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Bed and Breakfast Websites: Marketing Accommodations to People with Disabilities

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BED AND BREAKFAST WEBSITES: MARKETING ACCOMMODATIONS TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES By FELICIA ANN ROGERS A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLOR IDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN RECREATIONAL STUDIES UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA 2005

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Copyright 2005 by Felicia Ann Rogers

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I dedicate my thesis to my parents, Dan and Sharon Rogers, who have made it possible for me to attend college and have supported me in my endeavors. Also, I dedicate my thesis to my late grandmother, Darlin, w ho provided me with strength and inspiration throughout my college years.

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iv ACKNOWLEDGMENTS I have spent so much time composing my th esis, and I am thankful I have survived to see its completion. There we re countless times when I was not sure I would finish. In the end, all of the hard work will be surely reward ing. I thank the friends I made not only as an undergraduate, but also as a graduate student. They have made my sanity and success possible. I thank them for the enc ouragement and listening to my never ending stress. I hope our friendship with stands the test of time. I thank my chair, Lori Pennington-Gray for her countless hours spent editing and reviewing my writing. She has taught me valu able skills in the areas of writing and researching. Additionally, I thank Dr. Spengl er and Rhonda Phillips for their support in serving on my committee and provid ing insight. Together, the three of them have helped to make my thesis and mast er’s degree a reality. I owe my utmost respect and gratitude to my parents. They have made my college education and success not only a dream but a reality. They have supported me emotionally and financially, and my appreciation to them is endless. I thank my sister, Lori, who was there for me to find my firs t apartment and always found time to visit during Kappa family weekend or Gator games. Her support with my education and my life is remarkable. Together, we now both hold two degrees from the University of Florida. With fondness, I thank my angel, Darlin, as she has watched over me through college and blessed me with many memories in my life.

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v I am forever in debt to my friend and fellow researcher, Cathy Palmieri, for her help in reviewing websites. We often thought it might never end, and I thank her for her support and assistance. A true friend will si t and look at websites for hours and hours! A second thanks is given to Dr. Spengler. W ithout him, I might not have made it into graduate school. He has provided me with advice and patience as a mentor. I thank Brijesh Thapa for always provi ding comments and direction on my thesis and my studies. My gratitude is greatly expr essed to Charlie Lane who sp ent many hours helping me with my thesis. He provided me with technical assistance as well as countless hours of support. I thank Heather Gibson who provided me with direction and help early on in my master’s career. She has always been willing to assist me. Last but not least, my greatest thanks goe s to Brad. However, he has been my support system for the last th ree years of my life, and I could not go without mentioning him. Without him, I could not have w ithstood the stresses of school, work, and my thesis. He has been patient, supportive, and always helpful. Brad has been my best friend, seeing me through my st ruggles, and he can never know how grateful I am to him.

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vi TABLE OF CONTENTS page ACKNOWLEDGMENTS.................................................................................................iv LIST OF TABLES...........................................................................................................viii LIST OF FIGURES.............................................................................................................x ABSTRACT....................................................................................................................... xi CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION........................................................................................................1 Statement of Problem...................................................................................................5 Purpose of Study...........................................................................................................6 Research Objectives......................................................................................................6 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE..............................................................................8 Bed and Breakfasts in the United States.......................................................................8 Internet Marketing by Bed and Breakfasts.................................................................11 People with Disabili ties and Travel............................................................................17 Use of the Internet by People with Disabilities..........................................................21 People with Disabilities and Bed and Breakfasts.......................................................22 3 METHODS.................................................................................................................25 Sampling Frame..........................................................................................................25 Data Collection...........................................................................................................25 Scorecard Approach....................................................................................................26 Operationalization of Variables..................................................................................27 Qualitative Survey......................................................................................................31 Data Analysis..............................................................................................................32 4 RESULTS...................................................................................................................34 Inner-rater Reliability.................................................................................................34 Research Objective 1..................................................................................................41 Research Objective 2..................................................................................................44

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vii Research Objective 3..................................................................................................46 Research Objective 4..................................................................................................47 Research Objective 5..................................................................................................50 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION........................................................................54 Summary of Procedures and Treatment of Data.........................................................54 Summary of Findings.................................................................................................55 Research Objective 1...........................................................................................55 Research Objective 2...........................................................................................56 Research Objective 3...........................................................................................58 Research Objective 4...........................................................................................58 Research Objective 5...........................................................................................59 Conclusions.................................................................................................................60 Discussion and Implications.......................................................................................61 Recommendations for Future Research......................................................................65 APPENDIX A BED AND BREAKFAST WEBSITE EVALUATION.............................................68 B QUALITATIVE BED AN D BREAKFAST SURVEY..............................................70 LIST OF REFERENCES...................................................................................................72 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH.............................................................................................75

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viii LIST OF TABLES Table page 3-1. Information Collected................................................................................................26 3-2. Scorecard Items.........................................................................................................2 9 3-3. Qualitative Items........................................................................................................ 32 4-1. Evaluator Responses by Question.............................................................................35 4-2. Revised Scorecard Items...........................................................................................40 4-3. Bed and Breakfasts by Florida Location...................................................................42 4-4. Building Date of Bed and Breakfasts........................................................................42 4-5. Restoration Date of Bed and Breakfasts....................................................................43 4-6. Number of Guest Rooms in Bed and Breakfasts.......................................................43 4-7. Lowest and Highest Rates of Bed and Breakfasts.....................................................44 4-8. Owners Living at Bed and Breakfasts.......................................................................44 4-9. User Friendliness Scores...........................................................................................45 4-10. Site Attractiveness Scale.........................................................................................45 4-11. Marketing Effectiveness Scores..............................................................................45 4-12. Technical Quality Scores.........................................................................................46 4-13. Marketing to People with Disabilities Score...........................................................46 4-14. Standardized Scores by Quality Domains...............................................................47 4-15. Analysis of Variance of Location and Quality of Website......................................48 4-16. Independent Samples t-test Results of Quality of Websites by Number of Rooms48 4-17. Independent Samples t-test Results of Quality of Websites by Year Buil t .............49

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ix 4-18. Independent Samples t-test Results of Quality of Websites by Year Last..............49 4-19. Independent Samples t-test Results of Quality of Websites by Minimum Rate.....50 4-20. Independent Samples t-test Results of Quality of Websites by Maximum Rate.....50

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x FIGURE Figure page 4-1. Map of Florida Regions..............................................................................................41

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xi Abstract of Thesis Presen ted to the Graduate School of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for the Master of Science in Recreational Studies BED AND BREAKFAST WEBSITES: MARKETING ACCOMMODATIONS TO PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES By Felicia Ann Rogers December 2005 Chair: Lori Pennington-Gray Major Department: Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management Limited research exists in the area of people with disabilities and bed and breakfasts. BedandBreakfast.com was chos en as an online guidebook to locate the websites of bed and breakfasts in Flor ida listed as accommodating people with disabilities. The purpose of this study was to look into bed and breakfast websites and examine the quality of websites, especial ly evaluating marketing to people with disabilities and the level of information provided. Information was collected from 77 bed and breakfast websites that were listed on BedandBreakfast.com as accommodating people with disabilities. Two researchers viewed the websites in April-May using a scor ecard. Website information was scored in five areas: user friendliness, site attract iveness, marketing effectiveness, technical quality, and marketing to people with disabilities. The results revealed that few bed a nd breakfasts are providing adequate information to people with disabilities on thei r websites. In the marketing to people with

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xii disabilities domain, 80% of bed and breakfast websites provided no information about accessible accommodations. One statistical significance did occur between bed and breakfasts and year of cons truction. Those constructed be fore 1900 had websites that provided better quality information to people with di sabilities. A follow-up qualitative survey was conducte d with three bed and breakfast owners whose websites had the highest quality of info rmation for people with disabilities. The researcher phoned the three owners and read each of 10 questions to them. Results revealed that the owner who marketed her bed and breakfast in numerous media outlets had a higher number of guests w ith disabilities. She also re ported a good word of mouth referral from her guests with disabilities. Th e other two owners repo rted not using other forms of information dispersal and having fewe r guests with disabili ties. None of the owners interviewed consulted an expert in marketing or people with disabilities when configuring their bed an d breakfast website. Findings indicated that future research n eeds to be done in the area of people with disabilities and marketing. Specifically, more research should look into owners’ motivations for marketing to people with disa bilities and whether peop le with disabilities are interested in staying at bed and breakfast s. Research could be conducted to review previous experiences had by people with disabilities.

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1 CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION The Travel Industry Association of Amer ica predicts that Americans will spend $546.9 billion on tourism in the United Stat es in 2005. Also, for the same year, approximately 1.2 billion domestic trips will be taken (Travel I ndustry Association of America, 2005). According to Goeldner, Ritc hie, and McIntosh (2000) tourism proves to be the United States’ third largest reta il industry and employs one out of every 17 Americans. By 2010, it is expected that tourism will create $8 trillion of economic activity and 328 million jobs internationally. In addition, $1.8 trillion in taxes will be generated in the same year. Important to the tourism industry in the Unite d States are people with disabilities. Roughly 22.2 million individuals with disabilities have travel ed in the last two years (Blum, 2003). Moreover, 49.7 million people wi th disabilities live in the United States, about one fifth of the total population (Unite d States Department of Commerce, 2003). In a 1995 Census Survey, the last to look at disabilities specifi cally, 1.8 million people used a wheelchair and 5.2 million people used a cane, crutches, or a walker (Takeda & Card, 2002). Among the 50 states, the highest population living with disabilities resides in the South, about 91 million, nearly double the amount of any other region. Additionally, the South has the most peopl e over 65, with over 50% of them having disabilities (United States Depa rtment of Commerce, 2003). Bed and breakfasts are part of the touris m industry. Each year, bed and breakfasts generate nearly $3.5 billion in revenue (Lanie r, Caples & Cook, 2000). An ideal market

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2 for bed and breakfasts to focus on is people with disabilities (Dav ies, Hardy, Bell, & Brown, 1996). People with disabi lities along with at least on e traveling companion have the potential to spend $54 million a year (Blum, 2003). Simply put, this market is an excellent opportunity for bed and breakfasts to successfully market their accommodations and improve their occupancy rate. Americans with Disabilities Act. The passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 forced the tourism industry to recognize pe ople with disabilities. Title III of ADA specifically looks at public a ccommodations. It states that travel services are public accommodations. These include hotels, restaurants, bars, museums, amusement parks, theatres, and state/national parks. The Amer icans with Disabilities Act states that full and equal access must be provided to peopl e with disabilities (Takeda & Card, 2002). Certain conditions apply as to which public accommodations and to what extent they must be adapted (United States Department of Justice, 2002). Bed and Breakfasts. The Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII) has identified nearly 18,000 bed and breakfast s in the United States (Valhouli, 2002, in Kline, Morrison, & St. John, 2004.). A 2000 st udy reported that bed and breakfasts, country inns and small hotels represented 31% of the United States lodging industry (Lodging Resources and Workshops and Lanier Publishing, 2003 in Kline et al.). However, there are discrepancies between how many bed and breakfasts exist in each state. There are an estimated 400 bed and break fasts in the Florida. Lois Cleveland of Florida Bed and Breakfast Inns attributes this to what one actually considers a bed and breakfast. Although there are many converted motels that are licensed as bed and

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3 breakfasts, they are not actually bed and breakfasts because of their size, food, and service (personal communication, April 13, 2003). Lee, Reynolds, and Kennon’s study (2003) re vealed bed and breakfast travelers usually are vacationing for a s hort period and travel closer to home. In fact, for many inns, nearly half of the room nights are contributed to by in-sta te tourists (Lanier, Caples, & Cook, 2000). Since more people with disabil ities live in the s outhern United States than any other region, there is a compelling argument that innkeepers market to these individuals. In particular, the South has two fifths of the population with disabilities (United States Department of Commerce, 2003). The Internet and Bed and Breakfasts. The Fifth Annual Innkeeper Tracking Study: 2001 revealed that 50% of bed and breakfasts gu ests located the prope rty via the Internet, an increase of 12% from 1999. The Internet allows bed a nd breakfasts to create an interactive experience for guests. This interactivity exists as a marketing goal for many innkeepers (Kline et al., 2004). For example, th e Internet allows gue sts to view the bed and breakfast prior to visiting it (Countryman, 2000, in Kline et al.). Traditional sources such as travel guides, print media, and c onvention and visitor bureaus saw a decrease in usage of seven percent from 1999 to 2001 (Sch leim & St. Amour, 2001, in Kline et al.). Bed and breakfast owners are able to market th eir property on the Internet with little time and expense required. Additionally, bed and brea kfasts are able to extend past their local regions in which their brochures and advertisem ents typically reach. Instead, the Internet can allow the bed and breakfast to attract national as well as international guests (Morrow, 2001, in Kline et al.). Lastly, th e use of Internet marketing allows bed and

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4 breakfasts to receive exposure 24 hours a da y, allowing them to be even more accessible to potential guests (Kasavan a, 2002, in Kline et al.) In Innkeepers Innternet Informati on: Marketing Guestrooms Online (1998) author S. Demarest listed six benefits to bed a nd breakfasts using the Internet to market themselves. First, bed and breakfast owners experience less phone time if the Internet is used. Internet users will ha ve many of their basic questions answered via the Internet. Innkeepers then do not have to spend as much time describing the property, policies, and near-by attractions. Second, Demarest said that incremental co sts are lower. The cost of time spent filling requests for brochures, information, et c. is less because this information is available on the Internet. In addition, actual cost savings exis t in the form of no postage and lower toll free phone line charges. Third, more business can be a benefit a bed and breakfast marketing itself on the Internet. A bed and breakfas t’s exposure increases when it utilizes the Internet. The increase in business can vary depending on the depth of the website and in how many online guidebooks it is listed. Fourth, customers who book after seeing a we bsite advertisement are likely to be more satisfied. This is a result of knowing wh at a bed and breakfast really looks like and offers to its customers. If a customer uses a basic print advertisem ent or even a travel agent to make their decision, they may be unhap py with what they find when they arrive. Fifth, customers perceive the value of a bed and breakfast as being higher when they are able to view them on the Internet. When guests are able to see the vivid photo displays on a bed and breakfast’s website, the guests are more likely to pay the expense

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5 for a nice room. Thus, it is eas ier to sell a high priced room on the Internet than it would be with a basic phone explan ation from the innkeeper. Sixth, owners can reach their target audi ence even easier. Demarest mentioned a study done by Georgia Institute of Technol ogy in which 91% of online users had an average annual income of over $59,000. This is an audience in which bed and breakfasts hope to attract to their propertie s. As Internet usage continue s to increase, Demarest said these benefits will be seen through integrati ng the Internet into a bed and breakfast’s overall marketing strategy. Statement of Problem At least two factors indicate that mark eting to people with disabilities are important. First, a quote by Paul Alterma n, chairman for the Second World Congress of the Society for the Advancement of Travel of the Handicapped (SATH), indicated that nearly 24 million people with disabilities do not travel because of a bad experience or the expectation of one. According to Alterman, if a million of those individuals took one trip per year, the travel industry would see an increase in revenue of $3 billion (Vladimir, 1998). Second is the potential to increase occ upancy rates for individual properties. Occupancy levels for bed and breakfasts ar e around 50% year round. In comparison, the American Hotel and Motel Association repor ts a 64% occupancy rate for all lodging properties nationally. Thus, there is a potential to increase profits for bed and breakfast owners. Simply, owners can look to this pa rticular market segment to help increase occupancy rate (Lanier, Caples, & Cook, 2000). A review of the literature revealed a pa ucity of research re lated to people with disabilities and bed and breakfasts. Add itionally, little has been studied regarding

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6 marketing and bed and breakfasts and even less about the Internet as a marketing tool for bed and breakfasts. This study will aim to c ontribute to this dearth of scholarly and practical literature. It w ill also look at this population a nd how their information search needs can be improved through Internet websites Overall, this study seeks to reveal the effectiveness of bed and breakfast website s in relation to targeting people with disabilities. Purpose of Study The purpose of this study was to look in to bed and breakfast websites and examine the quality of websites, especially monitori ng information for people with disabilities and the level of information provided. The study was beneficial to both bed a nd breakfast owners and people with disabilities. Bed and breakfasts have th e opportunity through th eir website to reach people with disabilities and e xplain their accommodations. In addition, individuals with disabilities are likely to use the In ternet and find information on accessible accommodations. An examination of websites key words related to disabilities is one step to improving the marketing strate gies of bed and breakfasts. Research Objectives Five research objectives will guide this study: 1. To Profile the Sample of Florida Bed and Breakfasts from BedandBreakfast.com 2. To Modify And Test A Revised Scorecard With The Addition Of Information On Marketing To People With Disabilities 3. To Assess The Relative Quality Of Florid a Bed And Breakfast’s Based On Aspects Of A) Technical Quality, B) User Friendliness, C) Site Attractiveness, D) Marketing Effectiveness, E) Accessibility Issues

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7 4. To Examine The Relationship Between Quality Of Florida Bed And Breakfast’s websites and A) Year Built, B) Last Rest ored, C) Location, D) Lowest and Highest Rate, E) Size. 5. To Examine Bed And Breakfast Owners ’ Motivations and Attitudes Towards Marketing to People with Di sabilities on Their Websites

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8 CHAPTER 2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE A review of the literature will cover vari ous areas related to the thesis topic. Although a thorough search was completed for all areas, some have appeared more frequently in the popular cultur e literature, thus this type of literature has also been included. Areas of discussion will include 1) bed and breakfasts in the United States, 2) bed and breakfasts and their In ternet marketing, 3) people with disabilities, their travel, and the ADA, 4) people with disabilities and use of the Internet. Bed and Breakfasts in the United States In the United States, bed and breakfasts ha ve long been a lodging option for people staying away from home. Typically, they ha ve offered a place to stay along with a continental or warm breakfast. Today, some bed and breakfasts will offer cocktails or even a warm evening meal. Typically, innk eepers open their homes to guests and engage in conversation. Nonetheless, individuals who stay in be d and breakfasts are usually looking for a relaxing stay with a bit of a di fferent feel of othe r traditional lodging options. A study by Warnick and Klar (1991) looked at industry characteristics of bed and breakfasts in Massachusetts Roughly 125 owners of bed and breakfasts answered questions about their establishment, their background, and educational needs. Findings revealed that half of the bed and breakfasts had only been in existence for five years or less. Moreover, two thirds of owners said their businesses were regulated by town ordinances. Most bed and breakfasts promote themselves by being members of their

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9 local chambers of commerce. Finally, nearly 46% indicate that their needs to be more education for owners about marketing/promo tion of bed and breakfa sts and would like to see workshops about this topic. Emerick and Emerick (1994) profiled the typical American bed and breakfast by having owners and operators complete ques tionnaires about their respective bed and breakfasts. Specifically, the authors collect ed information about the location, facility, and operations. The results indi cated that bed and breakfasts were most often located in towns with populations of less than 10,000 people. Typically, the structure was an owner occupied home that was converted to a be d and breakfast for supplemental income. Lastly, 61.5% of bed and breakfasts were built prior to 1920, with ha lf of those having some type of designation as a historical structure. Poorani and Smith (1995) looked at the si ze of bed and breakfast properties in relation to financial indicators. They utilized 400 mail quest ionnaires that were returned by bed and breakfast owners. In terms of revenue, 37% of bed and breakfasts yielded $24,000 or less per year. Additionally, 75% of bed and breakfast owners had no previous experience, and those same owners without experience yielded $3,000 less per room than experienced owners. Most people independe ntly owned their bed and breakfast and purchased the structure with the intention of converting it. Withiam (1997) wrote that six percent of bed and breakfasts reserve their rooms on-line, a figure he believed wa s above that of hotels. More over, interaction with guests was the primary motivation for opening a bed and breakfast. Most bed and breakfast owners were not looking for an immediate pr ofit because they have another source of income. Many owners viewed bed and breakfasts as an investment.

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10 Lubetkin’s (1999) study compared bed and breakfasts advertising to where guests sought out their traveling information. To obt ain this information, Lubetkin utilized two different surveys to gather data. First, he surveyed bed and breakfast owners from the United States to look at what specific outlets were used for promotion of their property. Lubetkin asked questions regarding inhouse versus agency marketing, type of advertising budget, and tracking mechanisms for advertising. Secondly, guests who stayed at five properties were surveyed to see how they gained knowledge of the property. He also asked them how often they stayed away from home and what other outlets they used to find lodging. On the first part of the study, resu lts indicated that bed and breakfasts typically do their marketing in -house. Owners most commonly used word of mouth, brochures, the chamber of comme rce, and Mobil and AAA guidebooks as their outlets. In contrast, guests typically used word of mouth, mag azines and newspapers, signs, and Internet and CD-ROMs to find the bed and breakfasts in this study. Although the first two outlets for each group are the same, the rest differ in significance and order. Lanier et al. (2000) performed a descri ptive study on bed and breakfasts. They utilized a database of bed and breakfasts from Lanier Publishing to create profiles. Bed and breakfasts’ average da ily rate (ADR) was $122, 54% more than hotels’ ADR. Overall, bed and breakfasts accounted for four percent of the room supply nationally. Eighty percent of property owners live on-si te. Finally, patrons of 30% of bed and breakfasts typically share bathrooms. The purpose of the study completed by Lee et al. (2003) study was to look at the types of marketing strategies used by be d and breakfast owners and their perceived success of these strategies. A random sample of Texas bed and breakfast owners was

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11 done utilizing those listed in the Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax Accounts Report From this, Lee et al. (2003) determined that bed a nd breakfast operators most often use word of mouth, chambers of commerce, and brochures as their marketing strategies. Having a website was fifth on the list of marketing stra tegies. Bed and breakfast owners found that word of mouth was the most successful st rategy, followed by brochures, chamber of commerce, websites, and visitor and conventi on bureaus. The majority of owners (73%) owned a computer that they could use to access the Internet (Lee et al., 2003) As can been seen, an adequate amount of information is available with respect to bed and breakfasts. Generally, these studies are descriptive in natu re, providing a basis for what the bed and breakfast population looks like. In a couple of cases, marketing strategies for bed and breakfasts were reviewed. Internet Marketing by Bed and Breakfasts Information about Internet marketing by bed and breakfasts has only started to appear in the literature si nce 1999. Naturally, this has had a relationship with the increasing presence of the Internet overall. Several articles will be reviewed about bed and breakfast websites including one from a bed and breakfast book. In 1999, Morrison, Taylor, Morrison, and Mo rrison looked at small hotels using the Internet to market themselves. According to Kline et al. (2004), bed and breakfasts can be viewed as a type of small hotel. Morris on et al. looked at sma ll hotels in the United Kingdom specifically. The study assessed the e ffectiveness of small hotel websites, the advantages/disadvantages of the websites, and how to make the websites more effective. At the time of the study, the independ ent hotel was the most common form of accommodations in the United Kingdom. Morris on et al. believed that there were five marketing challenges that small hotels faced. These challenges were internationalization,

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12 differentiation, adding value, interconn ection and distribution, and embracing technological developments. Morrison et al. (1999) stated that small hotels should focus on nurturing guest relationships, building part nerships, diversifying distribution channels, and targeting niche and speci al interest markets. For the study, websites of small hotels that were members of a marketing consortium were reviewed. Thus, they ha d a common goal of working on their strategic marketing. The previously mentioned items were assessed on each of their websites along with additional factors. Sixteen hot els were assessed (only 25% of hotel consortium members had their own websites) and a balanced scor ecard approach was utilized. The balanced score card approached recognizes th an an assessment should not be one-dimensional. Instead, it looks at bala nced dimensions with each dimension being a different aspect of review. Significant time has passed si nce this study was completed. Thus, some findings are not as applicable now. Nonetheless, one of the key problems was the amount of time it took to download the website. Additionally, Morrison et al. found that most websites lacked interacti on with the consumer. Instead, the website appeared to be a digital brochure. Website s scored especially lo w on appealing to the needs of special consumers. The websites fa iled to take advantage of the opportunity to provide specific, comprehensive information about the property. Only 7 of the 16 hotels scored above 50% of the available points, w ith the highest score be ing a 67%. Overall, results showed that hotels were not making ef fective use of their websites. Moreover, the authors found there was no rela tionship between the size of th e hotel and the quality of their website.

