  A price increase of 33% represents an increase of a full third of last year’s cost.   The Rezovation GT Online product, and online offering which starts at a higher price than Rezovation GT, now has prices between 13% – 20% higher than last year, also substantial increases.

Rezovation has a rather dominant market position, and perhaps their price increases reflect this.  But, considering that a B&B with 5 rooms may now pay $90 per month for Rezovation GT Online (or a 15 room B&B $130 per month), is this still a positive value proposition.  Sleek alternatives like IWBFrontDesk.com will cost only $16 per month for the same property ($28 for the 15 room property), a significant savings pocketed.  But, what about Rezovation’s built in service suite, including a website Booking Engine.  Well, BedBreakfastTraveler.com can bundle Booking Engine with IWBFrontDesk.com, essentially the same product set as Rezovation GT Online, and still save up to about 60% of the cost a user would pay for Rezovation GT Online (as much as $1,000 savings per year given the assumptions above, for a 15 room B&B).

When it comes to Channel Management, Rezovation offers connection to the GDS or BedandBreakfast.com’s third party website connections (like Expedia).  The GDS connectivity will cost $649 just to get the process started, and then there are ongoing 15% commissions, $15.50 per reservation, and $250 per year after the first year.  If this sounds expensive, it is.  The connection to BedandBreakfast.com’s online reservations may be cheaper for some B&Bs.  But, as mentioned above, with commissions of 25% – 30%, this is still quite an expensive undertaking.   This is why BedBreakfastTraveler.com can bundle GDS connectivity, or connectivity to Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Booking.com, Travelocity.com (or about a hundred other choices), right into the IWBFrontDesk.com solution.  So, an end to end solution including property management system, booking engine for your website, and channel management, can save you $1,000 or $2,000 every year versus Rezovation’s and BedandBreakfast.com’s new pricing.

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