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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New Booking Engines, Lower Prices for 2011

Following is a letter published to our fellow members of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (paii.org):

We wish to introduce to you our new Booking Engines (Online Reservation System) for 2011.  They’re available right now!  BedBreakfastTraveler.com (Instant World Booking) believes that this announcement is quite timely.  Economic conditions in North America, and for the B&B industry as a whole, are still quite lackluster, despite earlier forecasts.  Like you, we feel that internet technology should not only make our lives easier, but also save money … and lots of it.  Instant World Booking has introduced a pricing model for Booking Engines that does just that.

In short, BedBreakfastTraveler.com (Instant World Booking) guarantees you a much lower cost for your website’s booking engine than your current provider.

And what’s more, you even choose the way you want to pay: commission pricing, monthly cost, per-transaction cost, etc.  We can customize a pricing plan to meet your specific needs, as well as reduce your costs.  You choose the pricing model that’s best for you.  What really matters is — you’ll be saving money.

For years now, we’ve been reading our competitors’ websites and blog posts explaining their cost structure.  You’ve probably seen some of these articles, trying to justify commission costs of 25% – 30% for online reservation programs.  And, if you use a competing Booking Engine for your website, you may be paying from $50 per month (that’s the absolute lowest) up to $300 or more per month, plus a commission for every reservation.  And, then there’s the setup fee (as high as $999), and plenty of restrictions on how much availability you need to allocate to avoid higher costs.

If there’s any one message I want to get across here:  Please Don’t Overpay!  It’s no wonder that in the last year, some of these competing providers have been bought out by major corporations or conglomerates.  This has been widely publicized in the news.  Let’s just see which direction their prices go in the next year.

There’s no secret to why BedBreakfastTraveler.com (Instant World Booking) can offer the same, and better, services for a much lower cost.  We’ve been developing better Booking Engines and online marketing services for close to a decade.  And, we’re passing on the savings of our smart solutions to you.

Check out a demo of our Booking Engine for your website here:

http://www.bedbreakfasttraveler.com/booking-engine.php

Then, contact us and tell us how much you pay for your current solution.  We guarantee a lower cost, and you can even get set up for free in just 24-48 hours.

Check out our blog for more innkeepers’ intelligence, and get the real breakdown of pricing for some of our most popular competitors:

http://www.bedbreakfasttraveler.com/blog_bb/category/business-intelligence/

Even if you’re not in the market for a new Booking Engine just yet, list your property with BedBreakfastTraveler.com today for free.  You get 15+ pages of web-optimized, translated content about your B&B (we translate your B&B descriptions for you).  This comes complete with custom searchable maps and extras.  This is an unprecedented value.

http://www.bedbreakfasttraveler.com/listings/add_property.php

Thank you for your valuable time.  I promise you that, after spending a couple of minutes checking out our Booking Engine demos, you’ll be saving a lot of money in 2011.

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