Since 1988, the Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) has surveyed the owners of bed-and-breakfast/country inns in the US to understand all aspects of this growing segment of the travel industry. Although the survey itself has now become a standard for appraisers, lenders, innkeepers and aspiring innkeepers, it is valuable to focus on a new component: data on the Same Inns who participated in both the 1996 and 1998 Study. Controlling the variable of who participates in the Study has always been a challenge to validity. With the consistency of the same researchers, PKF Consulting gathering the data this year, the tabulation of data on the same inns reporting gives an extra check on the validity of the overall Study.
MethodThe 1998 survey instrument of 19 pages was mailed to every innkeeper who was a member of the Professional Association of Innkeepers International in December of 1998, 2500 inns. 289 responded with enough data to be included in the survey. Each participating inn was sent a copy of the overall Study and if they sent in their questionnaire early they received a regional Study as well.
Questions have been modified over the years adjusting for changes in the industry (Internet impact for example) and for what appear to be confusion in responses on the part of the innkeeper-respondent.
Although contracted out to PKF Consulting, the resulting data is closely reviewed for consistency and accuracy by PAII Co-Executive Director Pat Hardy, in order to maintain a continuity of reporting. This year inn owner and long time participant in the Study, Hugh Daniels, MBA, contributed his expertise in the revision of the questionnaire and in the checking of the data.
Results of Interest
This paper discusses only the Same Inn respondents in comparison to the overall participants as a reflection of the accuracy of the Study and as a reflection of the Industry as a whole.
Occupancy of the Same Inns was the only tally used in this year's Study as this seemed to be the most accurate representation:
This occupancy is based on number of rooms rented during a year regardless of seasons closed.
While occupancy crept up 2 percentage points between 96 and 98, rooms rates made a healthy 11% jump.
Review of the figures of the same properties from one year to the next reveals a steady growth in this industry, which is not always easy to decipher when different inns participate from year to year. There are very few discrepancies between the "all inns" and the "same inns" showing that the Study as a whole has represented the bed-and-breakfast/country inn industry quite accurately. However, one must refrain from the need to assume broad trends of change in specific areas (e.g. Staff salaries) when using the overall figures.
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