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13 In tune with the five marketing chal lenges previously mentioned, Morrison et al.(1999) indicated that website s should provide more info rmation for foreign guests, demonstrate their properties’ uniqueness, utili ze the four marketing st rategies previously mentioned, add more links to their websites, a nd actually have a website. The last idea referred to the fact that only 25% utilized th e Internet for marketing. Morrison et al. suggested that future resear ch should include how to cr eate a standardized training package for owners to make more effective websites. The opportunity to close the gap between small hotels and large hotels was fa st closing and the au thors indicated small hotels would have to work fast in orde r to catch up (Morriso n et al, 1999). In the book Open Your Own Bed & Breakfast Notarius and Brewer (2001) presented results of a 1999 study cosponsored by Professional Associ ation of Innkeepers International (PAII), BedandBreakfast.com, and B&B getaways. The authors described the chapter entitled The Internet as the biggest change to the newest edition of the book. Notarius and Brewer say that the Internet ha s become a cost effective marketing approach that bed and breakfasts can utilize. The 1999 study showed that 54% of innkeepers had e-mail and 52% had their own Internet websit e. Plus, innkeepers found that 38% of new guests had located their property through the In ternet. Nearly 50% of their advertising budget was spent on Internet related pitches. Additionally, 83% of those surveyed currently belong to at least one online bed and breakfast guidebook. Notarius and Brewer offered advice on what they felt guests as well as innkeepers want. For instance, guests want their search to be easily completed a nd clearly able to be comprehended. Guest appreciate seeing pictures of the property for an understanding of their accommodations. On the other hand, some bed and breakfast owners worry that the

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14 Internet will cause them to lose the personal relationship with th eir guests. This is part of what differentiates a bed and breakfast from a small hotel. Bed and breakfast owners want their guests to know them as real peopl e not simply staff. A phone call allows the owners to see to what kind of guests to expe ct; this is not possible via the Internet. Furthermore, the authors indicate that websit es should a professionall y created website. A website is now more important than a brochure with 40% of new guests using the Internet as their locating sour ce (Notarius & Brewer, 2001). The purpose of a study conducted by Litu chy and Rail (2000) was to look at whether bed and breakfast owners were using the Internet to attract people from other countries to their property. Mo re specifically, they reviewed the Internet’s impact and potential with respect to bed and breakfas ts. Mail surveys were sent to bed and breakfasts throughout the United States and Canada. The survey asked questions about the Internet, websites, e-mail, and marketi ng of the website. A seven point scale and qualitative questions were utilized on the survey. The study found that bed and breakfast owners are using the Internet to attract foreign guests. However, most of them are not using it to the fullest extent possible. Specifically, they do not use video and audio capabilities, solicit feed back from guests, or provide in formation in foreign languages. Respondents indicated that cost effectivene ss was the main reason why they used the Internet as an advertising medium (Lituchy & Rail). According to Jeong (2004), more bed and breakfasts are utilizing state tourism websites to link to their own Web page. Bed and breakfasts are trying to make themselves as accessible as possible. In Jeong’s study, customer’s perceptions of bed and breakfast websites were assessed. Jeong stated that there had b een little research done in

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15 this area. Specifically, Jeong (2004) looked at customers’ pe rceptions of website quality, their satisfaction with information found on th e website, and their extent in which to reuse or recommend to others the website in the future. E-mails were sent out to 1400 people asking them to participate in the be d and breakfast study. They would look at a bed and breakfast website and then answer questions about their feelings towards the website on a subsequent Webpage. The bed an d breakfast website used had all of the 18 attributes that were measured on the surv ey. Behavioral characteristics including demographics and purposes of visiting bed and breakfast websites were evaluated. The survey had a response rate of 15.8% (Jeong). Results of Jeong’s study showed that user s most often used a search engine, community Web pages and bed and breakfast online guidebooks to find bed and breakfasts, from most common to third most common. The most important information sought by users was a telephone number for the bed and breakfast. This indicated that users were more concerned with making rese rvations via phone th an directly on the website. Users were also interested in be ing able to find a map of the surrounding area, e-mail address, and the bed and breakfast opera tor’s information. Future suggestions for research include using more than one bed and breakfast website and having a larger group of survey participants. Jeong also men tioned that bed and breakfast owners should be more observant about their own guest s’ feelings about their website. Kline et al. (2004) used the balanced scor ecard approach to lo ok at the websites of 20 bed and breakfasts located in Indiana. The authors mentioned that designing and maintaining websites is relatively inexpens ive for owners. Since bed and breakfasts typically have limited financial resources, ut ilizing their website as a key marketing

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16 outlet was ideal. The website s hould be designed to be an interactive experience by the guest. The guest should be able to maneuver easily thr ough the website with it being easy to understand and not having technical pr oblems. Using these ideas, Kline et al.(2004) created a four quadrant modified balanced scorecard to review the 20 websites. The balanced scorecard approached included multiple attributes within each quadrant. That way, more areas could be reviewed and the study would not be as subjective. These four quadrants were user friendliness, site attractiveness, marketing effectiveness, and technical qualities. Raters reviewed the first three quadr ants while a technical test performed by NetMechanics.com was used fo r the fourth one. Additional information was collected about the size of the bed a nd breakfast and lowest and highest rates available. Results showed that bed and breakfasts ranked very differently amongst one another as well from one quadrant to the next Results presented by Kline et al. focused more on describing which bed and breakfast scored highest and lowest in each quadrant. Additional information about each property was not provided. Of the four quadrants, site attractiveness had the highest mean percentage of points scored with 85% as the average. The lowest mean percentage points were marke ting effectiveness. Kline et al. indicated that this was the greatest weakness amongst websites. For the future, Kline et al. indicated that bed and breakfast owners could use the presented scale to review their own bed and breakfast websites. The authors also indicated that the re search showed that improvement could exist on websites in each of the assessed areas. Lastly, the authors said that future studies coul d include more websites, a great er variety of websites based on location, and innkeepers’ opinions on the aspects of the evaluation.

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17 As was indicated in all of the studies re viewed in this section, bed and breakfasts are not using the Internet to its fullest poten tial. Additionally, owne rs are not discussing with their guests ways to improve their own website. By utilizing the Internet, bed and breakfasts could attract different market segments. One of these market segments could in fact be people with disabilities. The fo llowing section will summarize the literatures finding on people with disabilities who travel. People with Disabilities and Travel People with disabilities and th eir travel needs and habits became a more prevalent research topic early in 2000. As previously mentioned, the American with Disabilities Act forced the American public to consider how to be more accessible for people who traveled with disabilities. Though the scholarly literature covering th is topic is scant, it begins to provide insight into what people w ith disabilities must face. Additionally, some popular media articles will be reviewed. Darcy (2002) wrote a discussion paper on wh at people with disabilities face when they travel. Travel agents and physical barr iers prove not to be the only reasons people with disabilities do not travel. People with di sabilities often cannot afford to pay the high prices set by the industry for accessible acco mmodations. Typically, hotels that have made the necessary adjustments to accommodate travelers with disabilities tend to be upscale. It is not that these hotels charge more for an acce ssible room than one that is not. Simply, economy hotels are not as likely to make their accommoda tions accessible. Furthermore, people with severe disabiliti es might also have to hire a medical professional to accompany them on their trip. In this case, they might not only be paying for a second trip but also for the fee of th e medical professional. Also, for example, having to rent a van to accommodate a wheelch air with a power lift proves considerably

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18 more expensive than a compact car. Obviousl y, the presence of disabi lities can result in more expensive travel. As a result, some pe ople are unable to meet this cost and must live a life without tr avel (Darcy, 2002). An online poll described by Pfenning (2002) in Travel Weekly listed the most common barrier for people with disabilities en countered was the reservations staff’s lack of knowledge or an indifferent attitude about special needs. The online poll was conducted by iCan!, a solutions and services company for people with disabilities and business leaders. The poll included over 1,500 re spondents with disabilities, ages 18 to 70. In terms of making arrangements, 31% used direct bookings most often followed by 30% who used the Internet and 24% who used travel agents. Accessibility of a hotel room tied for third key factor for people with disabilities when selecting a room in which to stay. Lastly, a majority of people with disabilities found their pe rsonal car to be the most accessible form of transportation followed by airplanes (Pfenning). Ray and Ryder’s (2003) study looked at mobility-impaired persons for consideration in tourism research and at thei r preferred sources of information for their travel choices. Mobility-i mpaired is defined as physic al features/conditions (not including hearing or vision impairment) of ones body that make it difficult for them to maneuver without a wheelchair, cane, walker, etc. Methods used for this study included focus groups, surveys, and questions. Ray and Ryder utilized convenience samples; people used for this study were not randomly selected to be a part of this study. Additionally, relatively small samples sizes existed for this study, too small to run statistics. Through these outlets people were asked a number of questions regarding their travel. For instance, why they choose to vis it specific destinations how they describe

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19 their personality, and how they find out about the areas they choos e to visit (Ray & Ryder, 2003). Results showed that the number one issue when choosing where to go was accessibility. Furthermore, accessibility ev aluated by a knowledgeable person ahead of time was important. Too often, areas that market themselves as accessible were not actually accessible. The group indicated that they would like to see more marketing directed towards the general public utilizing people who are in wheelchairs, etc. They wanted people to know that not every person wi th a mobile disability chooses to go to a destination for the same reason. Everyone is different with different conditions. Word of mouth and the Internet were ranked similarly in responses for how to obtain information about travel. Lastly, simply because this group faces challenges does not meant they do not want to be physically active on their vacations (Ray & Ryder). A brief article appearing in Fairfield County Business Journal entitled Travelers with disabilities could spend $21 billion (2003) mentions seve ral key statistics about the financial power of people with disabilities. The statistics released were based on a poll conducted by Harris Interactive that incl uded responses from 1,037 people. It was estimated that 194,000 travel relate d jobs are the result of tr avelers with disabilities. Furthermore, people with disabilities generate $4.22 billion in payroll and $2.52 billion in tax revenues in the United States. Finally, th e study suggested that if the needs of people with disabilities were met, spending could increase to $6.6 billion for airlines and $8.4 billion for lodging. The same study by Harris Interactiv e appeared in an article in Travel Weekly by Blum (2003). Additional figures were listed w ith regards to people with disabilities.

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20 Eighty-five percent of travel ers with disabilities share th eir experiences via word of mouth. The study indicated that 55% of adults with disabilities had stayed in a hotel at some point in the last two years, spending an average of $241 per visit. Lastly, this same study estimated that people with disabilitie s account for 4.5% of airline revenue (Blum, 2003). The purpose of McKercher, Packer, Yau, and Lamd’s (2003) study was to examine the relationship between people w ith disabilities and tr avel agents in Hong Kong. It also looked at their attitudes toward s the travel trade as a whole. Three focus groups and three in depth interviews were used to collect data. Specificall y, two different types of people were utilized for the study, those with vi sual impairments and those with mobility disabilities. Participants in the study reported a great deal of variability between travel agencies as well as staff within an agency. The majority of participants felt that travel agencies did not meet their needs. The si ngle greatest complaint of those in the study was the attitude of travel agencies. They also found that packaged tours never took into account the varying degrees of disability one mi ght have. Yet, package tours were often the only type of trip offered. Lastly, partic ipants felt information provided to them was poor and there was a general lack of communication between agent and person (McKercher et al.). As one can see, more and more people w ith disabilities are tr aveling. However, constraints prevent them from traveling or pr ovide difficulties while they are traveling. Seeing the needs of travelers with disabiliti es, the tourism industry can now work better to close the gap between themse lves and this population. A li terature scan of people with disabilities and their us e of the Internet wi ll be completed.

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21 Use of the Internet by People with Disabilities After doing a complete review of scholarly literature, it became apparent that popular media would be the outlet to explore Internet usage by people with disabilities. People with disabilities often are able to use the Internet to make every day leisure choices as well as travel arrangements. As the industry supplies more accessible websites, people with disabilities will be able to make even more of their plans utilizing the Internet. In American Demographics, Wellner (2000) wrote an article summarizing the results of a poll of people with disabilitie s. An online poll conducted in 2000 by Harris Interactive found people with disabilities spend twice as much time (20 hours) on the Internet each week as people who do not ha ve disabilities. Specifically, this poll reflected time spent viewing websites, not check ing e-mail. Four out of every ten people with disabilities spend time on the Internet Of the people with disabilities who participated in this poll, 48% reported having a better quality of life as a result of the Internet in comparison to 27% without disabi lities. Moreover, 56% of individuals with disabilities over age 65 reported the Internet has substantially impr oved their quality of life, compared with six percen t of adults without disabiliti es. People with disabilities explore the Internet for 20 hours per week, twi ce as much as people w ithout disabilities. This study demonstrated that marketers s hould promote their product or service more directly to this segment (Wellner). Computer mediated communication between people with disabilities was the topic for Johnson and Ashton-Shaeffer’s (2003) article appearing in Parks and Recreation The authors stated that many people with disabilities experience social isolation. However, communication via the Internet can re sult in better quality of life and health

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22 and improved leisure satisfaction. In additi on, this communication can create a social support network, increase friendships, and allow for more outlets of interaction. In the described program, Virtual Buddies, individu als in North Carolina were provided with computers, modems and Internet connection fr ee of charge. They were then able to communicate with people with disabilities throughout North Carolina. In all, users reported having more friendships and feeling self sufficient and empowered through this line of communication (Johns on & Ashton-Shaeffer, 2003). The Internet can be a powerful tool for peopl e with disabilities to have an outlet not only to explore but also devel op friendships. People with disa bilities spend a great deal of time on the Internet each w eek. Thus, the potential for marketers to reach towards this population is vast. As people with disabilities us e the Internet more to create travel plans, they also will want to explore bed and br eakfasts websites for accessible information. People with Disabilities and Bed and Breakfasts A thorough review of the lite rature revealed no academic research on people with disabilities in relation to bed and breakfasts. A general sear ch of the Internet reviewed little to no connection with the two topics. A review of the guidelines for Superior Small Lodging Certification reveals no terms of accessibility. Last ly, a look at Florida state legal cases and federal legal cases revealed no proceedings involving bed and breakfasts and accessibility issues. However, a bed and breakfast book as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act helped to provide some information. Nonetheless, in the book So—You Want to Be an Innkeeper Davies et al. (1996) provided a brief section entitle d Marketing to guests with disabilities. First, they suggested that bed and breakfast owners ar e careful with the language they choose to utilize. For example, P. Robinson, a disabi lities consultant, stat ed that appropriate

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23 terminology such as people with different physic al, hearing or visual abilities should be used as opposed to derogatory terms such as crippled or retarded. Next, Davies et al. advised that owners should have someone fr om a local group that is knowledgeable about the disabilities community to assess the be d and breakfast. Though an architect may know the legal logistics of accessi bility, an expert from the disabilities community might provide a more personal feel. The aut hors suggest purchasing a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD) so owners can co mmunicate with potential guests who suffer from a loss of hearing (Davies et al., 1996). Davies et al. recommended that owners accurately describe their accommodations so people with disabilities are aware of what is available. Innkeepers should be specific not only about the accommodations but the obsta cles that guests with disabilities might face. If a bed and breakfast is accessible, Davies et al. sugge sts using the blue international wheelchair symbol to show this Owners should also be careful to have a positive attitude because attitude towa rds a population can be a barrier like communication or architecture can be to it. Lastly, innkeepers should realize that it is easier to stay at a property that does ma rket and list their accommodations instead of having to contact a bed and breakfa st that is not clear about thei r property (Davies et al.). The Americans with Disabilities Act According to the Americans with Disabiliti es Act, if a place of lodging has five rooms or less for rent and the owner lives on site, it is not considered a place of public accommodation and does not have to be accessible to people with disabilities. However, if it is a place of lodging th at does not meet these criter ia, the owner must make the facility accessible. Where the owner does not live at lodging facili ty, one room per 25 must be accessible for guests using wheelch airs or who have visual or hearing

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24 impairments. Not until a lodging facility has 51 rooms does it have to provide a bathroom with a roll in shower in one room. A place of lodging that is less than three stories or whose stories are less than 3,000 square feet does not have to have an elevator. A public accommodation must offer a telecommu nication device for the deaf (TDD) if it offers customers to make outgoing telephone calls on more than an incidental convenience basis. Moreover, a place of l odging must offer closed captioning decoders on its televisions. Barriers should be removed when readily achievable so that access is available to people with disabilities. So me examples include adding a ramp, widening doorways, installing grab bars in toilet area, making curb cuts, and installing a raised toilet seat. Barrier remova l would not be “read ily achievable” if it would destroy the historical significance of a build ing designated as historic unde r national, state, or local law (United States Departme nt of Justice, 2002). As one can see, little information exists that directly addresse s bed and breakfasts and their requirements to be accessible. A dditionally, since those with less than six rooms do not have to comply, many bed and breakfasts are not re sponsible for making themselves accessible. As previously me ntioned, ADA did create awareness and some bed and breakfasts have responded. Thus, bed and breakfasts need to take their response and translate it into target marketing to this population.

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25 CHAPTER 3 METHODS This chapter will cover several areas re lated to the methods of the project, including, (1) Sampling Frame, (2) Data Collection, (3) Scorecard Approach, (4) Operationalization of the Variables, (5) Qualitative Survey and (6) Data Analysis. The primary method used in this study was a modi fied balanced scorecard. This method was used to evaluate the quality of five ar eas of bed and breakfasts’ websites. Sampling Frame BedandBreakfast.com was used as the sampling frame for the study. This website was founded in 1994 and lists more than 27, 000 bed and breakfasts worldwide. BedandBreakfast.com was rated INNSTAR's top -rated bed and breakfast directory; it was listed on Forbes’ Best of the Web list ( About BedandBreakfast.com 2004). Being a part of this online directory has a membership fee that is divided into four levels. It is important to note that the lowest level of membership does not include a link to the bed and breakfast’s website within the listing ( Membership Levels 2004). Thus, it would not be possible for a bed and breakfast at the lowe st membership level to be included in this website study. Roughly 90 bed and breakfa sts in Florida lis ted themselves on BedandBreakfast.com as having accommodati ons for people with disabilities. Data Collection In procedures followed by Kline et al. (2004), websites were thoroughly reviewed to determine if they meet each of the items of the scorecar d and if accessibility key words are listed on any part of the website as part of an additional analysis The scorecard used

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26 a variety of items to rate websites. Webs ites are subjective in na ture and the evaluation must be performed with a set of measures (Schanz, 1999). The items used for the scorecard were modified from the study done by Kline et al. (2004) to allow for evaluation of items related to marketing to pe ople with disabilities. This modification included removing the item “spell check” from the technical qualities. S.F. Kline (personal communication, January 26, 2005) indicated that this item was flawed in the study done by Kline et al. Additionally, more information was r ecorded about each bed and breakfast including the date built and last restored (T able 3-1). An extra domain was added that looked at the information provided for peopl e with disabilities. This information included the location of information for peopl e with disabilities, the vocabulary use to market to people with disabilities, and the listing of accessible accommodations. Table 3-1. Information Collected Number of Questions Question 1 Bed and breakfast name 2 Location 3 Website address 4 Number of rooms 5 Date built 6 Last restored 7 Lowest room rate 8 Highest room rate 9 If owners live on site Scorecard Approach Each domain focused on a different area of quality of the website. Specifically, these areas were user friendliness, site at tractiveness, marketing effectiveness, and technical qualities. Furtherm ore, information for people with disabilities was also added. The survey instrument was created prior to the analysis to record this information in an

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27 organized manner. The instrument was fille d in using paper and pencil method. Then, all information was entered into a spreadsheet (Excel). Operationalization of Variables User friendliness is a domain designed to look at how inviting a website was to an individual. The construct is ba sed on research by Kline et al. (2004). This construct was included because individuals are more likely to c ontinue using a site or to return to it if they find it friendly. The nine sample items (T able 3-2) included: 1) Is a site content search function available? 2) Is a site ma p or index available? 3) Is a home button available from all pages? 4) Direct email c ontact clearly available? 5) Mailing address clearly available? 6) Telephone number clear ly available? 7) Fax number clearly available? 8) Clear and effective navigation tools on each page? 9) Limited vertical and horizontal scrolling? The site attractiveness domain looked at th e visual appeal of the website. For instance, text that could be read, a good b ackground color, and uncluttered pages were some of the nine included items (Table 3-2) Though these items could be subjective, a yes or no was carefully considered before making a determination. Additionally, there were nine items to factor the score for the site attractiveness quadrant, with some items being less subjective than others These items were: 1) Are pictures or images available to reinforce text content? 2) Are the pages cl ean and uncluttered? 3) Is the text clear and readable? 4) Is there a sufficient contrast between background a nd text? 5) Is the background effective and appealing? 6) Does the use of color improve the visual appeal of the site? 7) Are the photos and images of a good quality? 8) Is there an effective use of web page space? 9) Are the hyperlinks easy to read?

