2009 PAII Innkeeper’s Convention-Atlanta
I have heard a number of innkeepers these past two months that insist they cannot afford to go to the upcoming PAII Convention in Atlanta. This is usually an inn’s slower time of the year anyway, so it is difficult to ascertain whether a dip in occupancy is due to the seasonality of the inn, or as a repercussion of the traveling public’s plans due to the current economic woes.
At the Mid-Atlantic Innkeeper’s Conference at The Homestead, in Warm Springs, VA., Jay Karen, president and CEO of the Professional Association of Innkeepers, presented some survey data of 218 inns from the fall of 2008. About half (50.2%) reported business was stronger, or as strong as, the same period the previous year. The remaining 49.8% reported business down from last year. But that is not the interesting part…the reasons the inns gave as the reasons for the strong business are very interesting:
- New or revamped website
- New (professional) photography on their website
- Strong packaging agreements with local attractions
- Strong investment in the internet directories that send guests to their inns.
The innkeepers who had decreased business blamed:
- Bad weather in their area
- The economic conditions of this recession
- Increasing gas prices
- Decreased number of visitors to their region
Notice how the inns with increased business cite actions they have taken as the reasons for continued or stronger growth. Notice how the inns with decreased business blame uncontrollable factors (I call this the Woe is Me syndrome). Now is the time to take action to keep your business strong during the recession. Failure to take these steps, and continued plummet of occupancy and resulting revenues will only hasten the decline of the inn on its Life Cycle (March 18 posting).
And there is NO BETTER place to pick up new ideas (at the Great Idea Fair), meet up with a website vendor (or 2!…at the Trade Show), go to the “How to” Workshops, network with others who are DOING the actions, and be energized with the General Sessions, than at the 2009 PAII convention.
It’s an Investment, not a cost.
Marilyn and I will be there…for those who cannot make it, take a look at the PAII Schedule of Workshops, select a couple that are of particular interest to you, and Marilyn and I will try to pick up the handouts. There will also be a video/audio recording of ALL the sessions available through the after the convention.
We will be reporting our learnings at the convention, so stay tuned for additional feedback!
See you there! Scott