Photos Can Make or Break Your Listing

by Emily GersonCamera300

Did you know that according to our recent survey, 48% of travelers say photos are very important to them when booking? Another 27% say they won’t even book without photos. Images are the single most important component of your listing. But not just any images—clear, large, high-quality pictures.

Photos that are blurry, tiny, outdated, poorly lit, or unflattering are often enough to make a traveler book elsewhere. We also aren’t able to feature listings with low-quality photos in our press releases, blog, articles, or social media.  If your guests arrive and cialis sales say, “Your B&B looks better than in your photos,” it’s time to get new pictures taken.

What steps can you take right now?

  • If you have high-quality photos on your website but have not uploaded them to your listing yet, please do so now. users would love to see them, too!
  • If you have 10 photo slots on but are only using six, fill up the rest if you have good photos. Take advantage of the opportunity to show off more bedrooms or areas of your B&B.
  • On the other hand, if you currently have some low-quality photos on your, it is better to remove them than keep them there. Only leave your best ones. It most cases, quality over quantity is more important.
  • If you don’t have any current or high-quality photos but you have a good camera, take new ones yourself. You may want to take a local photography class to learn more about lighting and composition.
  • If you don’t feel confident with your own photography skills, consider hiring a professional. Our survey results reveal how important photos are in the booking process, so it will be worth it in the long run. You can get photographer recommendations from other nearby inns or real estate agents.

Be sure to check out the August edition of Innkeeper News for the top 10 photo mistakes to avoid when taking pictures yourself!



Results from our March Innkeeper and Traveler Surveys

We sent out surveys in March to both travelers and innkeepers to gain insight into B&B travel trends.  Below are some of the highlights from both surveys. Some of the most interesting findings are that many of the top 20 summer destinations for travelers are small towns, and close to half of innkeepers think rising gas prices may actually increase their reservations.

For the full results, click here to download the PDF of the traveler survey and click here to download the PDF of the innkeeper survey. This may not work if you use Firefox as your browser; if this is the case, please email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .  

Highlights from the Traveler Survey

How many trips are they planning and how long are they going?
Even with ever-increasing gas prices, nine out of 10 (90.3%) say they will take at least one weekend getaway this summer, and nearly two-thirds (62.3%) say they will take two or more weekend getaways this summer.   
Nearly two-thirds (64.5%) of travelers say they will take one or two long weekend getaways this summer, and 70% will take one or two week-long vacations this summer.

Where are they going?
Follow this link to see what the top 20 destinations are for summer 2011:

How do they choose where to stay?
When deciding where to stay, travelers rank consumer reviews the highest (49.6%), followed closely by photos (48.7%), ability to book online (44.4%) and friends’ recommendations (44%).

Why do they stay at B&Bs?
B&B travelers say B&Bs allow them to get away from masses staying at hotels, while offering unique, interesting, and intimate accommodations that are adult/couple-oriented.

Highlights from the Innkeeper Survey

How did their business perform in 2010?
More than three out of four (75.8%) said their 2010 revenue was as good or better compared to 2009, with more than half of those saying revenue was up 10% or more.
Almost 19 percent of innkeepers said revenue in 2010 was up 20% or more.

Are they optimistic for 2011?
Two-thirds of innkeepers (63.3%) said they expect their reservations to increase in 2011.  

Do they think rising gas prices will affect their business?
With no end in sight for rising prices, 61% said yes.
Interestingly, 40% of innkeepers think reservations will go down slightly due to consumers traveling less, while another 40% think reservations will go up slightly as people choose weekend stays over long vacations.

What led to success for those who had increased reservations?
Innkeepers overwhelmingly attribute online reviews (74%) for improved bookings in 2010, but also say social media like Facebook and Twitter (28.9%) and publicity (28.9%) contributed to their improved performance.




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