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28 The marketing effectiveness section had 18 items (Table 3-2), the most of any domain. Basic marketing princi ples that Kline et al. (2004) determined were important for a bed and breakfast were placed in this domain. These items were composed of the existence of a virtual tour, house and room pictures, rate availability and addressing target markets. These items were: 1) Award s information available? 2) Is Testimonial information available? 3) Is a Calendar of events available? 4) Are Hyperlinks to sponsor/advertisements available? 5) Is th ere a logo reflected on the website? 6) Is a mission statement available? 7) Are house pict ures available? 8) Are room pictures available? 9) Is a virtual t our available? 10) Are the rate s available? 11) Can you make a reservation online? 12) Are special packag es offered? 13) Are special promotions addressed? 14) Are special target markets addressed (children, pets, ADA, etc.)? 15) Does text describe uniqueness of the B&B (arc hitect, historical, etc. )? 16) Does text describe innkeepers or owners? 17) Are loca l activities and events listed on site? 18) Are there links to activit ies and area attractions? The technical qualities of the website were assessed by a free online evaluation by NetMechanic.com. NetMechanic.com gives zero to five stars for each of the categories it ranks. As previously mentioned, the ranking fo r spelling was disregar ded in this study. Other items reviewed included link check, HTML check, and load time (Table 2). The dichotomous score was taken for each item by considering one or two stars a “no” and three or more starts a “yes”. Without ha ving technical knowledge, this evaluation was an appropriate source for rating the tech nical qualities for the websites. Lastly, a separate analysis was done on the availability of information on accessibility for people with disabilities. Item s (Table 3-3) looked at placement of the

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29 information, vocabulary, and description of accommodations. The selection of terms that represented possible website key words was determined by the book chapter written by Datillo and Williams (1999) entitled Inclus ion and the Leisure Service Industry. The authors indicated that words which were truthful towards the person’s condition or provided accommodations were most help ful. Thus, the key words included disabilities/disabled, handicaps/handica pped, impairments/impaired, wheelchair accessible, and accessible. Specific items such as light up clocks or roll in showers were also included in the evaluation. Table 3-2. Scorecard Items User Friendliness 1 Is a site content search function available? 2 Is a site map or index available? 3 Is a home button available from all pages? 4 Direct email contact clearly available? 5 Mailing address clearly available? 6 Telephone number clearly available? 7 Fax number clearly available? 8 Clear and effective navigation tools on each page? 9 Limited vertical a nd horizontal scrolling? Total Score: 0-9 Site Attractiveness 1 Are pictures or images available to reinforce text content? 2 Are the pages clean and uncluttered? 3 Is the text clear and readable? 4 Is there a sufficient contrast between background and text? 5 Is the background effective and appealing? 6 Does the use of color improve the visual appeal of the site? 7 Are the photos and images of a good quality? 8 Is there an effective use of Web page space? 9 Are the hyperlinks easy to read? Total Score: 0-9

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30 Table 3-2. Continued Marketing Effectiveness 1 Awards information available? 2 Is Testimonial information available? 3 Is a Calendar of events available? 4 Are Hyperlinks to sponsor/advertisements available? 5 Is there a logo reflected on the website? 6 Is a mission statement available? 7 Are house pictures available? 8 Are room pictures available? 9 Is a virtual tour available? 10 Are the rates available? 11 Can you make a reservation online? 12 Are special packages offered? 13 Are special promotions addressed? 14 Are special target markets addressed (children, pets, ADA, etc.)? 15 Does text describe uniqueness of the B&B (architect, historical, etc.)? 16 Does text describe innkeepers or owners? 17 Are local activities and events listed on site? 18 Are there links to activities and area attractions? Total Score: 0-18 Technical Quality 1 Link Check 2 HTML Check 3 Browser Compatibility 4 Load Time Total Score: 0-4 Marketing to People with Disabilities 1 Any information about accommodations for people with disabilities? 2 Standardized wheelchair graphic? 3 Appropriately vocabulary used? 4 Description of accommodations? 5 E-mail address /phone number listed on page about accessible accommodations? 6 Clear font utilized? 7 Size of font easily seen? 8 Clarity of contrast between background and font? 9 Is audio available? 10 Is text listed from top to bottom? Total Score: 0-10

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31 Qualitative Survey After the scorecard had been applied to bed and breakfast websites, the top three scoring bed and breakfasts were phoned and as ked to complete a telephone survey (Table 3-3). This qualitative survey focused on motivations, marketing techniques, and guest responses with respect to the accessible accommodations at their bed and breakfast. Survey respondents were asked to provide in formation about the number of guests with disabilities who had stayed with them and wh at the response of th eir guests was. The researcher phoned each of these owners on the same afternoon in July. A prepared script was read to them. Once they agreed to pa rticipate, the 10 items were read to them, including 1) Why did you choose to make your bed and breakfast accessible? 2) Did you make the house accessible or was it already that way? 3) Besides providing information on your website for people with disabilities, what steps ha ve you taken to make your property accessible for them? 4) In the last year, please estimate how many people with disabilities have stayed with you. 5) Ha s your revenue/bookings improved because of your accessible accommodations? 6) What cause d you to provide detailed information about your accommodations on your website? 7) Have you consulted a person with disabilities or an expert about disabili ties to review your accommodations and/or marketing technique via your website? Have yo u consulted any other ty pe of source with regards to accommodating people with disabilitie s? If so, what type s? 8) Have you had any response from your guests with disabilitie s, positive or negative? 9) Have you found that guests with disabilities have reco mmended you via word of mouth to other individuals with disabilities? 10) Is there any other inform ation you would like to share?

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32 Table 3-3. Qualitative Items Survey Items Why did you choose to make your bed and breakfast accessible? Did you make the house accessible or was it already that way? Besides providing information on your website for people with disabilities, what steps have you taken to make your property accessible for them? In the last year, please estimat e how many people with disabilities have stayed with you. Has your revenue/bookings improved because of your accessible accommodations? What caused you to provide detailed information about your accommodations on your website? Have you consulted a person with di sabilities or an expert about disabilities to review your acco mmodations and/or marketing technique via your website? Have you consulted any other type of source with regards to accommoda ting people with disabilities? If so, what types? Have you had any response from your guests with disabilities, positive or negative? Have you found that guests with disabilities have recommended you via word of mouth to other individuals with disabilities? Total Items: 10 Is there any other information you would like to share? Data Analysis Before starting any analysis, inter-rater reliability was calculated for each response. Inter-rater reliability is the extent that evalua tors agree in response on content analysis. It is important to determine as it assists in determ ining the validity of re sults. If the raters do not agree, spurious results can occur. Inte r-rater reliability is dependent on evaluators being consistent. To ensure this, all items in which the two researchers disagreed by five points or higher responses were remove d from the scorecard as performed by Pennington-Gray (1999). These removed items we re not used in the data analysis. Data analysis was conducted using SPSS (Statistical Packag e for the Social Sciences, Version 11.5). Descriptive statisti cs were run for each item to describe the sample and the responses. In addition, mean sc ores were reported. Mean scores for each

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33 domain were calculated in SPSS, these scores were then used to respond to the research objectives. T-tests and ANOVAs we re used to respond to research objectives 3 and 4. Data analysis for the qualitative survey used the constant comparison method. Similar responses were grouped together by th eme. The resulting themes were reported to provide a more in-depth description of why the top bed and breakfasts had engaged in marketing to people w ith disabilities.

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34 CHAPTER 4 RESULTS This chapter of the thesis focuses respondi ng to the five research objectives. Each research objective will be answered indivi dually. The method for evaluation used a scorecard approach. In order to control fo r reliability, two researchers were involved with the evaluation. Website scorecards we re completed over a period of 24 days. Controlling for websites which had information for people with disabilities revealed 87 Florida bed and breakfasts. During the eval uation process, the re searcher(s) found that eight of these bed and breakfasts di d not have websites listed on their BedandBreakfast.com profile. Thus, 79 be d and breakfasts were reviewed. Each researcher had two websites that were remove d from analysis because only one of the two researchers was able to review the site. (The other was not able to access them.) Thus, only the 77 websites were visited by bot h researchers. These 77 were utilized to respond to the research objectives. Inner-rater Reliability As can be seen in Table 4-1, the responses of the two researchers were recorded and the difference in “yes” responses was calcu lated. All items that received a difference in yes scores of five or higher were rem oved from the scorecard (as per Pennington-Gray, 1999). The researcher removed 21 items, leaving 29 items in the five domains. The items that were removed appear in bold to show emphasis. The items that remained to create the revised scorecar d are shown in Table 4-2.

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35Table 4-1. Evaluator Responses by Question Scale Evaluator 1 Evaluator 2 User Friendliness Yes No Missing Yes No Missing Difference in yes responses Is a site content search function available? 2 75 0 2 75 0 0 Is a site map or index available? 5 72 0 2 75 0 3 Is a home button available from all pages? 67 10 0 66 11 0 1 Direct email contact clearly available? 71 6 0 63 14 0 8 Mailing address clearly available? 74 3 0 68 8 1 6 Telephone number clearly available? 75 2 0 75 2 0 0 Fax number clearly available? 43 34 0 34 43 0 9 Clear and effective navigation tools on each page? 73 4 0 68 9 0 5 Limited vertical and horizontal scrolling? 66 11 0 68 9 0 2 TOTAL ITEMS: 9 Site Attractiveness Are pictures or images available to reinforce text content? 76 1 0 74 3 0 2 Are the pages clean and uncluttered? 66 11 0 63 14 0 3

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36Table 4-1. Continued Scale Evaluator 1 Evaluator 2 Site Attractiveness Yes No Missing Yes No Missing Difference in yes responses Is the text clear and readable? 74 3 0 64 13 0 10 Is there a sufficient contrast between background and text? 77 0 0 74 3 0 3 Is the background effective and appealing? 70 7 0 71 6 0 1 Does the use of color improve the visual appeal of the site? 71 6 0 71 6 0 0 Are the photos and images of a good quality? 77 0 0 75 2 0 2 Is there an effective use of Web page space? 77 0 0 70 7 0 7 Are the hyperlinks easy to read? 75 2 0 67 10 0 8 TOTAL ITEMS: 10 Marketing Effectiveness Awards information available? 19 58 0 19 58 0 0 Is Testimonial information available? 32 45 0 31 46 0 1 Is a Calendar of events available? 14 63 0 16 61 0 2

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37Table 4-1. Continued Scale Evaluator 1 Evaluator 2 Marketing Effectiveness Yes No Missing Yes No Missing Difference in yes responses Are Hyperlinks to sponsor/advertisement s available? 13 64 0 25 52 0 12 Is there a logo reflected on the website? 16 61 0 20 57 0 4 Is a mission statement available? 1 76 0 4 73 0 3 Are house pictures available? 77 0 0 68 9 0 9 Are room pictures available? 74 3 0 69 8 0 5 Is a virtual tour available? 15 62 0 11 66 0 4 Are the rates available? 73 4 0 70 7 0 3 Can you make a reservation online? 24 53 0 24 53 0 0 Are special packages offered? 31 46 0 34 43 0 3 Are special promotions addressed? 23 54 0 31 46 0 8 Are special target markets addressed (children, pets, ADA, etc.)? 58 19 0 45 31 1 13

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38Table 4-1. Continued Scale Evaluator 1 Evaluator 2 Marketing Effectiveness Yes No Missing Ye s No Missing Difference in yes responses Does text describe uniqueness of the B&B? 53 24 0 49 27 1 4 Does text describe innkeepers or owners? 21 56 0 16 60 1 5 Are local activities and events listed on site? 60 17 0 51 25 1 9 Are there links to activities and area attractions? 43 34 0 39 37 1 4 TOTAL ITEMS: 18 Technical Quality Link Check 77 0 0 75 1 1 2 HTML Check 71 5 1 70 5 2 1 Browser Compatibility 71 5 1 69 6 2 2 Load Time 37 40 0 37 39 1 0 TOTAL ITEMS: 4 Marketing to People with Disabilities Any information about accommodations for people with disabilities? 25 52 0 15 62 0 10 Standardized wheelchair graphic? 1 76 0 1 76 0 0 Appropriate vocabulary used? 25 52 0 14 63 0 11

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39Table 4-1. Continued Scale Evaluator 1 Evaluator 2 Marketing to People with Disabilities Yes No Missing Yes No Missing Difference in yes responses Description of accommodations? 6 71 0 9 68 0 3 E-mail address /phone number listed on page about accessible accommodations? 21 56 0 12 65 0 9 Clear font utilized? 76 1 0 31 46 0 45 Size of font easily seen? 0 77 0 23 54 0 23 Clarity of contrast between background and font? 77 0 62 15 0 15 Is audio available? 8 69 0 7 70 0 1 Is text listed from top to bottom? 77 0 0 44 33 0 33 TOTAL ITEMS: 8

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40 Table 4-2. Revised Scorecard Items User Friendliness 1 Is a site content search function available? 2 Is a site map or index available? 3 Is a home button available from all pages? 4 Telephone number clearly available? 5 Limited vertical a nd horizontal scrolling? Total Score: 0-5 Site Attractiveness 1 Are pictures or images available to reinforce text content? 2 Are the pages clean and uncluttered? 3 Is there a sufficient contrast between background and text? 4 Is the background effective and appealing? 5 Does the use of color improve the visual appeal of the site? 6 Are the photos and images of a good quality? Total Score: 0-6 Marketing Effectiveness 1 Awards information available? 2 Is Testimonial information available? 3 Is a Calendar of events available? 4 Is there a logo reflected on the website? 5 Is a mission statement available? 6 Is a virtual tour available? 7 Are the rates available? 8 Can you make a reservation online? 9 Are special packages offered? 10 Does text describe uniqueness of the B&B (architect, historical, etc.)? 11 Are there links to activities and area attractions? Total Score: 0-11 0-18 Technical Quality 1 Link Check 2 HTML Check 3 Browser Compatibility 4 Load Time Total Score: 0-4 0-4 Marketing to People with Disabilities 1 Standardized wheelchair graphic? 2 Description of accommodations? 3 Is audio available? Total Score: 0-3

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41 Research Objective 1: To Profile the Sa mple of Florida Bed and Breakfasts from BedandBreakfast.com The first research objective focused on prof iling bed and breakfasts in Florida. The researcher did this by location, date built a nd restored, number of guest rooms, lowest and highest rate, and if the owne rs lived on site. The results of this profile are listed in Tables 4-3 through 4-8. As part of the first research objective, each bed and breakfast was assigned to one of eight regions in Florida (See Table 4-3) based on a map (Figure 4-1) on the Florida Association of Convention and Visitor Bureau website (http://fac vb.org). More than a quarter of the bed and breakfasts (29.9%) we re located in the North East region of Florida. Next, 15.6% of the bed and breakfasts were in the South East Florida. The third region with the most bed and breakfasts (13.0% ) was the North. The least number of bed and breakfasts were located in the Northwest region of Florida. Figure 4-1. Map of Florida Regions: 1: North West, 2: North, 3: North East, 4: Central West, 5: Central, 6: Central East 7: South West, 8: South East

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42 Table 4-3. Bed and Breakfasts by Florida Location Florida region N % North East 23 29.9 South East 12 15.6 North 10 13.0 Central West 9 11.7 Central East 8 10.4 South West 7 9.1 Central 6 7.8 North West 2 2.6 Total 77 100.1 (Note: Total does not eq ual 100% due to rounding.) In terms of the frequency of when bed and breakfasts were built (Table 4-4), 34.6% were constructed between 1901 and 1923 (23 ye ars). Following those, 13 bed and breakfasts were created between 1924 and 2001. Moreover, only four bed and breakfasts were constructed after 1940. The third mo st common period for be d and breakfasts to have been built was 1791-1886. Fifty-two bed and breakfasts (67.5%) provided this information on their websites. Table 4-4. Building Date of Bed and Breakfasts Year built N % 1791-1886 12 23.1 1887-1900 9 17.3 1901-1923 18 34.6 1924-2001 13 25.0 Total 52 100.0 Table 4-5 indicates that most bed and breakfasts ( 38.9%) were last restored between 1990-1993. The second most common period for restorati on (27.8%) was 20002003. Eighteen bed and breakfasts (23.4%) listed their last date of restoration on their website.

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43 Table 4-5. Restoration Da te of Bed and Breakfasts Year built N % 1990-1993 7 38.9 1994-1996 3 16.7 1997-1999 3 16.7 2000-2003 5 27.8 Total 18 100.1 (Note: Total does not equa l a 100% due to rounding.) The number of guest rooms in a bed and breakfast was pulled from their listing on BedandBreakfast.com. Owners/managers of th e property provided this information for their listing. This provided a clear total as opposed to the room, suite, and cottage breakdown that most websites provided. Table 46 listed bed and breakfasts in the “six to eight” guest room category as most common ( 33.8%). Also, 27.3% we re listed as having between 12 to 48 rooms. Table 4-6. Number of Guest Rooms in Bed and Breakfasts Number of guest rooms N % 1-5 16 20.8 6-8 26 33.8 9-11 14 18.2 12-48 21 27.3 Total 77 100.1 (Note: Total does not equa l a 100% due to rounding.) Table 4-7 indicates the lowest and highest rates that bed and breakfasts listed on their website. Six bed and breakfasts did not provide information about their rates (7.8%) on their website. Typically, bed and breakfast s provide a variety of rates for different rooms in their house based on size or location. In cases where the rate was the same throughout, the same amount was recorded as th e lowest and the highe st rate. For each bed and breakfast, their lowest rate and th eir highest rate were recorded. Instances occurred where some bed and breakfasts’ hi ghest rate was less than another bed and breakfast’s lowest rate. Th e lowest price offered by a be d and breakfast ranged from $55

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44 to $255 with an average of $115.20. The highest price listed by a bed and breakfast for a nightly rate ranged from $95 to $608, averag ing $221.48 per guest room Eight websites listed whether their owners lived on site (Table 4-8). Of those, three bed and breakfasts did have owners who lived on site and five did not. Table 4-7. Lowest and Highest Rates of Bed and Breakfasts Rate level Mean Minimum Maximum Lowest $115.20 $55 $255 Highest $221.48 $95 $608 Table 4-8. Owners Living at Bed and Breakfasts Status of owners N % Do not live at bed and breakfast 5 62.5 Live at bed and breakfast 3 37.5 Total 8 100.0 (Note: Only reflects information provi ded on bed and breakfast websites.) Research Objective 2: To Modify and Te st A Revised Scorecard with the Addition of Information on Marketing to People with Disabilities Examining the mean scores and revising th e original scale to reflect differences from this study achieved this research object ive. Each domain was revised separately. There were five domains: user friendliness, site attractiveness, ma rketing effectiveness, technical quality, and marketing to people with disabilities. Table 4-9 indicates the scores of bed a nd breakfasts within th e user friendliness scale domain. Most commonly, bed and break fasts scored three out of five on the friendliness scale. None of the bed and breakfasts scored five out of five. The average score was 2.8. On the site attractiveness scale, 100% of th e bed and breakfasts scored at least three or over on the six point scale (Table 4-10). The majority of bed and breakfasts (76.6%) scored six out of six. The average score was 5.7.

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45 Table 4-9. User Friendliness Scores Frequency of Score N % 3 “yes” responses 57 74 2 “yes” responses 12 15.6 1 “yes” responses 4 5.2 4 “yes” responses 4 5.2 0 “yes” responses 0 0.0 5 “yes” responses 0 0.0 Total: 5 77 100.0 (Note: Mean score: 2.5; Weighted average: 2.8) Table 4-10. Site Attractiveness Scale Frequency of Score N % 6 “yes” responses 59 76.6 5 “yes” responses 12 15.6 4 “yes” responses 4 5.2 3 “yes” responses 2 2.6 2 “yes” responses 0 0.0 1 “yes” responses 0 0.0 0 “yes” responses 0 0.0 Total: 77 100.0 (Note: Mean score: 3; Weighted average: 5.7) Table 4-11 shows the number items most frequently scored on the marketing effectiveness scale. Most bed and breakfasts scored four or five out of 11 total items (27.3% and 22.1% respectively). None of the bed and breakfasts scored 11 out of 11. The average score was 4.2. Table 4-12 looks at the technical quality of the websites that was assessed by NetMechanics.com. Most often, bed and br eakfasts met all four of the items being assessed with 46.1%. Closely following, bed and breakfast websites satisfied three of the four technical components with 42.1%. The average score was 3.3. Table 4-11. Marketing Effectiveness Scores Frequency of Score N % 4 “yes” responses 21 27.3 5 “yes” responses 17 22.1 3 “yes” responses 14 18.2 2 “yes” responses 8 10.4 7“yes” responses 7 9.1

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46 Table 4-11. Continued Frequency of Score N % 1 “yes” responses 3 3.9 6 “yes” responses 3 3.9 8 “yes” responses 3 3.9 0 “yes” responses 1 1.3 9 “yes” responses 0 0.0 10 “yes” responses 0 0.0 11 “yes” responses 0 0.0 Total: 11 77 100.0 (Note: Mean score: 5.5; Weighted average: 4.2) Table 4-12. Technical Quality Scores Frequency of Score N % 4 “yes” responses 35 46.1 3 “yes” responses 32 42.1 2 “yes” responses 9 11.8 1 “yes” responses 0 0.0 0 “yes” responses 0 0.0 Total: 4 76 100.0 (Note: Mean score: 2; Weighted average 3.3) Lastly, 80.5% of bed and breakfasts scored zero out of three on the marketing to people with disabilities scale (T able 4-13). None of the bed and breakfasts scored two or three. The average score was 0.2. Table 4-13. Marketing to Peopl e with Disabilities Score Frequency of Score N % 0 “yes” responses 62 80.5 1 “yes” responses 15 19.5 2 “yes” responses 0 0.0 3 “yes” responses 0 0.0 Total: 3 77 100.0 (Note: Mean score: 1.5; Weighted average: 0.2) Research Objective 3: To Assess The Relative Quality Of Florida Bed And Breakfast’s Based On Aspects Of A) Techni cal Quality, B) User Friendliness, C) Site Attractiveness, D) Marketing Effe ctiveness, E) Accessibility Issues To examine the quality of the bed and br eakfasts, means were calculated for each of the five domains. The mean scores were then divided by the to tal number of items in

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47 each domain. Thus, the resulting score was a standardized score based on the total number of items. The total sc ores ranged from 0.9 to 0.1. As can be seen in Table 4-14, site attract iveness had the highes t mean of 0.9 with a standard deviation of .12. This indicated th at bed and breakfast’s websites tended to score highest on site at tractiveness. Technical quality had the second highest mean score with a 0.8. The weakest aspect of the be d and breakfast websites was marketing to people with disabilities. This domain had a mean of 0 .1 and standard deviation of .13. This was followed by marketing effectivene ss, with a mean of 0.4 and a standard deviation of 0.16. Table 4-14. Standardized Scores by Quality Domains Scale Mean SD Site Attractiveness 0.9 0.12 Technical Quality 0.8 0.17 User Friendliness 0.6 0.12 Marketing Effectiveness 0.4 0.16 Marketing to People with Disabilities 0.1 0.13 Research Objective 4: To Examine The Relationship Between Quality Of Florida Bed And Breakfast’s Websites and A) Year Built, B) Last Restored, C) Location, D) Lowest and Highest Rate, E) Size. The relationship was examined by using an alysis of variance (ANOVA) or t-tests to test the relationship between the five qua lity domains and five aspects of bed and breakfasts (year built, year restor ed, location, rate, and size). In order to examine the relationship be tween quality of website and location, the locations were combined into three broader re gions: north, central, and south (Table 415). Results indicated that there were no significant differences in quality of website based on location of the bed and breakfast.

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48 Table 4-15. Analysis of Variance of Location and Quality of Website N Mean SD F Sig. User friendliness 0.6 0.6 North 35 2.8 0.6 Central 23 2.7 0.6 South 19 2.9 0.6 Site attractiveness 0.9 0.4 North 35 5.6 0.8 Central 23 5.8 0.5 South 19 5.6 0.8 Marketing effectiveness 2.1 0.1 North 35 4.2 1.7 Central 23 4.7 1.8 South 19 3.6 1.5 Technical quality 0.9 0.4 North 35 3.3 0.6 Central 23 3.3 0.8 South 19 3.5 0.6 Marketing to people with disabilities 0.9 0.4 North 35 0.3 0.4 Central 23 0.2 0.4 South 19 0.1 0.3 In order to examine the relationship between quality of website and size of the bed and breakfast, independent t-tests were used (Table 4-16). Two categories were created, small-sized bed and breakfasts (1-8 rooms) and medium-sized bed and breakfasts (9+ rooms). The results revealed there was no relationship between size and quality of website. Table 4-16. Independent Samples t-test Resu lts of Quality of Websites by Number of Rooms 1-8 rooms 9+ rooms Scale Mean Mean t Sig. User friendliness 2.9 2.7 1.4 0.7 Site attractiveness 5.7 5.7 .06 1.0 Marketing effectiveness 3.9 4.5 -1.6 0.1 Technical quality 3.3 3.4 -0.3 0.7 Marketing to people with disabilities 0.2 0.2 0.5 0.6

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49 Independent sample t-tests were used to examine the relationship between quality of website and year built. Categories of the years that bed and break fasts were built were created. The periods were labeled 17911900 and 1901-2001. Results indicated that one statistical significance did exist (Table 4-17) Those bed and breakfasts built in 1900 or before had a higher quality websites relating to people with disabilities than those built later. Table 4-17. Independent Samples t-test Resu lts of Quality of Websites by Year Buil t 1791-1900 1901-2001 Scale Mean Mean t Sig. User friendliness 2.9 2.7 1.2 0.3 Site attractiveness 5.9 5.7 0.8 0.4 Marketing effectiveness 4.4 4.5 -0.2 0.9 Technical quality 3.1 3.3 0.8 0.4 Marketing to people with disabilities 0.4 0.1 2.0 0.1 T-tests were used to examine year restor ed and quality of we bsite (Table 4-18). Two categories of years restored were created, 1990-1996 and 1997-2001. No significant differences existed between quality of website and year restored. Table 4-18. Independent Samples t-test Resu lts of Quality of Websites by Year Last Restored Scale 1990-1996 1997-2001 Mean Mean t Sig. User friendliness 2.9 2.7 -1.0 0.3 Site attractiveness 5.9 5.7 0.2 0.9 Marketing effectiveness 4.4 2.0 -1.5 0.2 Technical quality 3.1 0.7 -0.8 0.4 Marketing to people with disabilities 0.4 0.3 -0.8 0.4 Independent sample t-tests were utilized to examine the relationship between quality of website and minimum rate. No statistical significance was revealed by the results (Table 4-19).

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50 Table 4-19. Independent Samples t-test Re sults of Quality of Websites by Minimum Rate Scale $55-122 $123-$255 Mean Mean t Sig. User friendliness 2.8 2.7 0.8 0.4 Site attractiveness 5.7 5.4 1.4 0.2 Marketing effectiveness 4.3 3.9 1.2 2.4 Technical quality 3.4 3.3 0.3 0.8 Marketing to people with disabilities 0.2 0.2 -0.8 0.4 In order to examine the relationship be tween quality of websites and maximum rate, an independent samples t-test was uti lized. Results are shown in Table 4-20 and do not display any statistical significance. Table 4-20. Independent Samples t-test Re sults of Quality of Websites by Maximum Rate Scale $95-266 $267-$608 Mean Mean t Sig. User friendliness 2.8 2.8 0.1 0.9 Site attractiveness 5.6 5.8 -0.6 0.5 Marketing effectiveness 4.1 4.7 -1.4 0.2 Technical quality 3.3 3.5 -0.8 0.4 Marketing to people with disabilities 0.2 0.3 -0.8 0.4 Research Objective 5: To Utilize A Qualitative Survey as A Follow-up to the Bed And Breakfast Owners of the Three Best Websites Inquiring About Motivations, Marketing Techniques, and Guest Responses In order to address this research objectiv e, the primary researcher phoned three bed and breakfast owners who had the best websit es targeting people with disabilities among those reviewed (measured by the highest score on the marketing to disabilities scale and descriptive information provided). Two owne rs and one manager completed the survey. Respondents were asked 10 questions that re lated to their acce ssible accommodations. The questions were each free response.

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51 For the first bed and breakfast, the primar y researcher spoke to Tom, the owner. This bed and breakfast is located in the Nort h East region of Florida. Having been built in 1895, the house has 10 rooms. Additionally, their lowest listed rate was $139 and their highest $199. Their website had the most detailed listing about accessible accommodations complete with pictures of grab bars, toilet handles, and hand-held shower head. Additionally, a listing a bout their accessible accommodations was available on their homepage. Text mentions the tub seat and wheelchair ramp that exist. The second bed and breakfast’s manager, De nise, responded to the survey. It is located in the South East region of Florida a nd has 21 guest rooms. According to this bed and breakfast’s website, it wa s built in 1891. Their lowest rate $85 and their highest is $275. Their website text mentions tub bar grips and an elevated toilet seat. The website also says that the accessible bathroom has tub bar grips and elevated toilet seat. From the accessible rooms, guests have easy access to the pool, parking lot, and side gardens. The third and final bed and breakfast is located in North Central Florida. The survey was completed by one of the owners Linda. It was built in 1845 and went through a renovation in 1990. This bed and brea kfast has 12 rooms and their rates ranged from $69 to $189. The bed and breakfast website mentions that the “spacious building is handicapped accessible with full bathroom facili ties.” Additionally, it says that they are handicapped approved by AAA. The first question posed in the interv iew was “why did you choose to make your bed and breakfast accessible?” Denise and Tom said they made it that way while Linda said she and her co-owner purchased it already accessible. Denise said they made the changes because they are “open to all lifestyle s disabled and not disabled. That is our

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52 motto here.” Moreover, Tom commented, “this is a market that we would like to reach, can do it [make accessible], and make it availa ble on our website. Our website helps to see what our facilities are lik e.” When looking at other pl aces of marketing to people with disabilities besides their bed and breakfast websites, Tom and Denise said they have not used any other outlet. Tom added, “I’m ne rvous as to what they might do if it is not adequately accessible.” However, the bed and breakfast with the most guests with disabilities at an estimated 50 in the last year uses multiple forms of advertising to reach people with disabilities. Sp ecifically, Linda stated that their accessible accommodations are listed in “AAA guidebook, all advertisements in the newspaper, magazine articles, and word of mouth.” Tom and Denise only report 20 guests and 3 guests respectively in the last year with disabilities. When asked if revenue/bookings ha d improved because of accessible accommodations, Denise replied, “Probably not …because we are always full whether our guests are handicapped or not.” To that same question, Tom stated that they had not improved but he wasn’t sure if they would st ay that way in the future. Linda said she could not say because she and her co-owner had only had their bed and breakfast open for less than a year. Tom stated that he provided the detailed information on his website for people with disabilities because he wanted t o, and Denise said, “We are just trying to advertise.” Linda responded, “It is very im portant because elderly people do stay with us, and we want to provide that information to them.” Both Linda and Denise said that no one had been consulted about their accessible accommodations or marketing to people with di sabilities on their website. Tom said that he consulted his contractor for the house. He added, “Guests with disabilities who have

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53 stayed with us have provided suggestions to me, and I have made those improvements.” All three participants told the primary researcher that they had only positive response from guests about their accessible accommoda tions. Lastly, Tom and Denise had not heard of any guests with disabilities bei ng recommended by previous guests with disabilities. Tom also said, “I don’t know why because they seemed satisfied.” When Linda was asked the question about receiving gue sts with disabilities via word of mouth, she replied, “Absolutely, definitely, very co mmon!” Finally, the la st question asked if participants wished to share any further in formation. Linda responded by saying, “I think every place should support them. It is very necessary. Those th at are not accessible should become so just because it’s the right think to do.” Results reveal that each of the three bed and breakfasts has had different experiences with people with disabilities. The one common response was that they had all received positive comments from people with disabilities. This indicates that when bed and breakfast owners make their property accessible, pe ople with disabilities are appreciative of this step.

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54 CHAPTER 5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION The purpose of this study was to look at bed and breakfast websites and measure the quality of the websites based on five domains. These domains included user friendliness, site attractiveness, marketing efficiency, and technical quality. The fifth domain was an addition to the literature and specific to understanding the quality of information provided to people with disabili ties. Areas covered in this chapter will include 1) summary of procedur es and treatment of the data 2) summary of findings, 3) conclusions, 4) discussion and implications, and 5) recommenda tions for future research. Summary of Procedures and Treatment of Data An advanced search on Bedandbreakfast.co m for people with disabilities listed 87 bed and breakfasts with these accommodations. One researcher started at the top of the list and the other at the bottom of the list. A scorecard originally desi gned by Kline, et al. (2004) was revised and used to assess the websites. Specifically, an item called spell check was removed from the technical quality domain and marketing to people with disabilities domain was added. After removing some of these listings for various reasons, 77 bed and breakfasts were left to be anal yzed. The two researchers conducted their website reviews on various days from April 9 to May 3, 2005. The second part of the study involved a qua litative questionnaire administered to the owners/managers of three bed and breakfast s. These bed and breakfasts were selected because they had provided the most detailed information on their websites for people with disabilities. The surv ey had questions about thei r marketing to people with

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55 disabilities and their response from this population of gue sts. On a July afternoon, the primary researcher phoned each of the three bed and breakfasts and had the owner/operator respond to questions centered around including peopl e with disabilities on their website. A prepared script introducing the study was used and permission was asked in responding to 10 questions. Once they agreed to participate, they we re asked a series of questions related to their motivations to provide accessible accommodations, marketing strategies, and the response of their gue sts with disabilitie s to the accessible accommodations. Summary of Findings Research Objective 1: To Profile the Sa mple of Florida Bed and Breakfasts from BedandBreakfast.com The researcher found that bed and breakfast s that market themselves as accessible to people with disabilities through BedandBr eakfast.com are most often located in the North East region of Florida. This region includes Jacksonville, Fernandina Beach/Amelia Island, and St. Augustine. Be d and breakfasts were found second most common in the South East region of Florida. Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Key West are found in this region. The majority of bed and breakfasts were built between 1901 and 1923. However, it is important to point out that 25 of the bed and breakfast we bsites did not list when it was built. Only 18 bed and breakfasts listed a peri od of restoration on their website. These all occurred in 1990 or after with the Americans with Disa bilities Act being passed in 1990. The researcher speculates that with thes e restorations, perhaps, owners and builders

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56 believed it was important to comply with the ADA and included this information on the website. Most bed and breakfasts in the accessibility s earch have six or more rooms. This is significant because the ADA states that a bed and breakfast with six or more rooms must be accessible to people with disabilities. Th is is because it is considered a place of lodging and must accommodate people with hearing, visual, and physical disabilities (United States Department of Justice, 2002). Seventy-one of the websites had their rate s listed. Overall, rates for a bed and breakfast are between $55 and $608. This show s a large range in prices. Only eight websites specified whether the owners lived on site or not. Of those who mentioned this, more than half did not live on site. Perhap s, owners do not think this information is important to the potential guest. Research Objective 2: To Modify and Te st a Revised Scorecard with the Addition of Information on Marketing to People with Disabilities The scorecard was composed of five sepa rate domains to assess overall quality of the website. The first domain, user friendlin ess, had five items that were assessed. Of those items, websites most often met three of the five. The items that were frequently missing were not providing a search option and no t having a site map or index available. Site attractiveness wa s the second domain. Most often, all six of the items were included on the websites. Site attractiveness contained the mo st subjective questions for the researcher(s) to respond to. Questions relating to whether the “...background effective and appealing?” or “Does the us e of color improve th e visual appeal of the site?” Thus, because this was a dichotomous response (yes /no) it was more likely that the response was a “yes” thus driving up the frequency of yeses on the scorecard.

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57 The scorecard’s third domain was marketing effectiveness. This section originally had 16 items. This was decreased to 11 items af ter the inter-rater reliability test. Florida Bed and Breakfast websites scored less than fi ve out of 11 most of the time. In terms of marketing, this indicates that bed and breakfa sts may not be making the most use of their awards, testimonials, and packages informa tion. These are simple steps that could improve the bed and breakfast’s re ach to potential consumers. Technical quality was the fourth secti on of the scorecard. These items were assessed by NetMechanics.com, a free service used to test the quality of websites. Only one Website repeatedly returned errors on two of the four it ems. Overall, achieving a 3 or 4 out of 4 was a common score. A total of 35 bed and breakfast websites scored four out of four. All of the websites met at least two of the items. The section for marketing to people with disabilities originally had 10 items and was reduced to three items based on the inte r-rated reliability te st. The three items remaining were: (1) if there was a standard ized wheelchair graphic, (2) if a detailed description of accommodations was present, and (3) if audio was present. Having a standardized wheelchair gra phic was a suggestion for letting others know a bed and breakfast is accessible which was provided by the authors of So—You Want to Be an Innkeeper (Davies et al., 1996). One bed and break fast had the wheelchair symbol. In Davies et al. book, they suggest ed that the wheelchair sym bol should be blue like the ADA one. The one wheelchair symbol located was instead black and less than a square centimeter in size. Davies et al. also suggested that accommodations be specifically described beyond the terms accessible or handica pped equipped. Examples of this would be staying that the toilet seat is raised or that a wheelchair ramp leads up to the entryway

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58 of the house. Only six of the 71 websites ha d anything specific lis ted and only four had more than a couple of words. Lastly, all websites were checked for sound. Audio was found on eight websites. However, in all cases, the audio was mu sic, not a voice describing accommodations or rates. Research Objective 3: To Assess The Relative Quality Of Florida Bed And Breakfast’s Based On Aspects Of A) Tec hnical Quality, B) User Friendliness, C) Site Attractiveness, D) Marketing Eff ectiveness, E) Accessibility Issues The strongest quality of the bed and break fast websites was the site attractiveness component as was also found in the study of Kline et al. (2004). As previously mentioned, this may be a result of ambiguous que stions that forced th e evaluator to make his/her own judgment about the items. For inst ance, one item referred to the pictures on the website being of a good quality. However, no definition was in place as to what was a good quality of picture. The weakest compone nt of Florida bed and breakfasts was the marketing to people with disabi lities section. This is resu lt of most bed and breakfasts that are accessible not actually marketing this. Research Objective 4: To Examine The Relationship Between Quality Of Florida Bed And Breakfast’s Websites and A) Year Built, B) Last Restored, C) Location, D) Lowest and Highe st Rate, E) Size. When the year built was examined in rela tion to the five domains, a relationship existed between those bed and breakfasts built in 1900 or before and marketing to people with disabilities. This is c ontradictory to intuition. It wa s thought possibly that those bed and breakfasts built in more modern times would be more accessible and in turn would market more of this information. However, older historic homes we re more likely to include information for peopl e with disabilities.

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59 The researcher had assumed that there w ould be a significant relationship between marketing to people with disa bilities and year restored. The ADA was enacted in 1990. It was thought that those built a bit later would provide more marketing because they would have restorations that matched the requirements of the ADA. No relationship exited between year of restoration and the five quality domains. No relationship was revealed between location of the bed and breakfast and the five quality domains. Perhaps this makes sense. Logically there is no reason that a bed and breakfast from the north would be more inclin ed to include quality information than a bed and breakfast from the south. There wa s no statistical sign ificance found between number of rooms and the five quality domain s. This is interesting in that it was hypothesized that that those with more rooms would have a higher quality than those that had less. This would be because those be d and breakfasts would be operating a more commercial business. They would realize the benefit of having a strong Website. Research Objective 5: To Utilize A Qualitative Survey as A Follow-up to the Bed And Breakfast Owners of the Three Best Websites Inquiring About Motivations, Marketing Techniques, and Guest Responses Responses for most of the qualitative quest ions varied from each bed and breakfast. Two of the three surveyed chose to make th eir bed and breakfasts accessible while one purchased it that way. The researcher believ es that with many be d and breakfasts being historic, new owners will have to renovate them in order to make them accessible. In terms of advertising accessibl e accommodation in other locati ons besides their website, the bed and breakfast that us ed a variety of outlets also had the most guests with disabilities in the last year, 50. The researcher noted a concern when one of the owners said he was nervous to market more becau se of what might happen if people found him

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60 less accessible than they desire d. The researcher thought this might be a possibility when legal action is common place. None of those interviewed felt that their re venue had increased as a result of being accessible. The researcher had hoped th at bed and breakfasts were reaching enough people with disabilities but this was not the ca se. All three had chos en to advertise their accessible accommodations to reach people with disabilities. None of the respondents consulted someone about what information they placed on their website though Notarius and Brewer (2001) suggest that owners do c onsult someone. They also suggested that owners confer with someone about their a ccommodations for people with disabilities. Only one respondent said that he had an e xpert contractor and pe ople with disabilities who provided him with guidance. All respondent s said that guests with disabilities who had stayed with them had all provided pos itive feedback. Finally, one respondent reported having great word of mouth among guest s with disabilities. The other two were not aware of any word of mouth referrals. The researcher believes that a person who was referred via word of mouth might not menti on that the referrer had disabilities. Conclusions Based upon the findings of this study, th e following conclusions are presented. Most bed and breakfasts have six or more rooms. The ADA requires these properties to be accessible to people with disabilities. Rates for bed and breakfasts vary greatly. Thus, bed and breakfasts are affordable to people with disabilities. Once listing themselves in an online be d and breakfast directory as being accessible, bed and breakfasts do not follow thro ugh and provide this information on their

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61 websites. This leaves people with disabili ties without detailed information, unless they make the extra effort of phoning or e-mailing the inn. Bed and breakfast websites are unlikely to have audio that includes verbal descriptions of the property. Additionally, it is improbabl e that they will have the international blue wheelchair symbol on th eir Web page. Few sites have specific information about their accommodations. Websites are most likely to be attractive in appearance and least likely to market their accessibility. Thus, owners focus more attention on the attractiveness of their site then the descriptive content of it. Bed and breakfast accommodations can be important to people with disabilities. Typically, they provide positive f eedback about their visit. Discussion and Implications Though different in several aspects, the be d and breakfast website of Kline et al. (2004) bed and breakfast website study and this one have similar results. Primarily, the study by Kline et al. utilized a different scorecard in the fina l version than this study did. This study did not include an item in the technical quality domai n to check website spelling and did not include the fifth domain for marketing to people with disabilities. The study by Kline et al. used an overall Li kert scale at the e nd of each domain in combination with the dichotomous items of each domain rather than merely a dichotomous response category. Kline et al. reviewed 19 bed and breakfas t websites whereas this study provides the results of 77 bed and breakfasts websites. A dditionally, Kline et al. utilized a different test of inter-rater reliability. Since they used nine raters, they were able to test inter-rater reliability with Kendall’s Coefficient of Conc ordance, used with three or more raters

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62 (Kline et al., 2004) This study only utilized two raters and te sted inter-rate r reliability. Thus, questions where the two raters differe d by five or more responses were removed from the overall score card. This study di d not have a Likert s cale after each domain, only dichotomous questions. Ultimately, the study by Kline et al. had 41 dichotomous items, and this study had 29. Nonetheless, in both Kline et al.’s study a nd this one, websites scored highest in website quality for site attrac tiveness. Though this domain is subjective in nature, it also shows that innkeepers are more concerned with appearance than content or description. Innkeepers provide more detail in the area of background, pictures, and font than other areas. Additionally, in Kline et al.’s study, the domain receiving the lowest average score for quality was marketing effectiveness. In this study, the domain receiving the lowest average score was marketing to people w ith disabilities, followed by marketing effectiveness. Both studies revealed th at websites had a low quality of marketing effectiveness. As Kline et al. mentioned in th eir results, this furthe r mirrors the findings of Morrison et al. 1999. Morri son et al.’s study concluded that small hotels were not affectively using basic marketing principles to promote themselves th rough their website. It is interesting that more than five ye ars later this phenomenon is still true. Bed and breakfasts have an occupancy ra te 14 % lower than hotels (Lanier et al., 2000). Through website marketing, bed and break fasts have an ability to improve their occupancy rate. In this study, the highes t possible score was a 29. Nonetheless, on average, bed and breakfasts scored a 16.2, with a low of 11 and a high of 21. There are points of improvement that each bed and breakfa st can attain. Internet users have access to websites 24 hours a day; a well designed we bsite can attract their attention. When a

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63 website is poorly designed or does not provi de necessary information, Internet users are likely to go elsewhere. Moreover, practical books such as Open Your Own Bed & Breakfast (Notarius and Brewer, 2001) provide specific information to bed and breakfast owners on how to market themselves through the Internet. No tarius and Brewer state that website users want to be able to easily execute a sear ch and understand the material provided. Additionally, viewers want to se e exactly at what type of place they will be staying, specifically though 360 pictures. Lastly, webs ite users like to check room availability on-line and even make reservations there (N otarius and Brewer). Frequently, bed and breakfast websites in this study did not even follow these few guidelines put forth by the authors in their book. Bed and breakfast owners have the abili ty to target market to people with disabilities by providing easily accessed, detaile d information on their websites. Over a two year period, 22.2 million individuals travel ed (Blum, 2003). This a large segment which bed and breakfasts can address. Impr oving occupancy rate l eads to better profit for the bed and breakfasts. In So—You Want to Be an Innkeeper Davies et al. (1996) pr ovide simple steps for accommodating people with disabilities. This pract ical text can also provide insight as to necessary preparation for innkeepers. Innk eepers should be conscious of their attitude when interacting with people with disabili ties, being open and inviting. The authors suggest that if an innkeeper purchases an inn that does not already meet the ADA that they should ask for a price adjustment. In this book, Davies et al. de scribe in detail some of the items of ADA that apply to bed and breakfasts such as bathrooms, bedrooms, and

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64 elevators. Lastly, the authors suggest that an accessibility consulta nt be contacted to review the bed and breakfast pr operty (Davies et al.). Howeve r, results of the qualitative show that none of the three individuals interviewed had consu lted an accessibility consultant. Simple steps can be taken by bed and breakfasts to improve their marketing in general as well as to people with disabilitie s. As seen from this study, the average bed and breakfast scored 13 points lower than th e highest possible score. Providing better description of accommodations and benefits a nd having easy navigationa l tools will help a website to be more functional to users. In addition, information for people with disabilities should be easily lo cated on the home page. This could be a link to the information or the actual information. Minimal steps can make a bed and breakfast website more appealing and helpful. The author of this study suggests the follo wing for bed and breakfast websites and property, (1) The website should be easily search able for people with disabilities. They (like other guests) prefer to seek information without hassle. It can be more convenient for them to contact a chain hotel were it is likely that accessibility exists than to spend time looking for the necessary information on a bed and breakfast website. (2) Specifically, a link on the home page entitled peop le with disabilities s hould be provided. Once directed to this information, details should be provided on specific types of accessibility. Simply saying that a bed and breakfast is “accessible” does not provide detailed information. Guests with disabiliti es likely want to know whether an alarm clock with strobe light or a wh eelchair roll-in shower is availa ble. (3) In terms of the bed and breakfast, the author would suggest th at the property met the ADA requirements of

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65 accessibility. (4) Additionally, as suggested by Davies et al., the researcher would suggest that a consultant be asked to review the propert y for suggestions in barrier removal. The researcher would suggest inter acting with some people with disabilities to be familiar with their preferences. Being at ease around guests with disabilities will make them feel more comfortable, and thus more likely to return or provide positive word of mouth. This study has shown that bed and breakfa st websites do not adequately market themselves to people with disabilities and can also use improvement in the other areas studied. Through using available texts and pr ofessional resources, owners can create a website that better reaches potential guests. This st udy should encourage bed and breakfast owners to take a closer look at their websites and make improvement where possible. Recommendations for Future Research In this study, a range was provided for rate s at bed and breakfasts. However, these were not the rates for the room meant to accommodate a person w ith disabilities. Research should look at how much accessible ro oms cost and if that is affordable to people with disabilities. In reason, Darcy ( 2002) said that accessible hotels tend to be more upscale; maybe, people with disabilities ne ed or are looking for more cost efficient lodging when they travel. This study looked mainly at the bed and breakfasts and their websites. The other side should be a point of focus. Further i nvestigation should look into if people with disabilities want to stay at bed and breakfasts. Also, res earch should review how often people with disabilities currently stay at bed and breakfasts.

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66 Bed and breakfast owners who do not provi de this information on their websites should be researched. Specifically, motivations as to why they chose to select they were accessible on BedandBreakfast.com and why they do not place detailed information on their website. Owners should be asked whet her had a consultant, builder, or specialist review their property for accessibility. Websites that describe th eir accommodations should be visited to check these depictions. This could be done with or without the knowle dge of the innkeeper and the identity of the bed and breakfast could be ke pt anonymous. This could determine if they are really accessible or not. Davies et al. (1996) sugges ts that innkeepers hire someone to design and to maintain their website. Further investigation should include if the website was professionally created. Also, if professional, information should be collected on if a consultation was provided in term s of content and marketing. Studies have not recently been conducted on bed and breakfasts and the Internet as a form of attracting guests. Future resear ch should include determining how important their website is to their overa ll occupancy rate. Perhaps, even with the increase in Internet usage, bed and breakfa sts are still marketed through word of mouth or chambers of commerce. Research should look into prope rties already choose to targ et market to a different segment such as those with special dietary n eeds or gay and lesbian travelers. Within their business plan, owners may establish that they want to target market a segment other than people with disabilities

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67 A qualitative study could be performed that reached a larger sample of owners. More of a consensus might be seen among an swers if there were more participants.

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68 APPENDIX A BED AND BREAKFAST WEBSITE EVALUATION B&B Name:_______________________________________ Location:________________________________________ Website address: __________________________________ Number of Rooms:______ Date built:_______ Last restored:________ Lowest rate:_______ Highest rate:________ User friendliness YES NO Is a site content search function available? Is a site map or index available? Is a home button available from all pages? Direct email contact clearly available? Mailing address clearly available? Telephone number clearly available? Fax number clearly available? Clear and effective navigation tools on each page? Limited vertical and horizontal scrolling? Site Attractiveness YES NO Are pictures or images available to reinforce text content? Are the pages clean and uncluttered? Is the text clear and readable? Is there a sufficient contrast between background and text? Is the background effect ive and appealing? Does the use of color improve the visual appeal of the site? Are the photos and images of a good quality? Is there an effective use of web page space? Are the hyperlinks easy to read?

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69 Marketing Effectiveness YES NO Awards information available? Is Testimonial information available? Is a Calendar of events available? Are Hyperlinks to sponsor/advertisements available? Is there a logo reflected on the website? Is a mission statement available? Are house pictures available? Are room pictures available? Is a virtual tour available? Are the rates available? Can you make a reservation online? Are special packages offered? Are special promotions addressed? Are special target markets addresse d (children, pets, ADA, etc.)? Does text describe uniqueness of the B&B (architect, historical, etc.)? Does text describe innkeepers or owners? Are local activities and events listed on site? Are there links to activities and area attractions? Technical quality: (by NetMechanic.com) YES NO Link Check HTML Check Browser Compatibility Load Time Analysis on marketing to people with disabilities Location of information: home page ____ 1st subsequent page____ (check all that apply) 2nd subsequent page_____ 3rd+ subsequent page____ YES NO Any information about accomm odations for people with disabilities? Standardized wheelchair graphic? Appropriately vocabulary used? Description of accommodations? E-mail address listed on page about accessible accommodations? Phone number listed on page ab out accessible accommodations?

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70 APPENDIX B QUALITATIVE BED AND BREAKFAST SURVEY Bed and Breakfast Name: ____________________________ Name of person: __________________________ Title of person (owner, operator, etc):_____________________ 1. Why did you choose to make your bed and breakfast accessible? 2. Did you make the house accessible or was it already that way? 3. Besides providing information on your websit e for people with disabilities, what steps have you taken to make your property accessible for them? 4. In the last year, please estimate how many people with disabilities have stayed with you. 5. Has your revenue/bookings improved b ecause of your accessible accommodations? 6. What caused you to provide detailed info rmation about your accommodations on your Website?

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71 7. Have you consulted a person with disabilities or an expert about di sabilities to review your accommodations and/or marketing t echnique via your Website? Have you consulted any other type of source with regards to accommodating people with disabilities? If so, what types? 8. Have you had any response from your guests with disabilities, positive or negative? 9. Have you found that guests with disabi lities have recommended you via word of mouth to other individuals with disabilities? 10. Is there any other inform ation you would like to share?

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72 LIST OF REFERENCES BedandBreakfast.com. (2004). About BedandBreakfast.com Retrieved April 13, 2004, from http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/about/index.aspx BedandBreakfast.com. (2004). Membership Levels—Innkeepe r bed and breakfasts inns directories, B&B online marketing Retrieved April 13, 2004, from http://www.bedandbreakfast.com/innkeepers/levels.aspx Blum, E. (2003). Disabled could prove prim e niche: Report: Travelers with disabilities are big spenders, but not with agents. Travel Weekly, 62 (5), 22. Darcy, S. (2002,). Marginalized participation: physical disability, high support needs and tourism. Journal of Hospitality and Tourism Management 9 (1), 61-73. Datillo, J. & Williams, R. (1999). Inclusion and Leisure Service Delivery. In E.L. Jackson & T.L. Burton (Eds.), Leisure studies: Prospects for the twenty-first century (pp. 451-463). State College, PA: Venture Publishing, Inc. Davies, M.E., Hardy, P., Bell, J.M., & Brown, S. (1996). So--you want to be an innkeeper San Francisco: Chronicle Books. Demarest, S. (1998). Innkeepers internet information: Marketing guestrooms online Santa Barbara: Professional Associa tion of Innkeepers International. Emerick, R.E. & Emerick, C.A. (1994). Profiling American bed and breakfast accommodations. Journal of Travel Research, 32 (4), 20-25. Goeldner, C.R., Ritchie, J.R.B., & McIntosh, R.W. (2000). Tourism: Principles, Practices, Philosophies New York, NY: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Jeong, M. (2004). An exploratory study of perceived importance of web site characteristics: The case of the bed and breakfast industry. Journal of Hospitality & Leisure Marketing, 11 (4), 29-44. Johnson, D. & Ashton-Shaeffer, C. (2003). Virtual buddies: Using computer-mediated communication in ther apeutic recreation. Parks and Recreation, 38 (3), 76-79. Kline, S.F., Morrison, A.M., & St. John, A. (2004). Exploring bed & breakfast websites: A balanced scorecard approach. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 17 (2/3), 253-267.

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73 Lanier, P., Caples, D., & Cook, H. ( 2000, October). How big is small? Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 41 (5), 90-95. Lee, S.Y., Reynolds, J.S., & Kennon, L.R. (2003). Bed and breakfast industries: Successful marketing strategies. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 14 (1), 37-53. Lituchy, T.R. & Rail, A. (2000). Bed and break fasts, small inns, and the internet: The impact of technology on the globa lization of small businesses. Journal of International Marketing 8 (2), 86-97. Lubetkin, M. (1999). Bed and breakfasts: Advertising and promotion. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 40 (4), 84-90. McKercher, B., Packer, T., Yau, M.K., & Lam, P. (2003). Travel agents as facilitators or inhibitors of travel: Perceptions of people with disabilities. Tourism Management, 24 465-474. Morrison, A.M., Taylor, S., Morrison, A.J., & Morrison, A.D. (1999). Marketing small hotels on the World Wide Web. Information Technology & Tourism, 2 97-113. Notarius, B. & Brewer, G.S. (2001). Open your own bed and breakfast. New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Pennington-Gray, L. (1999). Cohort analysis: An application to Canadian tourism Unpublished doctoral dissertation, Michigan State University, East Lansing. Poorani, A. A. & Smith, D. R. (1995). Fina ncial characteristics of bed-and-breakfast inns. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 36 (5), 57-63. Pfenning, A. (2002, August 19). Hospitality and travel needs of the disabled. Travel Weekly 61 (33), 10. Ray, N.M. & Ryder, M.E. (2003). “Ebilities" tourism: an exploratory discussion of the travel needs and motivations of the mobility-disabled. Tourism Management, 24 (1), 57-72. Schanz, A. (1999). Using the Internet for health information: Legal issues Chicago: American Medical Association. Takeda, K. & Card, J.A. (2002). U.S. tour operators and travel agencies: Barriers encountered when providing package tours to people who have difficulty walking. Journal of Travel & Tourism Marketing, 12 (1), 47-61. Travel Industry Associati on of America. (2005). Travel forecast summary. Retrieved February 2, 2005, from http://www.tia.or g/Travel/travelFor ecasts/Q_Y0401.pdf

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74 Travelers with disabilities could spend $21 billion. (2003). Fairfield County Business Journal 42 (6), 12. United States Department of Commerce. ( 2003). Disability Status 2000 [Data File]. Available from United States Census Bureau web site, http://www.census.gov United States Department of Justice. (2002). Department of Justice ADA Title III Regulation 28 CFR Part 36 Retrieved May 23, 2005, from http://www.usdoj.gov/crt/ada/reg3a.html Vladimir, A. (1998). Is there hospitality for disabled travelers? FIU Hospitality Review, 16 (2), 13-21. Warnick, R.B. & Klar Jr., L.R. (1991). Bed and breakfast and small inn industry of the commonwealth of Massachusetts: An exploratory study. Journal of Travel Research 29 17-25. Wellner, A. S. (2000). The Internet’s next niche. American Demographics, 22 (9), 18. Withiam, G. (1997). B&Bs: Fundamentally like hotels. Cornell Hotel and Restaurant Administration Quarterly, 38 (6), 13.

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75 BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH Felicia Ann Rogers was born on January 3, 1982, in Lakeland, Florida, and she lived there her entire life prior to moving to Gainesville. She is the daughter of Dan and Sharon Rogers and has one sister, Lori. Fe licia moved to Gaines ville in 2000 to pursue her bachelor’s degree in commercial recr eation and hospitality management at the University of Florida. During her last seme ster of undergraduate work, she completed an internship with the Hilton University of Flor ida Conference Center as a sales and catering intern. After completing her bachelor’s degree, she continued schooling with a similar focus for graduate coursework at the University of Florida. Specifi cally, Felicia chose to focus her master’s degree in tourism marke ting. She enjoyed taking classes related to ecotourism, heritage tourism, and marketing. She took the most pleasure in attending the National Outdoor Recreation and Rural C onsortium in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. It was the firs t hand experiences with tourism, nature and history that she liked the most. Felicia is now graduating w ith her Master of Science in Recreational Studies degree from the Department of Tour ism, Recreation, and Sport Management.


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Title: Bed and Breakfast Websites: Marketing Accommodations to People with Disabilities
Physical Description: Mixed Material
Copyright Date: 2008

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Holding Location: University of Florida
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BED AND BREAKFAST WEBSITES: MARKETING ACCOMMODATIONS TO
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES















By

FELICIA ANN ROGERS


A THESIS PRESENTED TO THE GRADUATE SCHOOL
OF THE UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT
OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF MASTER OF SCIENCE IN
RECREATIONAL STUDIES

UNIVERSITY OF FLORIDA


2005

































Copyright 2005

by

Felicia Ann Rogers

































I dedicate my thesis to my parents, Dan and Sharon Rogers, who have made it possible
for me to attend college and have supported me in my endeavors. Also, I dedicate my
thesis to my late grandmother, Darlin, who provided me with strength and inspiration
throughout my college years.















ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

I have spent so much time composing my thesis, and I am thankful I have survived

to see its completion. There were countless times when I was not sure I would finish. In

the end, all of the hard work will be surely rewarding. I thank the friends I made not only

as an undergraduate, but also as a graduate student. They have made my sanity and

success possible. I thank them for the encouragement and listening to my never ending

stress. I hope our friendship withstands the test of time.

I thank my chair, Lori Pennington-Gray for her countless hours spent editing and

reviewing my writing. She has taught me valuable skills in the areas of writing and

researching. Additionally, I thank Dr. Spengler and Rhonda Phillips for their support in

serving on my committee and providing insight. Together, the three of them have helped

to make my thesis and master's degree a reality.

I owe my utmost respect and gratitude to my parents. They have made my college

education and success not only a dream but a reality. They have supported me

emotionally and financially, and my appreciation to them is endless. I thank my sister,

Lori, who was there for me to find my first apartment and always found time to visit

during Kappa family weekend or Gator games. Her support with my education and my

life is remarkable. Together, we now both hold two degrees from the University of

Florida. With fondness, I thank my angel, Darlin, as she has watched over me through

college and blessed me with many memories in my life.









I am forever in debt to my friend and fellow researcher, Cathy Palmieri, for her

help in reviewing websites. We often thought it might never end, and I thank her for her

support and assistance. A true friend will sit and look at websites for hours and hours! A

second thanks is given to Dr. Spengler. Without him, I might not have made it into

graduate school. He has provided me with advice and patience as a mentor. I thank

Brijesh Thapa for always providing comments and direction on my thesis and my studies.

My gratitude is greatly expressed to Charlie Lane who spent many hours helping me with

my thesis. He provided me with technical assistance as well as countless hours of

support. I thank Heather Gibson who provided me with direction and help early on in my

master's career. She has always been willing to assist me.

Last but not least, my greatest thanks goes to Brad. However, he has been my

support system for the last three years of my life, and I could not go without mentioning

him. Without him, I could not have withstood the stresses of school, work, and my

thesis. He has been patient, supportive, and always helpful. Brad has been my best

friend, seeing me through my struggles, and he can never know how grateful I am to him.
















TABLE OF CONTENTS

page

A C K N O W L E D G M E N T S ................................................................................................. iv

LIST OF TABLES ............................... ............. .............. viii

LIST OF FIGURES ............................... ... ...... ... ................. .x

ABSTRACT ........ .............. ............. ...... ...................... xi

CHAPTER

1 IN TR OD U CTION ............................................... .. ......................... ..

State ent of Problem ............................................. .. ....................... .5
Purpose of Study ...................................... ............................... ......... 6
R research O bjectives.......... ..................................................................... ....... .... .6

2 REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE .................................................................. 8

Bed and Breakfasts in the United States.................................................................... 8
Internet Marketing by Bed and Breakfasts ...................................................11
People w ith Disabilities and Travel ................................ ......................... ........ 17
Use of the Internet by People with Disabilities ...................................................21
People with Disabilities and Bed and Breakfasts ....................................... .......... 22

3 M E T H O D S ......................................................... ................ 2 5

Sam pling F ram e ...................................... ............................. ................. 25
D ata C o lle ctio n ..................................................................................................... 2 5
Scorecard A approach ........... ........................................................................... ....... 26
O perationalization of V ariables....................................................... ................27
Q ualitative Survey ....................... .... .............................. ............... 3 1
D ata A n aly sis ............................. ....................................................... ............... 3 2

4 R E S U L T S .............................................................................3 4

Inner-rater Reliability ................................... ... .. ........ ...............34
R research O objective 1 ........................................ .... ....... .... ..... .. 41
R research O objective 2 ........................................ ................. .... ..... .. 44









R research O objective 3 .......................................... ................... ........ 46
Research Objective 4. .................... .. ................. .... .... .................. 47
R research O objective 5 .......................................... ................... ........ 50

5 DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION ............................................. ............... 54

Summary of Procedures and Treatment of Data....................................................54
Sum m ary of Findings ................................................ ...............55
R research O objective 1 ..................... .. .......................... ...... ........... 55
R research O objective 2 ....... ........ .. ........... .. .......... ...... ....... .. ... 56
R research O objective 3 ..................... .. .......................... ...... ........... 58
R research O objective 4. ....................... .......................... ...... ........... 58
R research O objective 5 ..................... .. .......................... ...... ........... 59
C onclusions.................................................... 60
Discussion and Implications .......................... .. ..... ............... 61
Recommendations for Future Research......................... ................. ...............65

APPENDIX

A BED AND BREAKFAST WEBSITE EVALUATION ....................................68

B QUALITATIVE BED AND BREAKFAST SURVEY ................ ....... ...........70

L IST O F R E F E R E N C E S ......... ................. ...................................................................72

B IO G R A PH IC A L SK E TCH ..................................................................... ..................75
















LIST OF TABLES

Table p

3-1. Inform action C collected ............................................. ................... ............... 26

3-2. Scorecard Item s .................................. .. .......... ........... 29

3-3. Q ualitative Item s.................................... ............. ................32

4-1. Evaluator Responses by Question ........................................ ......................... 35

4-2 R revised Scorecard Item s ........................................ .............................................40

4-3. Bed and Breakfasts by Florida Location ............... .............................................42

4-4. Building Date of Bed and Breakfasts ............................................. ............... 42

4-5. Restoration Date of Bed and Breakfasts......................................... ............... 43

4-6. Number of Guest Rooms in Bed and Breakfasts .................................................43

4-7. Lowest and Highest Rates of Bed and Breakfasts................................................ 44

4-8. Owners Living at Bed and Breakfasts.......................... ........... ................. 44

4-9 U ser F friendliness Scores ........................................ .............................................4 5

4-10 Site A ttractiv eness Scale .............................................................. .....................4 5

4-11. M marketing Effectiveness Scores ........................................ ......................... 45

4-12. Technical Q quality Scores........... ................. ............................ ............... 46

4-13. M marketing to People with Disabilities Score ................................. ............... 46

4-14. Standardized Scores by Quality Domains .................................... ............... 47

4-15. Analysis of Variance of Location and Quality of Website............... ..................48

4-16. Independent Samples t-test Results of Quality of Websites by Number of Rooms48

4-17. Independent Samples t-test Results of Quality of Websites by Year Built.............49









4-18. Independent Samples t-test Results of Quality of Websites by Year Last..............49

4-19. Independent Samples t-test Results of Quality of Websites by Minimum Rate .....50

4-20. Independent Samples t-test Results of Quality of Websites by Maximum Rate.....50
















FIGURE

Figure pge

4-1. M ap of Florida R regions ................................................................... ... ............ 4 1















Abstract of Thesis Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Master of Science in Recreational Studies

BED AND BREAKFAST WEBSITES: MARKETING ACCOMMODATIONS TO
PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

By

Felicia Ann Rogers

December 2005

Chair: Lori Pennington-Gray
Major Department: Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management

Limited research exists in the area of people with disabilities and bed and

breakfasts. BedandBreakfast.com was chosen as an online guidebook to locate the

websites of bed and breakfasts in Florida listed as accommodating people with

disabilities. The purpose of this study was to look into bed and breakfast websites and

examine the quality of websites, especially evaluating marketing to people with

disabilities and the level of information provided.

Information was collected from 77 bed and breakfast websites that were listed on

BedandBreakfast.com as accommodating people with disabilities. Two researchers

viewed the websites in April-May using a scorecard. Website information was scored in

five areas: user friendliness, site attractiveness, marketing effectiveness, technical

quality, and marketing to people with disabilities.

The results revealed that few bed and breakfasts are providing adequate

information to people with disabilities on their websites. In the marketing to people with









disabilities domain, 80% of bed and breakfast websites provided no information about

accessible accommodations. One statistical significance did occur between bed and

breakfasts and year of construction. Those constructed before 1900 had websites that

provided better quality information to people with disabilities.

A follow-up qualitative survey was conducted with three bed and breakfast owners

whose websites had the highest quality of information for people with disabilities. The

researcher phoned the three owners and read each of 10 questions to them. Results

revealed that the owner who marketed her bed and breakfast in numerous media outlets

had a higher number of guests with disabilities. She also reported a good word of mouth

referral from her guests with disabilities. The other two owners reported not using other

forms of information dispersal and having fewer guests with disabilities. None of the

owners interviewed consulted an expert in marketing or people with disabilities when

configuring their bed and breakfast website.

Findings indicated that future research needs to be done in the area of people with

disabilities and marketing. Specifically, more research should look into owners'

motivations for marketing to people with disabilities and whether people with disabilities

are interested in staying at bed and breakfasts. Research could be conducted to review

previous experiences had by people with disabilities.














CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION

The Travel Industry Association of America predicts that Americans will spend

$546.9 billion on tourism in the United States in 2005. Also, for the same year,

approximately 1.2 billion domestic trips will be taken (Travel Industry Association of

America, 2005). According to Goeldner, Ritchie, and McIntosh (2000) tourism proves to

be the United States' third largest retail industry and employs one out of every 17

Americans. By 2010, it is expected that tourism will create $8 trillion of economic

activity and 328 million jobs internationally. In addition, $1.8 trillion in taxes will be

generated in the same year.

Important to the tourism industry in the United States are people with disabilities.

Roughly 22.2 million individuals with disabilities have traveled in the last two years

(Blum, 2003). Moreover, 49.7 million people with disabilities live in the United States,

about one fifth of the total population (United States Department of Commerce, 2003).

In a 1995 Census Survey, the last to look at disabilities specifically, 1.8 million people

used a wheelchair and 5.2 million people used a cane, crutches, or a walker (Takeda &

Card, 2002). Among the 50 states, the highest population living with disabilities resides

in the South, about 91 million, nearly double the amount of any other region.

Additionally, the South has the most people over 65, with over 50% of them having

disabilities (United States Department of Commerce, 2003).

Bed and breakfasts are part of the tourism industry. Each year, bed and breakfasts

generate nearly $3.5 billion in revenue (Lanier, Caples & Cook, 2000). An ideal market









for bed and breakfasts to focus on is people with disabilities (Davies, Hardy, Bell, &

Brown, 1996). People with disabilities along with at least one traveling companion have

the potential to spend $54 million a year (Blum, 2003). Simply put, this market is an

excellent opportunity for bed and breakfasts to successfully market their accommodations

and improve their occupancy rate.

Americans with Disabilities Act. The passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act in

1990 forced the tourism industry to recognize people with disabilities. Title III of ADA

specifically looks at public accommodations. It states that travel services are public

accommodations. These include hotels, restaurants, bars, museums, amusement parks,

theatres, and state/national parks. The Americans with Disabilities Act states that full

and equal access must be provided to people with disabilities (Takeda & Card, 2002).

Certain conditions apply as to which public accommodations and to what extent they

must be adapted (United States Department of Justice, 2002).

Bed and Breakfasts. The Professional Association of Innkeepers International (PAII)

has identified nearly 18,000 bed and breakfasts in the United States (Valhouli, 2002, in

Kline, Morrison, & St. John, 2004.). A 2000 study reported that bed and breakfasts,

country inns and small hotels represented 31% of the United States lodging industry

(Lodging Resources and Workshops and Lanier Publishing, 2003 in Kline et al.).

However, there are discrepancies between how many bed and breakfasts exist in each

state. There are an estimated 400 bed and breakfasts in the Florida. Lois Cleveland of

Florida Bed and Breakfast Inns attributes this to what one actually considers a bed and

breakfast. Although there are many converted motels that are licensed as bed and









breakfasts, they are not actually bed and breakfasts because of their size, food, and

service (personal communication, April 13, 2003).

Lee, Reynolds, and Kennon's study (2003) revealed bed and breakfast travelers

usually are vacationing for a short period and travel closer to home. In fact, for many

inns, nearly half of the room nights are contributed to by in-state tourists (Lanier, Caples,

& Cook, 2000). Since more people with disabilities live in the southern United States

than any other region, there is a compelling argument that innkeepers market to these

individuals. In particular, the South has two fifths of the population with disabilities

(United States Department of Commerce, 2003).

The Internet and Bed and Breakfasts. The Fifth Annual Innkeeper Tracking Study:

2001 revealed that 50% of bed and breakfasts guests located the property via the Internet,

an increase of 12% from 1999. The Internet allows bed and breakfasts to create an

interactive experience for guests. This interactivity exists as a marketing goal for many

innkeepers (Kline et al., 2004). For example, the Internet allows guests to view the bed

and breakfast prior to visiting it (Countryman, 2000, in Kline et al.). Traditional sources

such as travel guides, print media, and convention and visitor bureaus saw a decrease in

usage of seven percent from 1999 to 2001 (Schleim & St. Amour, 2001, in Kline et al.).

Bed and breakfast owners are able to market their property on the Internet with little time

and expense required. Additionally, bed and breakfasts are able to extend past their local

regions in which their brochures and advertisements typically reach. Instead, the Internet

can allow the bed and breakfast to attract national as well as international guests

(Morrow, 2001, in Kline et al.). Lastly, the use of Internet marketing allows bed and









breakfasts to receive exposure 24 hours a day, allowing them to be even more accessible

to potential guests (Kasavana, 2002, in Kline et al.)

In Innkeepers Innternet Information: Marketing Guestrooms Online (1998), author

S. Demarest listed six benefits to bed and breakfasts using the Internet to market

themselves. First, bed and breakfast owners experience less phone time if the Internet is

used. Internet users will have many of their basic questions answered via the Internet.

Innkeepers then do not have to spend as much time describing the property, policies, and

near-by attractions.

Second, Demarest said that incremental costs are lower. The cost of time spent

filling requests for brochures, information, etc. is less because this information is

available on the Internet. In addition, actual cost savings exist in the form of no postage

and lower toll free phone line charges.

Third, more business can be a benefit a bed and breakfast marketing itself on the

Internet. A bed and breakfast's exposure increases when it utilizes the Internet. The

increase in business can vary depending on the depth of the website and in how many

online guidebooks it is listed.

Fourth, customers who book after seeing a website advertisement are likely to be

more satisfied. This is a result of knowing what a bed and breakfast really looks like and

offers to its customers. If a customer uses a basic print advertisement or even a travel

agent to make their decision, they may be unhappy with what they find when they arrive.

Fifth, customers perceive the value of a bed and breakfast as being higher when

they are able to view them on the Internet. When guests are able to see the vivid photo

displays on a bed and breakfast's website, the guests are more likely to pay the expense









for a nice room. Thus, it is easier to sell a high priced room on the Internet than it would

be with a basic phone explanation from the innkeeper.

Sixth, owners can reach their target audience even easier. Demarest mentioned a

study done by Georgia Institute of Technology in which 91% of online users had an

average annual income of over $59,000. This is an audience in which bed and breakfasts

hope to attract to their properties. As Internet usage continues to increase, Demarest said

these benefits will be seen through integrating the Internet into a bed and breakfast's

overall marketing strategy.

Statement of Problem

At least two factors indicate that marketing to people with disabilities are

important. First, a quote by Paul Alterman, chairman for the Second World Congress of

the Society for the Advancement of Travel of the Handicapped (SATH), indicated that

nearly 24 million people with disabilities do not travel because of a bad experience or the

expectation of one. According to Alterman, if a million of those individuals took one trip

per year, the travel industry would see an increase in revenue of $3 billion (Vladimir,

1998).

Second is the potential to increase occupancy rates for individual properties.

Occupancy levels for bed and breakfasts are around 50% year round. In comparison, the

American Hotel and Motel Association reports a 64% occupancy rate for all lodging

properties nationally. Thus, there is a potential to increase profits for bed and breakfast

owners. Simply, owners can look to this particular market segment to help increase

occupancy rate (Lanier, Caples, & Cook, 2000).

A review of the literature revealed a paucity of research related to people with

disabilities and bed and breakfasts. Additionally, little has been studied regarding









marketing and bed and breakfasts and even less about the Internet as a marketing tool for

bed and breakfasts. This study will aim to contribute to this dearth of scholarly and

practical literature. It will also look at this population and how their information search

needs can be improved through Internet websites. Overall, this study seeks to reveal the

effectiveness of bed and breakfast websites in relation to targeting people with

disabilities.

Purpose of Study

The purpose of this study was to look into bed and breakfast websites and examine

the quality of websites, especially monitoring information for people with disabilities and

the level of information provided.

The study was beneficial to both bed and breakfast owners and people with

disabilities. Bed and breakfasts have the opportunity through their website to reach

people with disabilities and explain their accommodations. In addition, individuals with

disabilities are likely to use the Internet and find information on accessible

accommodations. An examination of websites key words related to disabilities is one

step to improving the marketing strategies of bed and breakfasts.

Research Objectives

Five research objectives will guide this study:

1. To Profile the Sample of Florida Bed and Breakfasts from BedandBreakfast.com

2. To Modify And Test A Revised Scorecard With The Addition Of Information On
Marketing To People With Disabilities

3. To Assess The Relative Quality Of Florida Bed And Breakfast's Based On Aspects
Of A) Technical Quality, B) User Friendliness, C) Site Attractiveness, D)
Marketing Effectiveness, E) Accessibility Issues






7


4. To Examine The Relationship Between Quality Of Florida Bed And Breakfast's
websites and A) Year Built, B) Last Restored, C) Location, D) Lowest and Highest
Rate, E) Size.

5. To Examine Bed And Breakfast Owners Motivations and Attitudes Towards
Marketing to People with Disabilities on Their Websites














CHAPTER 2
REVIEW OF THE LITERATURE

A review of the literature will cover various areas related to the thesis topic.

Although a thorough search was completed for all areas, some have appeared more

frequently in the popular culture literature, thus this type of literature has also been

included. Areas of discussion will include 1) bed and breakfasts in the United States, 2)

bed and breakfasts and their Internet marketing, 3) people with disabilities, their travel,

and the ADA, 4) people with disabilities and use of the Internet.

Bed and Breakfasts in the United States

In the United States, bed and breakfasts have long been a lodging option for people

staying away from home. Typically, they have offered a place to stay along with a

continental or warm breakfast. Today, some bed and breakfasts will offer cocktails or

even a warm evening meal. Typically, innkeepers open their homes to guests and engage

in conversation. Nonetheless, individuals who stay in bed and breakfasts are usually

looking for a relaxing stay with a bit of a different feel of other traditional lodging

options.

A study by Warnick and Klar (1991) looked at industry characteristics of bed and

breakfasts in Massachusetts. Roughly 125 owners of bed and breakfasts answered

questions about their establishment, their background, and educational needs. Findings

revealed that half of the bed and breakfasts had only been in existence for five years or

less. Moreover, two thirds of owners said their businesses were regulated by town

ordinances. Most bed and breakfasts promote themselves by being members of their









local chambers of commerce. Finally, nearly 46% indicate that their needs to be more

education for owners about marketing/promotion of bed and breakfasts and would like to

see workshops about this topic.

Emerick and Emerick (1994) profiled the typical American bed and breakfast by

having owners and operators complete questionnaires about their respective bed and

breakfasts. Specifically, the authors collected information about the location, facility,

and operations. The results indicated that bed and breakfasts were most often located in

towns with populations of less than 10,000 people. Typically, the structure was an owner

occupied home that was converted to a bed and breakfast for supplemental income.

Lastly, 61.5% of bed and breakfasts were built prior to 1920, with half of those having

some type of designation as a historical structure.

Poorani and Smith (1995) looked at the size of bed and breakfast properties in

relation to financial indicators. They utilized 400 mail questionnaires that were returned

by bed and breakfast owners. In terms of revenue, 37% of bed and breakfasts yielded

$24,000 or less per year. Additionally, 75% of bed and breakfast owners had no previous

experience, and those same owners without experience yielded $3,000 less per room than

experienced owners. Most people independently owned their bed and breakfast and

purchased the structure with the intention of converting it.

Withiam (1997) wrote that six percent of bed and breakfasts reserve their rooms

on-line, a figure he believed was above that of hotels. Moreover, interaction with guests

was the primary motivation for opening a bed and breakfast. Most bed and breakfast

owners were not looking for an immediate profit because they have another source of

income. Many owners viewed bed and breakfasts as an investment.









Lubetkin's (1999) study compared bed and breakfasts advertising to where guests

sought out their traveling information. To obtain this information, Lubetkin utilized two

different surveys to gather data. First, he surveyed bed and breakfast owners from the

United States to look at what specific outlets were used for promotion of their property.

Lubetkin asked questions regarding in-house versus agency marketing, type of

advertising budget, and tracking mechanisms for advertising. Secondly, guests who

stayed at five properties were surveyed to see how they gained knowledge of the

property. He also asked them how often they stayed away from home and what other

outlets they used to find lodging. On the first part of the study, results indicated that bed

and breakfasts typically do their marketing in-house. Owners most commonly used word

of mouth, brochures, the chamber of commerce, and Mobil and AAA guidebooks as their

outlets. In contrast, guests typically used word of mouth, magazines and newspapers,

signs, and Internet and CD-ROMs to find the bed and breakfasts in this study. Although

the first two outlets for each group are the same, the rest differ in significance and order.

Lanier et al. (2000) performed a descriptive study on bed and breakfasts. They

utilized a database of bed and breakfasts from Lanier Publishing to create profiles. Bed

and breakfasts' average daily rate (ADR) was $122, 54% more than hotels' ADR.

Overall, bed and breakfasts accounted for four percent of the room supply nationally.

Eighty percent of property owners live on-site. Finally, patrons of 30% of bed and

breakfasts typically share bathrooms.

The purpose of the study completed by Lee et al. (2003) study was to look at the

types of marketing strategies used by bed and breakfast owners and their perceived

success of these strategies. A random sample of Texas bed and breakfast owners was









done utilizing those listed in the Texas Hotel Occupancy Tax Accounts Report. From

this, Lee et al. (2003) determined that bed and breakfast operators most often use word of

mouth, chambers of commerce, and brochures as their marketing strategies. Having a

website was fifth on the list of marketing strategies. Bed and breakfast owners found that

word of mouth was the most successful strategy, followed by brochures, chamber of

commerce, websites, and visitor and convention bureaus. The majority of owners (73%)

owned a computer that they could use to access the Internet (Lee et al., 2003)

As can been seen, an adequate amount of information is available with respect to

bed and breakfasts. Generally, these studies are descriptive in nature, providing a basis

for what the bed and breakfast population looks like. In a couple of cases, marketing

strategies for bed and breakfasts were reviewed.

Internet Marketing by Bed and Breakfasts

Information about Internet marketing by bed and breakfasts has only started to

appear in the literature since 1999. Naturally, this has had a relationship with the

increasing presence of the Internet overall. Several articles will be reviewed about bed

and breakfast websites including one from a bed and breakfast book.

In 1999, Morrison, Taylor, Morrison, and Morrison looked at small hotels using the

Internet to market themselves. According to Kline et al. (2004), bed and breakfasts can

be viewed as a type of small hotel. Morrison et al. looked at small hotels in the United

Kingdom specifically. The study assessed the effectiveness of small hotel websites, the

advantages/disadvantages of the websites, and how to make the websites more effective.

At the time of the study, the independent hotel was the most common form of

accommodations in the United Kingdom. Morrison et al. believed that there were five

marketing challenges that small hotels faced. These challenges were internationalization,









differentiation, adding value, interconnection and distribution, and embracing

technological developments. Morrison et al. (1999) stated that small hotels should focus

on nurturing guest relationships, building partnerships, diversifying distribution channels,

and targeting niche and special interest markets.

For the study, websites of small hotels that were members of a marketing

consortium were reviewed. Thus, they had a common goal of working on their strategic

marketing. The previously mentioned items were assessed on each of their websites

along with additional factors. Sixteen hotels were assessed (only 25% of hotel

consortium members had their own websites) and a balanced scorecard approach was

utilized. The balanced score card approached recognizes than an assessment should not

be one-dimensional. Instead, it looks at balanced dimensions with each dimension being

a different aspect of review. Significant time has passed since this study was completed.

Thus, some findings are not as applicable now. Nonetheless, one of the key problems

was the amount of time it took to download the website. Additionally, Morrison et al.

found that most websites lacked interaction with the consumer. Instead, the website

appeared to be a digital brochure. Websites scored especially low on appealing to the

needs of special consumers. The websites failed to take advantage of the opportunity to

provide specific, comprehensive information about the property. Only 7 of the 16 hotels

scored above 50% of the available points, with the highest score being a 67%. Overall,

results showed that hotels were not making effective use of their websites. Moreover, the

authors found there was no relationship between the size of the hotel and the quality of

their website.









In tune with the five marketing challenges previously mentioned, Morrison et

al.(1999) indicated that websites should provide more information for foreign guests,

demonstrate their properties' uniqueness, utilize the four marketing strategies previously

mentioned, add more links to their websites, and actually have a website. The last idea

referred to the fact that only 25% utilized the Internet for marketing. Morrison et al.

suggested that future research should include how to create a standardized training

package for owners to make more effective websites. The opportunity to close the gap

between small hotels and large hotels was fast closing and the authors indicated small

hotels would have to work fast in order to catch up (Morrison et al, 1999).

In the book Open Your Own Bed & Breakfast, Notarius and Brewer (2001)

presented results of a 1999 study cosponsored by Professional Association of Innkeepers

International (PAII), BedandBreakfast.com, and B&B getaways. The authors described

the chapter entitled The Internet as the biggest change to the newest edition of the book.

Notarius and Brewer say that the Internet has become a cost effective marketing approach

that bed and breakfasts can utilize. The 1999 study showed that 54% of innkeepers had

e-mail and 52% had their own Internet website. Plus, innkeepers found that 38% of new

guests had located their property through the Internet. Nearly 50% of their advertising

budget was spent on Internet related pitches. Additionally, 83% of those surveyed

currently belong to at least one online bed and breakfast guidebook.

Notarius and Brewer offered advice on what they felt guests as well as innkeepers

want. For instance, guests want their search to be easily completed and clearly able to be

comprehended. Guest appreciate seeing pictures of the property for an understanding of

their accommodations. On the other hand, some bed and breakfast owners worry that the









Internet will cause them to lose the personal relationship with their guests. This is part of

what differentiates a bed and breakfast from a small hotel. Bed and breakfast owners

want their guests to know them as real people not simply staff. A phone call allows the

owners to see to what kind of guests to expect; this is not possible via the Internet.

Furthermore, the authors indicate that websites should a professionally created website.

A website is now more important than a brochure with 40% of new guests using the

Internet as their locating source (Notarius & Brewer, 2001).

The purpose of a study conducted by Lituchy and Rail (2000) was to look at

whether bed and breakfast owners were using the Internet to attract people from other

countries to their property. More specifically, they reviewed the Internet's impact and

potential with respect to bed and breakfasts. Mail surveys were sent to bed and

breakfasts throughout the United States and Canada. The survey asked questions about

the Internet, websites, e-mail, and marketing of the website. A seven point scale and

qualitative questions were utilized on the survey. The study found that bed and breakfast

owners are using the Internet to attract foreign guests. However, most of them are not

using it to the fullest extent possible. Specifically, they do not use video and audio

capabilities, solicit feedback from guests, or provide information in foreign languages.

Respondents indicated that cost effectiveness was the main reason why they used the

Internet as an advertising medium (Lituchy & Rail).

According to Jeong (2004), more bed and breakfasts are utilizing state tourism

websites to link to their own Web page. Bed and breakfasts are trying to make

themselves as accessible as possible. In Jeong's study, customer's perceptions of bed and

breakfast websites were assessed. Jeong stated that there had been little research done in









this area. Specifically, Jeong (2004) looked at customers' perceptions of website quality,

their satisfaction with information found on the website, and their extent in which to

reuse or recommend to others the website in the future. E-mails were sent out to 1400

people asking them to participate in the bed and breakfast study. They would look at a

bed and breakfast website and then answer questions about their feelings towards the

website on a subsequent Webpage. The bed and breakfast website used had all of the 18

attributes that were measured on the survey. Behavioral characteristics including

demographics and purposes of visiting bed and breakfast websites were evaluated. The

survey had a response rate of 15.8% (Jeong).

Results of Jeong's study showed that users most often used a search engine,

community Web pages and bed and breakfast online guidebooks to find bed and

breakfasts, from most common to third most common. The most important information

sought by users was a telephone number for the bed and breakfast. This indicated that

users were more concerned with making reservations via phone than directly on the

website. Users were also interested in being able to find a map of the surrounding area,

e-mail address, and the bed and breakfast operator's information. Future suggestions for

research include using more than one bed and breakfast website and having a larger

group of survey participants. Jeong also mentioned that bed and breakfast owners should

be more observant about their own guests' feelings about their website.

Kline et al. (2004) used the balanced scorecard approach to look at the websites of

20 bed and breakfasts located in Indiana. The authors mentioned that designing and

maintaining websites is relatively inexpensive for owners. Since bed and breakfasts

typically have limited financial resources, utilizing their website as a key marketing









outlet was ideal. The website should be designed to be an interactive experience by the

guest. The guest should be able to maneuver easily through the website with it being

easy to understand and not having technical problems. Using these ideas, Kline et

al.(2004) created a four quadrant modified balanced scorecard to review the 20 websites.

The balanced scorecard approached included multiple attributes within each quadrant.

That way, more areas could be reviewed and the study would not be as subjective. These

four quadrants were user friendliness, site attractiveness, marketing effectiveness, and

technical qualities. Raters reviewed the first three quadrants while a technical test

performed by NetMechanics.com was used for the fourth one. Additional information

was collected about the size of the bed and breakfast and lowest and highest rates

available. Results showed that bed and breakfasts ranked very differently amongst one

another as well from one quadrant to the next. Results presented by Kline et al. focused

more on describing which bed and breakfast scored highest and lowest in each quadrant.

Additional information about each property was not provided. Of the four quadrants, site

attractiveness had the highest mean percentage of points scored with 85% as the average.

The lowest mean percentage points were marketing effectiveness. Kline et al. indicated

that this was the greatest weakness amongst websites. For the future, Kline et al.

indicated that bed and breakfast owners could use the presented scale to review their own

bed and breakfast websites. The authors also indicated that the research showed that

improvement could exist on websites in each of the assessed areas. Lastly, the authors

said that future studies could include more websites, a greater variety of websites based

on location, and innkeepers' opinions on the aspects of the evaluation.









As was indicated in all of the studies reviewed in this section, bed and breakfasts

are not using the Internet to its fullest potential. Additionally, owners are not discussing

with their guests ways to improve their own website. By utilizing the Internet, bed and

breakfasts could attract different market segments. One of these market segments could

in fact be people with disabilities. The following section will summarize the literatures

finding on people with disabilities who travel.

People with Disabilities and Travel

People with disabilities and their travel needs and habits became a more prevalent

research topic early in 2000. As previously mentioned, the American with Disabilities

Act forced the American public to consider how to be more accessible for people who

traveled with disabilities. Though the scholarly literature covering this topic is scant, it

begins to provide insight into what people with disabilities must face. Additionally, some

popular media articles will be reviewed.

Darcy (2002) wrote a discussion paper on what people with disabilities face when

they travel. Travel agents and physical barriers prove not to be the only reasons people

with disabilities do not travel. People with disabilities often cannot afford to pay the high

prices set by the industry for accessible accommodations. Typically, hotels that have

made the necessary adjustments to accommodate travelers with disabilities tend to be

upscale. It is not that these hotels charge more for an accessible room than one that is

not. Simply, economy hotels are not as likely to make their accommodations accessible.

Furthermore, people with severe disabilities might also have to hire a medical

professional to accompany them on their trip. In this case, they might not only be paying

for a second trip but also for the fee of the medical professional. Also, for example,

having to rent a van to accommodate a wheelchair with a power lift proves considerably









more expensive than a compact car. Obviously, the presence of disabilities can result in

more expensive travel. As a result, some people are unable to meet this cost and must

live a life without travel (Darcy, 2002).

An online poll described by Pfenning (2002) in Travel Weekly listed the most

common barrier for people with disabilities encountered was the reservations staff s lack

of knowledge or an indifferent attitude about special needs. The online poll was

conducted by iCan!, a solutions and services company for people with disabilities and

business leaders. The poll included over 1,500 respondents with disabilities, ages 18 to

70. In terms of making arrangements, 31% used direct bookings most often followed by

30% who used the Internet and 24% who used travel agents. Accessibility of a hotel

room tied for third key factor for people with disabilities when selecting a room in which

to stay. Lastly, a majority of people with disabilities found their personal car to be the

most accessible form of transportation followed by airplanes (Pfenning).

Ray and Ryder's (2003) study looked at mobility-impaired persons for

consideration in tourism research and at their preferred sources of information for their

travel choices. Mobility-impaired is defined as physical features/conditions (not

including hearing or vision impairment) of ones body that make it difficult for them to

maneuver without a wheelchair, cane, walker, etc. Methods used for this study included

focus groups, surveys, and questions. Ray and Ryder utilized convenience samples;

people used for this study were not randomly selected to be a part of this study.

Additionally, relatively small samples sizes existed for this study, too small to run

statistics. Through these outlets people were asked a number of questions regarding their

travel. For instance, why they choose to visit specific destinations, how they describe









their personality, and how they find out about the areas they choose to visit (Ray &

Ryder, 2003).

Results showed that the number one issue when choosing where to go was

accessibility. Furthermore, accessibility evaluated by a knowledgeable person ahead of

time was important. Too often, areas that market themselves as accessible were not

actually accessible. The group indicated that they would like to see more marketing

directed towards the general public utilizing people who are in wheelchairs, etc. They

wanted people to know that not every person with a mobile disability chooses to go to a

destination for the same reason. Everyone is different with different conditions. Word of

mouth and the Internet were ranked similarly in responses for how to obtain information

about travel. Lastly, simply because this group faces challenges does not meant they do

not want to be physically active on their vacations (Ray & Ryder).

A brief article appearing in Fairfield County Business Journal entitled Travelers

with disabilities could spend $21 billion (2003) mentions several key statistics about the

financial power of people with disabilities. The statistics released were based on a poll

conducted by Harris Interactive that included responses from 1,037 people. It was

estimated that 194,000 travel related jobs are the result of travelers with disabilities.

Furthermore, people with disabilities generate $4.22 billion in payroll and $2.52 billion in

tax revenues in the United States. Finally, the study suggested that if the needs of people

with disabilities were met, spending could increase to $6.6 billion for airlines and $8.4

billion for lodging.

The same study by Harris Interactive appeared in an article in Travel Weekly by

Blum (2003). Additional figures were listed with regards to people with disabilities.









Eighty-five percent of travelers with disabilities share their experiences via word of

mouth. The study indicated that 55% of adults with disabilities had stayed in a hotel at

some point in the last two years, spending an average of $241 per visit. Lastly, this same

study estimated that people with disabilities account for 4.5% of airline revenue (Blum,

2003).

The purpose of McKercher, Packer, Yau, and Lamd's (2003) study was to examine

the relationship between people with disabilities and travel agents in Hong Kong. It also

looked at their attitudes towards the travel trade as a whole. Three focus groups and three

in depth interviews were used to collect data. Specifically, two different types of people

were utilized for the study, those with visual impairments and those with mobility

disabilities. Participants in the study reported a great deal of variability between travel

agencies as well as staff within an agency. The majority of participants felt that travel

agencies did not meet their needs. The single greatest complaint of those in the study

was the attitude of travel agencies. They also found that packaged tours never took into

account the varying degrees of disability one might have. Yet, package tours were often

the only type of trip offered. Lastly, participants felt information provided to them was

poor and there was a general lack of communication between agent and person

(McKercher et al.).

As one can see, more and more people with disabilities are traveling. However,

constraints prevent them from traveling or provide difficulties while they are traveling.

Seeing the needs of travelers with disabilities, the tourism industry can now work better

to close the gap between themselves and this population. A literature scan of people with

disabilities and their use of the Internet will be completed.









Use of the Internet by People with Disabilities

After doing a complete review of scholarly literature, it became apparent that

popular media would be the outlet to explore Internet usage by people with disabilities.

People with disabilities often are able to use the Internet to make every day leisure

choices as well as travel arrangements. As the industry supplies more accessible

websites, people with disabilities will be able to make even more of their plans utilizing

the Internet.

In American Demographics, Wellner (2000) wrote an article summarizing the

results of a poll of people with disabilities. An online poll conducted in 2000 by Harris

Interactive found people with disabilities spend twice as much time (20 hours) on the

Internet each week as people who do not have disabilities. Specifically, this poll

reflected time spent viewing websites, not checking e-mail. Four out of every ten people

with disabilities spend time on the Internet. Of the people with disabilities who

participated in this poll, 48% reported having a better quality of life as a result of the

Internet in comparison to 27% without disabilities. Moreover, 56% of individuals with

disabilities over age 65 reported the Internet has substantially improved their quality of

life, compared with six percent of adults without disabilities. People with disabilities

explore the Internet for 20 hours per week, twice as much as people without disabilities.

This study demonstrated that marketers should promote their product or service more

directly to this segment (Wellner).

Computer mediated communication between people with disabilities was the topic

for Johnson and Ashton-Shaeffer's (2003) article appearing in Parks and Recreation.

The authors stated that many people with disabilities experience social isolation.

However, communication via the Internet can result in better quality of life and health









and improved leisure satisfaction. In addition, this communication can create a social

support network, increase friendships, and allow for more outlets of interaction. In the

described program, Virtual Buddies, individuals in North Carolina were provided with

computers, modems and Internet connection free of charge. They were then able to

communicate with people with disabilities throughout North Carolina. In all, users

reported having more friendships and feeling self sufficient and empowered through this

line of communication (Johnson & Ashton-Shaeffer, 2003).

The Internet can be a powerful tool for people with disabilities to have an outlet not

only to explore but also develop friendships. People with disabilities spend a great deal

of time on the Internet each week. Thus, the potential for marketers to reach towards this

population is vast. As people with disabilities use the Internet more to create travel plans,

they also will want to explore bed and breakfasts websites for accessible information.

People with Disabilities and Bed and Breakfasts

A thorough review of the literature revealed no academic research on people with

disabilities in relation to bed and breakfasts. A general search of the Internet reviewed

little to no connection with the two topics. A review of the guidelines for Superior Small

Lodging Certification reveals no terms of accessibility. Lastly, a look at Florida state

legal cases and federal legal cases revealed no proceedings involving bed and breakfasts

and accessibility issues. However, a bed and breakfast book as well as the Americans

with Disabilities Act helped to provide some information.

Nonetheless, in the book So-You Want to Be an Innkeeper, Davies et al. (1996)

provided a brief section entitled Marketing to guests with disabilities. First, they

suggested that bed and breakfast owners are careful with the language they choose to

utilize. For example, P. Robinson, a disabilities consultant, stated that appropriate









terminology such as people with different physical, hearing or visual abilities should be

used as opposed to derogatory terms such as crippled or retarded. Next, Davies et al.

advised that owners should have someone from a local group that is knowledgeable about

the disabilities community to assess the bed and breakfast. Though an architect may

know the legal logistics of accessibility, an expert from the disabilities community might

provide a more personal feel. The authors suggest purchasing a Telecommunications

Device for the Deaf (TDD) so owners can communicate with potential guests who suffer

from a loss of hearing (Davies et al., 1996).

Davies et al. recommended that owners accurately describe their accommodations

so people with disabilities are aware of what is available. Innkeepers should be specific

not only about the accommodations but the obstacles that guests with disabilities might

face. If a bed and breakfast is accessible, Davies et al. suggests using the blue

international wheelchair symbol to show this. Owners should also be careful to have a

positive attitude because attitude towards a population can be a barrier like

communication or architecture can be to it. Lastly, innkeepers should realize that it is

easier to stay at a property that does market and list their accommodations instead of

having to contact a bed and breakfast that is not clear about their property (Davies et al.).

The Americans with Disabilities Act

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, if a place of lodging has five

rooms or less for rent and the owner lives on site, it is not considered a place of public

accommodation and does not have to be accessible to people with disabilities. However,

if it is a place of lodging that does not meet these criteria, the owner must make the

facility accessible. Where the owner does not live at lodging facility, one room per 25

must be accessible for guests using wheelchairs or who have visual or hearing









impairments. Not until a lodging facility has 51 rooms does it have to provide a

bathroom with a roll in shower in one room. A place of lodging that is less than three

stories or whose stories are less than 3,000 square feet does not have to have an elevator.

A public accommodation must offer a telecommunication device for the deaf (TDD) if it

offers customers to make outgoing telephone calls on more than an incidental

convenience basis. Moreover, a place of lodging must offer closed captioning decoders

on its televisions. Barriers should be removed when readily achievable so that access is

available to people with disabilities. Some examples include adding a ramp, widening

doorways, installing grab bars in toilet area, making curb cuts, and installing a raised

toilet seat. Barrier removal would not be "readily achievable" if it would destroy the

historical significance of a building designated as historic under national, state, or local

law (United States Department of Justice, 2002).

As one can see, little information exists that directly addresses bed and breakfasts

and their requirements to be accessible. Additionally, since those with less than six

rooms do not have to comply, many bed and breakfasts are not responsible for making

themselves accessible. As previously mentioned, ADA did create awareness and some

bed and breakfasts have responded. Thus, bed and breakfasts need to take their response

and translate it into target marketing to this population.














CHAPTER 3
METHODS

This chapter will cover several areas related to the methods of the project,

including, (1) Sampling Frame, (2) Data Collection, (3) Scorecard Approach, (4)

Operationalization of the Variables, (5) Qualitative Survey and (6) Data Analysis. The

primary method used in this study was a modified balanced scorecard. This method was

used to evaluate the quality of five areas of bed and breakfasts' websites.

Sampling Frame

BedandBreakfast.com was used as the sampling frame for the study. This website

was founded in 1994 and lists more than 27, 000 bed and breakfasts worldwide.

BedandBreakfast.com was rated INNSTAR's top-rated bed and breakfast directory; it was

listed on Forbes' Best of the Web list (About BedandBreakfast.com, 2004). Being a part

of this online directory has a membership fee that is divided into four levels. It is

important to note that the lowest level of membership does not include a link to the bed

and breakfast's website within the listing (Membership Levels, 2004). Thus, it would not

be possible for a bed and breakfast at the lowest membership level to be included in this

website study. Roughly 90 bed and breakfasts in Florida listed themselves on

BedandBreakfast.com as having accommodations for people with disabilities.

Data Collection

In procedures followed by Kline et al. (2004), websites were thoroughly reviewed

to determine if they meet each of the items of the scorecard and if accessibility key words

are listed on any part of the website as part of an additional analysis. The scorecard used









a variety of items to rate websites. Websites are subjective in nature and the evaluation

must be performed with a set of measures (Schanz, 1999). The items used for the

scorecard were modified from the study done by Kline et al. (2004) to allow for

evaluation of items related to marketing to people with disabilities. This modification

included removing the item "spell check" from the technical qualities. S.F. Kline

(personal communication, January 26, 2005) indicated that this item was flawed in the

study done by Kline et al.

Additionally, more information was recorded about each bed and breakfast

including the date built and last restored (Table 3-1). An extra domain was added that

looked at the information provided for people with disabilities. This information

included the location of information for people with disabilities, the vocabulary use to

market to people with disabilities, and the listing of accessible accommodations.

Table 3-1. Information Collected
Number of Questions Question
1 Bed and breakfast name
2 Location
3 Website address
4 Number of rooms
5 Date built
6 Last restored
7 Lowest room rate
8 Highest room rate
9 If owners live on site

Scorecard Approach

Each domain focused on a different area of quality of the website. Specifically,

these areas were user friendliness, site attractiveness, marketing effectiveness, and

technical qualities. Furthermore, information for people with disabilities was also added.

The survey instrument was created prior to the analysis to record this information in an









organized manner. The instrument was filled in using paper and pencil method. Then, all

information was entered into a spreadsheet (Excel).

Operationalization of Variables

User friendliness is a domain designed to look at how inviting a website was to an

individual. The construct is based on research by Kline et al. (2004). This construct was

included because individuals are more likely to continue using a site or to return to it if

they find it friendly. The nine sample items (Table 3-2) included: 1) Is a site content

search function available? 2) Is a site map or index available? 3) Is a home button

available from all pages? 4) Direct email contact clearly available? 5) Mailing address

clearly available? 6) Telephone number clearly available? 7) Fax number clearly

available? 8) Clear and effective navigation tools on each page? 9) Limited vertical and

horizontal scrolling?

The site attractiveness domain looked at the visual appeal of the website. For

instance, text that could be read, a good background color, and uncluttered pages were

some of the nine included items (Table 3-2). Though these items could be subjective, a

yes or no was carefully considered before making a determination. Additionally, there

were nine items to factor the score for the site attractiveness quadrant, with some items

being less subjective than others. These items were: 1) Are pictures or images available

to reinforce text content? 2) Are the pages clean and uncluttered? 3) Is the text clear and

readable? 4) Is there a sufficient contrast between background and text? 5) Is the

background effective and appealing? 6) Does the use of color improve the visual appeal

of the site? 7) Are the photos and images of a good quality? 8) Is there an effective use

of web page space? 9) Are the hyperlinks easy to read?









The marketing effectiveness section had 18 items (Table 3-2), the most of any

domain. Basic marketing principles that Kline et al. (2004) determined were important

for a bed and breakfast were placed in this domain. These items were composed of the

existence of a virtual tour, house and room pictures, rate availability and addressing

target markets. These items were: 1) Awards information available? 2) Is Testimonial

information available? 3) Is a Calendar of events available? 4) Are Hyperlinks to

sponsor/advertisements available? 5) Is there a logo reflected on the website? 6) Is a

mission statement available? 7) Are house pictures available? 8) Are room pictures

available? 9) Is a virtual tour available? 10) Are the rates available? 11) Can you make

a reservation online? 12) Are special packages offered? 13) Are special promotions

addressed? 14) Are special target markets addressed (children, pets, ADA, etc.)? 15)

Does text describe uniqueness of the B&B (architect, historical, etc.)? 16) Does text

describe innkeepers or owners? 17) Are local activities and events listed on site? 18)

Are there links to activities and area attractions?

The technical qualities of the website were assessed by a free online evaluation by

NetMechanic.com. NetMechanic.com gives zero to five stars for each of the categories it

ranks. As previously mentioned, the ranking for spelling was disregarded in this study.

Other items reviewed included link check, HTML check, and load time (Table 2). The

dichotomous score was taken for each item by considering one or two stars a "no" and

three or more starts a "yes". Without having technical knowledge, this evaluation was an

appropriate source for rating the technical qualities for the websites.

Lastly, a separate analysis was done on the availability of information on

accessibility for people with disabilities. Items (Table 3-3) looked at placement of the









information, vocabulary, and description of accommodations. The selection of terms that

represented possible website key words was determined by the book chapter written by

Datillo and Williams (1999) entitled Inclusion and the Leisure Service Industry. The

authors indicated that words which were truthful towards the person's condition or

provided accommodations were most helpful. Thus, the key words included

disabilities/disabled, handicaps/handicapped, impairments/impaired, wheelchair

accessible, and accessible. Specific items such as light up clocks or roll in showers were

also included in the evaluation.

Table 3-2. Scorecard Items


User Friendliness


Is a site content search function
available?
Is a site map or index available?
Is a home button available from all
pages?
Direct email contact clearly available?
Mailing address clearly available?
Telephone number clearly available?
Fax number clearly available?
Clear and effective navigation tools on
each page?
Limited vertical and horizontal scrolling?


Total Score: 0-9
Site Attractiveness 1 Are pictures or images available to
reinforce text content?
2 Are the pages clean and uncluttered?
3 Is the text clear and readable?
4 Is there a sufficient contrast between
background and text?
5 Is the background effective and
appealing?
6 Does the use of color improve the visual
appeal of the site?
7 Are the photos and images of a good
quality?
8 Is there an effective use of Web page
space?
9 Are the hyperlinks easy to read?
Total Score: 0-9









Table 3-2. Continued
Marketing Effectiveness


Awards information available?
Is Testimonial information available?
Is a Calendar of events available?
Are Hyperlinks to
sponsor/advertisements available?
Is there a logo reflected on the website?
Is a mission statement available?
Are house pictures available?
Are room pictures available?
Is a virtual tour available?
Are the rates available?
Can you make a reservation online?
Are special packages offered?
Are special promotions addressed?
Are special target markets addressed
(children, pets, ADA, etc.)?
Does text describe uniqueness of the
B&B (architect, historical, etc.)?
Does text describe innkeepers or owners?
Are local activities and events listed on
site?
Are there links to activities and area
attractions?


Total Score: 0-18
Technical Quality 1 Link Check
2 HTML Check
3 Browser Compatibility
4 Load Time
Total Score: 0-4
Marketing to People with 1 Any information about accommodations
Disabilities for people with disabilities?
2 Standardized wheelchair graphic?
3 Appropriately vocabulary used?
4 Description of accommodations?
5 E-mail address /phone number listed on
page about accessible accommodations?
6 Clear font utilized?
7 Size of font easily seen?
8 Clarity of contrast between background
and font?
9 Is audio available?
10 Is text listed from top to bottom?
Total Score: 0-10









Qualitative Survey

After the scorecard had been applied to bed and breakfast websites, the top three

scoring bed and breakfasts were phoned and asked to complete a telephone survey (Table

3-3). This qualitative survey focused on motivations, marketing techniques, and guest

responses with respect to the accessible accommodations at their bed and breakfast.

Survey respondents were asked to provide information about the number of guests with

disabilities who had stayed with them and what the response of their guests was. The

researcher phoned each of these owners on the same afternoon in July. A prepared script

was read to them. Once they agreed to participate, the 10 items were read to them,

including 1) Why did you choose to make your bed and breakfast accessible? 2) Did you

make the house accessible or was it already that way? 3) Besides providing information

on your website for people with disabilities, what steps have you taken to make your

property accessible for them? 4) In the last year, please estimate how many people with

disabilities have stayed with you. 5) Has your revenue/bookings improved because of

your accessible accommodations? 6) What caused you to provide detailed information

about your accommodations on your website? 7) Have you consulted a person with

disabilities or an expert about disabilities to review your accommodations and/or

marketing technique via your website? Have you consulted any other type of source with

regards to accommodating people with disabilities? If so, what types? 8) Have you had

any response from your guests with disabilities, positive or negative? 9) Have you found

that guests with disabilities have recommended you via word of mouth to other

individuals with disabilities? 10) Is there any other information you would like to share?









Table 3-3. Qualitative Items


Survey Items





















Total Items: 10


Why did you choose to make your bed and breakfast accessible?
Did you make the house accessible or was it already that way?
Besides providing information on your website for people with
disabilities, what steps have you taken to make your property
accessible for them?
In the last year, please estimate how many people with disabilities
have stayed with you.
Has your revenue/bookings improved because of your accessible
accommodations?
What caused you to provide detailed information about your
accommodations on your website?
Have you consulted a person with disabilities or an expert about
disabilities to review your accommodations and/or marketing
technique via your website? Have you consulted any other type
of source with regards to accommodating people with disabilities?
If so, what types?
Have you had any response from your guests with disabilities,
positive or negative?
Have you found that guests with disabilities have recommended
you via word of mouth to other individuals with disabilities?
Is there any other information you would like to share?


Data Analysis

Before starting any analysis, inter-rater reliability was calculated for each response.

Inter-rater reliability is the extent that evaluators agree in response on content analysis. It

is important to determine as it assists in determining the validity of results. If the raters

do not agree, spurious results can occur. Inter-rater reliability is dependent on evaluators

being consistent. To ensure this, all items in which the two researchers disagreed by five

points or higher responses were removed from the scorecard as performed by

Pennington-Gray (1999). These removed items were not used in the data analysis.

Data analysis was conducted using SPSS (Statistical Package for the Social

Sciences, Version 11.5). Descriptive statistics were run for each item to describe the

sample and the responses. In addition, mean scores were reported. Mean scores for each









domain were calculated in SPSS, these scores were then used to respond to the research

objectives. T-tests and ANOVAs were used to respond to research objectives 3 and 4.

Data analysis for the qualitative survey used the constant comparison method.

Similar responses were grouped together by theme. The resulting themes were reported

to provide a more in-depth description of why the top bed and breakfasts had engaged in

marketing to people with disabilities.














CHAPTER 4
RESULTS

This chapter of the thesis focuses responding to the five research objectives. Each

research objective will be answered individually. The method for evaluation used a

scorecard approach. In order to control for reliability, two researchers were involved

with the evaluation. Website scorecards were completed over a period of 24 days.

Controlling for websites which had information for people with disabilities revealed 87

Florida bed and breakfasts. During the evaluation process, the researchers) found that

eight of these bed and breakfasts did not have websites listed on their

BedandBreakfast.com profile. Thus, 79 bed and breakfasts were reviewed. Each

researcher had two websites that were removed from analysis because only one of the

two researchers was able to review the site. (The other was not able to access them.)

Thus, only the 77 websites were visited by both researchers. These 77 were utilized to

respond to the research objectives.

Inner-rater Reliability

As can be seen in Table 4-1, the responses of the two researchers were recorded

and the difference in "yes" responses was calculated. All items that received a difference

in yes scores of five or higher were removed from the scorecard (as per Pennington-Gray,

1999). The researcher removed 21 items, leaving 29 items in the five domains. The

items that were removed appear in bold to show emphasis. The items that remained to

create the revised scorecard are shown in Table 4-2.












Table 4-1. Evaluator Responses by Question


Scale
User Friendliness
Is a site content search
function available?
Is a site map or index
available?
Is a home button
available from all
pages?
Direct email contact
clearly available?
Mailing address
clearly available?
Telephone number
clearly available?
Fax number clearly
available?
Clear and effective
navigation tools on
each page?
Limited vertical and
horizontal scrolling?
TOTAL ITEMS: 9
Site Attractiveness
Are pictures or images
available to reinforce
text content?
Are the pages clean
and uncluttered?


Evaluator 1
Yes
2

5

67


71

74

75

43

73


66



76


66


No Missing
75 0

72 0

10 0


6 0

3 0

2 0

34 0

4 0


11 0


Evaluator 2
Yes
2

2

66


63

68

75


No
75

75

11


14

8

2


Missing
0


Difference in yes responses
0


34 43


11 0












Table 4-1. Continued
Scale
Site Attractiveness
Is the text clear and
readable?
Is there a sufficient
contrast between
background and text?
Is the background
effective and appealing?
Does the use of color
improve the visual
appeal of the site?
Are the photos and
images of a good
quality?
Is there an effective use
of Web page space?
Are the hyperlinks easy
to read?
TOTAL ITEMS: 10
Marketing Effectiveness
Awards information
available?
Is Testimonial
information available?
Is a Calendar of events
available?


Evaluator 1
Yes
74


No Missing
3 0


Evaluator 2
Yes
64


No Missing
13 0


Difference in yes responses
10


77 0


70 7


77 0


77 0

75 2


58 0


32 45 0

14 63 0


16 61












Table 4-1. Continued
Scale
Marketing
Effectiveness
Are Hyperlinks to
sponsor/advertisement
s available?
Is there a logo
reflected on the
website?
Is a mission statement
available?
Are house pictures
available?
Are room pictures
available?
Is a virtual tour
available?
Are the rates
available?
Can you make a
reservation online?
Are special packages
offered?
Are special
promotions addressed?
Are special target
markets addressed
(children, pets, ADA,
etc.)?


Evaluator 1
Yes

13


16


1

77

74

15

73

24

31

23

58


No Missing

64 0


61 0


76 0

0 0

3 0

62 0

4 0

53 0

46 0

54 0

19 0


Evaluator 2
Yes

25


20


4

68

69

11

70

24

34

31


No Missing Difference in yes responses


45 31












Table 4-1. Continued
Scale

Marketing Effectiveness
Does text describe
uniqueness of the B&B?
Does text describe
innkeepers or owners?
Are local activities and
events listed on site?
Are there links to
activities and area
attractions?
TOTAL ITEMS: 18
Technical Quality
Link Check
HTML Check
Browser Compatibility
Load Time
TOTAL ITEMS: 4
Marketing to People
with Disabilities
Any information about
accommodations for
people with disabilities?
Standardized wheelchair
graphic?
Appropriate vocabulary
used?


Evaluator


Evaluator 2


Yes No Missing
53 24 0

21 56 0

60 17 0

43 34 0


25 52 0


1 76 0

25 52 0


Yes
49


No
27


Missing
1


Difference in yes responses
4


16 60


39 37


15 62


14 63












Table 4-1. Continued
Scale
Marketing to People
with Disabilities
Description of
accommodations?
E-mail address /phone
number listed on page
about accessible
accommodations?
Clear font utilized?
Size of font easily
seen?
Clarity of contrast
between background
and font?
Is audio available?
Is text listed from top
to bottom?
TOTAL ITEMS: 8


Evaluator 1
Yes

6

21



76
0


No Missing

71 0

56 0


Evaluator 2
Yes


No Missing


Difference in yes responses


9 68

12 65









Table 4-2. Revised Scorecard Items
User Friendliness 1

2
3


Total Score:
Site Attractiveness


Total Score:
Marketing Effectiveness


Total Score:
Technical Quality



Total Score:
Marketing to People with
Disabilities


Total Score:


0-11
1
2
3
4
0-4
1

2
3
0-3


Is a site content search function
available?
Is a site map or index available?
Is a home button available from all
pages?
Telephone number clearly available?
Limited vertical and horizontal scrolling?

Are pictures or images available to
reinforce text content?
Are the pages clean and uncluttered?
Is there a sufficient contrast between
background and text?
Is the background effective and
appealing?
Does the use of color improve the visual
appeal of the site?
Are the photos and images of a good
quality?

Awards information available?
Is Testimonial information available?
Is a Calendar of events available?
Is there a logo reflected on the website?
Is a mission statement available?
Is a virtual tour available?
Are the rates available?
Can you make a reservation online?
Are special packages offered?
Does text describe uniqueness of the
B&B (architect, historical, etc.)?
Are there links to activities and area
attractions?
0-18
Link Check
HTML Check
Browser Compatibility
Load Time
0-4
Standardized wheelchair graphic?

Description of accommodations?
Is audio available?









Research Objective 1: To Profile the Sample of Florida Bed and Breakfasts from
BedandBreakfast.com

The first research objective focused on profiling bed and breakfasts in Florida. The

researcher did this by location, date built and restored, number of guest rooms, lowest

and highest rate, and if the owners lived on site. The results of this profile are listed in

Tables 4-3 through 4-8.

As part of the first research objective, each bed and breakfast was assigned to one

of eight regions in Florida (See Table 4-3) based on a map (Figure 4-1) on the Florida

Association of Convention and Visitor Bureau website (http://facvb.org). More than a

quarter of the bed and breakfasts (29.9%) were located in the North East region of

Florida. Next, 15.6% of the bed and breakfasts were in the South East Florida. The third

region with the most bed and breakfasts (13.0%) was the North. The least number of bed

and breakfasts were located in the Northwest region of Florida.





















Figure 4-1. Map of Florida Regions: 1: North West, 2: North, 3: North East, 4: Central
West, 5: Central, 6: Central East, 7: South West, 8: South East









Table 4-3. Bed and Breakfasts by Florida Location
Florida region N %
North East 23 29.9
South East 12 15.6
North 10 13.0
Central West 9 11.7
Central East 8 10.4
South West 7 9.1
Central 6 7.8
North West 2 2.6
Total 77 100.1
(Note: Total does not equal 100% due to rounding.)

In terms of the frequency of when bed and breakfasts were built (Table 4-4), 34.6%

were constructed between 1901 and 1923 (23 years). Following those, 13 bed and

breakfasts were created between 1924 and 2001. Moreover, only four bed and breakfasts

were constructed after 1940. The third most common period for bed and breakfasts to

have been built was 1791-1886. Fifty-two bed and breakfasts (67.5%) provided this

information on their websites.

Table 4-4. Building Date of Bed and Breakfasts
Year built N %
1791-1886 12 23.1
1887-1900 9 17.3
1901-1923 18 34.6
1924-2001 13 25.0
Total 52 100.0

Table 4-5 indicates that most bed and breakfasts (38.9%) were last restored

between 1990-1993. The second most common period for restoration (27.8%) was 2000-

2003. Eighteen bed and breakfasts (23.4%) listed their last date of restoration on their

website.









Table 4-5. Restoration Date of Bed and Breakfasts
Year built N %
1990-1993 7 38.9
1994-1996 3 16.7
1997-1999 3 16.7
2000-2003 5 27.8
Total 18 100.1
(Note: Total does not equal a 100% due to rounding.)

The number of guest rooms in a bed and breakfast was pulled from their listing on

BedandBreakfast.com. Owners/managers of the property provided this information for

their listing. This provided a clear total as opposed to the room, suite, and cottage

breakdown that most websites provided. Table 4-6 listed bed and breakfasts in the "six to

eight" guest room category as most common (33.8%). Also, 27.3% were listed as having

between 12 to 48 rooms.

Table 4-6. Number of Guest Rooms in Bed and Breakfasts
Number of guest rooms N %
1-5 16 20.8
6-8 26 33.8
9-11 14 18.2
12-48 21 27.3
Total 77 100.1
(Note: Total does not equal a 100% due to rounding.)

Table 4-7 indicates the lowest and highest rates that bed and breakfasts listed on

their website. Six bed and breakfasts did not provide information about their rates (7.8%)

on their website. Typically, bed and breakfasts provide a variety of rates for different

rooms in their house based on size or location. In cases where the rate was the same

throughout, the same amount was recorded as the lowest and the highest rate. For each

bed and breakfast, their lowest rate and their highest rate were recorded. Instances

occurred where some bed and breakfasts' highest rate was less than another bed and

breakfast's lowest rate. The lowest price offered by a bed and breakfast ranged from $55









to $255 with an average of $115.20. The highest price listed by a bed and breakfast for a

nightly rate ranged from $95 to $608, averaging $221.48 per guest room. Eight websites

listed whether their owners lived on site (Table 4-8). Of those, three bed and breakfasts

did have owners who lived on site and five did not.

Table 4-7. Lowest and Highest Rates of Bed and Breakfasts
Rate level Mean Minimum Maximum
Lowest $115.20 $55 $255
Highest $221.48 $95 $608

Table 4-8. Owners Living at Bed and Breakfasts
Status of owners N %
Do not live at bed and 5 62.5
breakfast
Live at bed and breakfast 3 37.5
Total 8 100.0
(Note: Only reflects information provided on bed and breakfast websites.)

Research Objective 2: To Modify and Test A Revised Scorecard with the Addition
of Information on Marketing to People with Disabilities

Examining the mean scores and revising the original scale to reflect differences

from this study achieved this research objective. Each domain was revised separately.

There were five domains: user friendliness, site attractiveness, marketing effectiveness,

technical quality, and marketing to people with disabilities.

Table 4-9 indicates the scores of bed and breakfasts within the user friendliness

scale domain. Most commonly, bed and breakfasts scored three out of five on the

friendliness scale. None of the bed and breakfasts scored five out of five. The average

score was 2.8.

On the site attractiveness scale, 100% of the bed and breakfasts scored at least three

or over on the six point scale (Table 4-10). The majority of bed and breakfasts (76.6%)

scored six out of six. The average score was 5.7.









Table 4-9. User Friendliness Scores
Frequency of Score N %
3 "yes" responses 57 74
2 "yes" responses 12 15.6
1 "yes" responses 4 5.2
4 "yes" responses 4 5.2
0 "yes" responses 0 0.0
5 "yes" responses 0 0.0
Total: 5 77 100.0
(Note: Mean score: 2.5; Weighted average: 2.8)

Table 4-10. Site Attractiveness Scale
Frequency of Score N %
6 "yes" responses 59 76.6
5 "yes" responses 12 15.6
4 "yes" responses 4 5.2
3 "yes" responses 2 2.6
2 "yes" responses 0 0.0
1 "yes" responses 0 0.0
0 "yes" responses 0 0.0
Total: 77 100.0
(Note: Mean score: 3; Weighted average: 5.7)

Table 4-11 shows the number items most frequently scored on the marketing

effectiveness scale. Most bed and breakfasts scored four or five out of 11 total items

(27.3% and 22.1% respectively). None of the bed and breakfasts scored 11 out of 11.

The average score was 4.2.

Table 4-12 looks at the technical quality of the websites that was assessed by

NetMechanics.com. Most often, bed and breakfasts met all four of the items being

assessed with 46.1%. Closely following, bed and breakfast websites satisfied three of the

four technical components with 42.1%. The average score was 3.3.

Table 4-11. Marketing Effectiveness Scores
Frequency of Score N %
4 "yes" responses 21 27.3
5 "yes" responses 17 22.1
3 "yes" responses 14 18.2
2 "yes" responses 8 10.4
7"yes" responses 7 9.1









Table 4-11. Continued
Frequency of Score N
1 "yes" responses 3
6 "yes" responses 3
8 "yes" responses 3
0 "yes" responses 1
9 "yes" responses 0
10 "yes" responses 0
11 "yes" responses 0
Total: 11 77
(Note: Mean score: 5.5; Weighted average: 4.2)


%3
3.9
3.9
3.9
1.3
0.0
0.0
0.0
100.0



%
46.1
42.1
11.8
0.0
0.0
100.0


Table 4-12. Technical Quality Scores
Frequency of Score N
4 "yes" responses 35
3 "yes" responses 32
2 "yes" responses 9
1 "yes" responses 0
0 "yes" responses 0
Total: 4 76
(Note: Mean score: 2; Weighted average 3.3)


Lastly, 80.5% of bed and breakfasts scored zero out of three on the marketing to

people with disabilities scale (Table 4-13). None of the bed and breakfasts scored two or

three. The average score was 0.2.


Table 4-13. Marketing to People with Disabilities Score
Frequency of Score N
0 "yes" responses 62
1 "yes" responses 15
2 "yes" responses 0
3 "yes" responses 0
Total: 3 77
(Note: Mean score: 1.5; Weighted average: 0.2)


80.5
19.5
0.0
0.0
100.0


Research Objective 3: To Assess The Relative Quality Of Florida Bed And
Breakfast's Based On Aspects Of A) Technical Quality, B) User Friendliness, C) Site
Attractiveness, D) Marketing Effectiveness, E) Accessibility Issues

To examine the quality of the bed and breakfasts, means were calculated for each

of the five domains. The mean scores were then divided by the total number of items in


I









each domain. Thus, the resulting score was a standardized score based on the total

number of items. The total scores ranged from 0.9 to 0.1.

As can be seen in Table 4-14, site attractiveness had the highest mean of 0.9 with a

standard deviation of. 12. This indicated that bed and breakfast's websites tended to

score highest on site attractiveness. Technical quality had the second highest mean score

with a 0.8. The weakest aspect of the bed and breakfast websites was marketing to

people with disabilities. This domain had a mean of 0 .1 and standard deviation of .13.

This was followed by marketing effectiveness, with a mean of 0.4 and a standard

deviation of 0.16.

Table 4-14. Standardized Scores by Quality Domains
Scale Mean SD
Site Attractiveness 0.9 0.12
Technical Quality 0.8 0.17
User Friendliness 0.6 0.12
Marketing Effectiveness 0.4 0.16
Marketing to People with 0.1 0.13
Disabilities

Research Objective 4: To Examine The Relationship Between Quality Of Florida
Bed And Breakfast's Websites and A) Year Built, B) Last Restored, C) Location, D)
Lowest and Highest Rate, E) Size.

The relationship was examined by using analysis of variance (ANOVA) or t-tests

to test the relationship between the five quality domains and five aspects of bed and

breakfasts (year built, year restored, location, rate, and size).

In order to examine the relationship between quality of website and location, the

locations were combined into three broader regions: north, central, and south (Table 4-

15). Results indicated that there were no significant differences in quality of website

based on location of the bed and breakfast.









Table 4-15. Analysis of Variance of Location and Quality of Website
N Mean SD F Sig.
User friendliness 0.6 0.6
North 35 2.8 0.6
Central 23 2.7 0.6
South 19 2.9 0.6
Site attractiveness 0.9 0.4
North 35 5.6 0.8
Central 23 5.8 0.5
South 19 5.6 0.8
Marketing 2.1 0.1
effectiveness
North 35 4.2 1.7
Central 23 4.7 1.8
South 19 3.6 1.5
Technical quality 0.9 0.4
North 35 3.3 0.6
Central 23 3.3 0.8
South 19 3.5 0.6
Marketing to 0.9 0.4
people with
disabilities
North 35 0.3 0.4
Central 23 0.2 0.4
South 19 0.1 0.3

In order to examine the relationship between quality of website and size of the bed

and breakfast, independent t-tests were used (Table 4-16). Two categories were created,

small-sized bed and breakfasts (1-8 rooms) and medium-sized bed and breakfasts (9+

rooms). The results revealed there was no relationship between size and quality of

website.

Table 4-16. Independent Samples t-test Results of Quality of Websites by Number of
Rooms
1-8 rooms 9+ rooms
Scale Mean Mean t Sig.
User friendliness 2.9 2.7 1.4 0.7
Site attractiveness 5.7 5.7 .06 1.0
Marketing effectiveness 3.9 4.5 -1.6 0.1
Technical quality 3.3 3.4 -0.3 0.7
Marketing to people with disabilities 0.2 0.2 0.5 0.6









Independent sample t-tests were used to examine the relationship between quality

of website and year built. Categories of the years that bed and breakfasts were built were

created. The periods were labeled 1791-1900 and 1901-2001. Results indicated that one

statistical significance did exist (Table 4-17). Those bed and breakfasts built in 1900 or

before had a higher quality websites relating to people with disabilities than those built

later.

Table 4-17. Independent Samples t-test Results of Quality of Websites by Year Built
1791-1900 1901-2001
Scale Mean Mean t Sig.
User friendliness 2.9 2.7 1.2 0.3
Site attractiveness 5.9 5.7 0.8 0.4
Marketing effectiveness 4.4 4.5 -0.2 0.9
Technical quality 3.1 3.3 0.8 0.4
Marketing to people with 0.4 0.1 2.0 0.1
disabilities

T-tests were used to examine year restored and quality of website (Table 4-18).

Two categories of years restored were created, 1990-1996 and 1997-2001. No significant

differences existed between quality of website and year restored.

Table 4-18. Independent Samples t-test Results of Quality of Websites by Year Last
Restored
Scale 1990-1996 1997-2001
Mean Mean t Sig.
User friendliness 2.9 2.7 -1.0 0.3
Site attractiveness 5.9 5.7 0.2 0.9
Marketing effectiveness 4.4 2.0 -1.5 0.2
Technical quality 3.1 0.7 -0.8 0.4
Marketing to people with 0.4 0.3 -0.8 0.4
disabilities

Independent sample t-tests were utilized to examine the relationship between

quality of website and minimum rate. No statistical significance was revealed by the

results (Table 4-19).









Table 4-19. Independent Samples t-test Results of Quality of Websites by Minimum
Rate
Scale $55-122 $123-$255
Mean Mean t Sig.
User friendliness 2.8 2.7 0.8 0.4
Site attractiveness 5.7 5.4 1.4 0.2
Marketing effectiveness 4.3 3.9 1.2 2.4
Technical quality 3.4 3.3 0.3 0.8
Marketing to people with 0.2 0.2 -0.8 0.4
disabilities

In order to examine the relationship between quality of websites and maximum

rate, an independent samples t-test was utilized. Results are shown in Table 4-20 and do

not display any statistical significance.

Table 4-20. Independent Samples t-test Results of Quality of Websites by Maximum
Rate
Scale $95-266 $267-$608
Mean Mean t Sig.
User friendliness 2.8 2.8 0.1 0.9
Site attractiveness 5.6 5.8 -0.6 0.5
Marketing effectiveness 4.1 4.7 -1.4 0.2
Technical quality 3.3 3.5 -0.8 0.4
Marketing to people with 0.2 0.3 -0.8 0.4
disabilities

Research Objective 5: To Utilize A Qualitative Survey as A Follow-up to the Bed
And Breakfast Owners of the Three Best Websites Inquiring About Motivations,
Marketing Techniques, and Guest Responses

In order to address this research objective, the primary researcher phoned three bed

and breakfast owners who had the best websites targeting people with disabilities among

those reviewed (measured by the highest score on the marketing to disabilities scale and

descriptive information provided). Two owners and one manager completed the survey.

Respondents were asked 10 questions that related to their accessible accommodations.

The questions were each free response.









For the first bed and breakfast, the primary researcher spoke to Tom, the owner.

This bed and breakfast is located in the North East region of Florida. Having been built

in 1895, the house has 10 rooms. Additionally, their lowest listed rate was $139 and their

highest $199. Their website had the most detailed listing about accessible

accommodations complete with pictures of grab bars, toilet handles, and hand-held

shower head. Additionally, a listing about their accessible accommodations was

available on their homepage. Text mentions the tub seat and wheelchair ramp that exist.

The second bed and breakfast's manager, Denise, responded to the survey. It is

located in the South East region of Florida and has 21 guest rooms. According to this bed

and breakfast's website, it was built in 1891. Their lowest rate $85 and their highest is

$275. Their website text mentions tub bar grips and an elevated toilet seat. The website

also says that the accessible bathroom has tub bar grips and elevated toilet seat. From the

accessible rooms, guests have easy access to the pool, parking lot, and side gardens.

The third and final bed and breakfast is located in North Central Florida. The

survey was completed by one of the owners, Linda. It was built in 1845 and went

through a renovation in 1990. This bed and breakfast has 12 rooms and their rates ranged

from $69 to $189. The bed and breakfast website mentions that the "spacious building is

handicapped accessible with full bathroom facilities." Additionally, it says that they are

handicapped approved by AAA.

The first question posed in the interview was "why did you choose to make your

bed and breakfast accessible?" Denise and Tom said they made it that way while Linda

said she and her co-owner purchased it already accessible. Denise said they made the

changes because they are "open to all lifestyles disabled and not disabled. That is our









motto here." Moreover, Tom commented, "this is a market that we would like to reach,

can do it [make accessible], and make it available on our website. Our website helps to

see what our facilities are like." When looking at other places of marketing to people

with disabilities besides their bed and breakfast websites, Tom and Denise said they have

not used any other outlet. Tom added, "I'm nervous as to what they might do if it is not

adequately accessible." However, the bed and breakfast with the most guests with

disabilities at an estimated 50 in the last year uses multiple forms of advertising to reach

people with disabilities. Specifically, Linda stated that their accessible accommodations

are listed in "AAA guidebook, all advertisements in the newspaper, magazine articles,

and word of mouth." Tom and Denise only report 20 guests and 3 guests respectively in

the last year with disabilities.

When asked if revenue/bookings had improved because of accessible

accommodations, Denise replied, "Probably not...because we are always full whether our

guests are handicapped or not." To that same question, Tom stated that they had not

improved but he wasn't sure if they would stay that way in the future. Linda said she

could not say because she and her co-owner had only had their bed and breakfast open for

less than a year. Tom stated that he provided the detailed information on his website for

people with disabilities because he wanted to, and Denise said, "We are just trying to

advertise." Linda responded, "It is very important because elderly people do stay with

us, and we want to provide that information to them."

Both Linda and Denise said that no one had been consulted about their accessible

accommodations or marketing to people with disabilities on their website. Tom said that

he consulted his contractor for the house. He added, "Guests with disabilities who have









stayed with us have provided suggestions to me, and I have made those improvements."

All three participants told the primary researcher that they had only positive response

from guests about their accessible accommodations. Lastly, Tom and Denise had not

heard of any guests with disabilities being recommended by previous guests with

disabilities. Tom also said, "I don't know why because they seemed satisfied." When

Linda was asked the question about receiving guests with disabilities via word of mouth,

she replied, "Absolutely, definitely, very common!" Finally, the last question asked if

participants wished to share any further information. Linda responded by saying, "I think

every place should support them. It is very necessary. Those that are not accessible

should become so just because it's the right think to do."

Results reveal that each of the three bed and breakfasts has had different

experiences with people with disabilities. The one common response was that they had

all received positive comments from people with disabilities. This indicates that when

bed and breakfast owners make their property accessible, people with disabilities are

appreciative of this step.














CHAPTER 5
DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION

The purpose of this study was to look at bed and breakfast websites and measure

the quality of the websites based on five domains. These domains included user

friendliness, site attractiveness, marketing efficiency, and technical quality. The fifth

domain was an addition to the literature and specific to understanding the quality of

information provided to people with disabilities. Areas covered in this chapter will

include 1) summary of procedures and treatment of the data, 2) summary of findings, 3)

conclusions, 4) discussion and implications, and 5) recommendations for future research.

Summary of Procedures and Treatment of Data

An advanced search on Bedandbreakfast.com for people with disabilities listed 87

bed and breakfasts with these accommodations. One researcher started at the top of the

list and the other at the bottom of the list. A scorecard originally designed by Kline, et al.

(2004) was revised and used to assess the websites. Specifically, an item called spell

check was removed from the technical quality domain and marketing to people with

disabilities domain was added. After removing some of these listings for various reasons,

77 bed and breakfasts were left to be analyzed. The two researchers conducted their

website reviews on various days from April 9 to May 3, 2005.

The second part of the study involved a qualitative questionnaire administered to

the owners/managers of three bed and breakfasts. These bed and breakfasts were selected

because they had provided the most detailed information on their websites for people

with disabilities. The survey had questions about their marketing to people with









disabilities and their response from this population of guests. On a July afternoon, the

primary researcher phoned each of the three bed and breakfasts and had the

owner/operator respond to questions centered around including people with disabilities

on their website.

A prepared script introducing the study was used and permission was asked in

responding to 10 questions. Once they agreed to participate, they were asked a series of

questions related to their motivations to provide accessible accommodations, marketing

strategies, and the response of their guests with disabilities to the accessible

accommodations.

Summary of Findings

Research Objective 1: To Profile the Sample of Florida Bed and Breakfasts from
BedandBreakfast.com

The researcher found that bed and breakfasts that market themselves as accessible

to people with disabilities through BedandBreakfast.com are most often located in the

North East region of Florida. This region includes Jacksonville, Fernandina

Beach/Amelia Island, and St. Augustine. Bed and breakfasts were found second most

common in the South East region of Florida. Ft. Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, and Key

West are found in this region.

The majority of bed and breakfasts were built between 1901 and 1923. However, it

is important to point out that 25 of the bed and breakfast websites did not list when it was

built. Only 18 bed and breakfasts listed a period of restoration on their website. These

all occurred in 1990 or after with the Americans with Disabilities Act being passed in

1990. The researcher speculates that with these restorations, perhaps, owners and builders









believed it was important to comply with the ADA and included this information on the

website.

Most bed and breakfasts in the accessibility search have six or more rooms. This is

significant because the ADA states that a bed and breakfast with six or more rooms must

be accessible to people with disabilities. This is because it is considered a place of

lodging and must accommodate people with hearing, visual, and physical disabilities

(United States Department of Justice, 2002).

Seventy-one of the websites had their rates listed. Overall, rates for a bed and

breakfast are between $55 and $608. This shows a large range in prices. Only eight

websites specified whether the owners lived on site or not. Of those who mentioned this,

more than half did not live on site. Perhaps, owners do not think this information is

important to the potential guest.

Research Objective 2: To Modify and Test a Revised Scorecard with the Addition
of Information on Marketing to People with Disabilities

The scorecard was composed of five separate domains to assess overall quality of

the website. The first domain, user friendliness, had five items that were assessed. Of

those items, websites most often met three of the five. The items that were frequently

missing were not providing a search option and not having a site map or index available.

Site attractiveness was the second domain. Most often, all six of the items were

included on the websites. Site attractiveness contained the most subjective questions for

the researchers) to respond to. Questions relating to whether the "...background effective

and appealing?" or "Does the use of color improve the visual appeal of the site?" Thus,

because this was a dichotomous response (yes/no) it was more likely that the response

was a "yes" thus driving up the frequency of yeses on the scorecard.









The scorecard's third domain was marketing effectiveness. This section originally

had 16 items. This was decreased to 11 items after the inter-rater reliability test. Florida

Bed and Breakfast websites scored less than five out of 11 most of the time. In terms of

marketing, this indicates that bed and breakfasts may not be making the most use of their

awards, testimonials, and packages information. These are simple steps that could

improve the bed and breakfast's reach to potential consumers.

Technical quality was the fourth section of the scorecard. These items were

assessed by NetMechanics.com, a free service used to test the quality of websites. Only

one Website repeatedly returned errors on two of the four items. Overall, achieving a 3

or 4 out of 4 was a common score. A total of 35 bed and breakfast websites scored four

out of four. All of the websites met at least two of the items.

The section for marketing to people with disabilities originally had 10 items and

was reduced to three items based on the inter-rated reliability test. The three items

remaining were: (1) if there was a standardized wheelchair graphic, (2) if a detailed

description of accommodations was present, and (3) if audio was present. Having a

standardized wheelchair graphic was a suggestion for letting others know a bed and

breakfast is accessible which was provided by the authors of So-You Want to Be an

Innkeeper (Davies et al., 1996). One bed and breakfast had the wheelchair symbol. In

Davies et al. book, they suggested that the wheelchair symbol should be blue like the

ADA one. The one wheelchair symbol located was instead black and less than a square

centimeter in size. Davies et al. also suggested that accommodations be specifically

described beyond the terms accessible or handicapped equipped. Examples of this would

be staying that the toilet seat is raised or that a wheelchair ramp leads up to the entryway









of the house. Only six of the 71 websites had anything specific listed and only four had

more than a couple of words.

Lastly, all websites were checked for sound. Audio was found on eight websites.

However, in all cases, the audio was music, not a voice describing accommodations or

rates.

Research Objective 3: To Assess The Relative Quality Of Florida Bed And
Breakfast's Based On Aspects Of A) Technical Quality, B) User Friendliness, C)
Site Attractiveness, D) Marketing Effectiveness, E) Accessibility Issues

The strongest quality of the bed and breakfast websites was the site attractiveness

component as was also found in the study of Kline et al. (2004). As previously

mentioned, this may be a result of ambiguous questions that forced the evaluator to make

his/her own judgment about the items. For instance, one item referred to the pictures on

the website being of a good quality. However, no definition was in place as to what was

a good quality of picture. The weakest component of Florida bed and breakfasts was the

marketing to people with disabilities section. This is result of most bed and breakfasts

that are accessible not actually marketing this.

Research Objective 4: To Examine The Relationship Between Quality Of Florida
Bed And Breakfast's Websites and A) Year Built, B) Last Restored, C) Location,
D) Lowest and Highest Rate, E) Size.

When the year built was examined in relation to the five domains, a relationship

existed between those bed and breakfasts built in 1900 or before and marketing to people

with disabilities. This is contradictory to intuition. It was thought possibly that those bed

and breakfasts built in more modem times would be more accessible and in turn would

market more of this information. However, older historic homes were more likely to

include information for people with disabilities.









The researcher had assumed that there would be a significant relationship between

marketing to people with disabilities and year restored. The ADA was enacted in 1990.

It was thought that those built a bit later would provide more marketing because they

would have restorations that matched the requirements of the ADA. No relationship

exited between year of restoration and the five quality domains.

No relationship was revealed between location of the bed and breakfast and the five

quality domains. Perhaps this makes sense. Logically there is no reason that a bed and

breakfast from the north would be more inclined to include quality information than a bed

and breakfast from the south. There was no statistical significance found between

number of rooms and the five quality domains. This is interesting in that it was

hypothesized that that those with more rooms would have a higher quality than those that

had less. This would be because those bed and breakfasts would be operating a more

commercial business. They would realize the benefit of having a strong Website.

Research Objective 5: To Utilize A Qualitative Survey as A Follow-up to the Bed
And Breakfast Owners of the Three Best Websites Inquiring About Motivations,
Marketing Techniques, and Guest Responses

Responses for most of the qualitative questions varied from each bed and breakfast.

Two of the three surveyed chose to make their bed and breakfasts accessible while one

purchased it that way. The researcher believes that with many bed and breakfasts being

historic, new owners will have to renovate them in order to make them accessible. In

terms of advertising accessible accommodation in other locations besides their website,

the bed and breakfast that used a variety of outlets also had the most guests with

disabilities in the last year, 50. The researcher noted a concern when one of the owners

said he was nervous to market more because of what might happen if people found him









less accessible than they desired. The researcher thought this might be a possibility when

legal action is common place.

None of those interviewed felt that their revenue had increased as a result of being

accessible. The researcher had hoped that bed and breakfasts were reaching enough

people with disabilities but this was not the case. All three had chosen to advertise their

accessible accommodations to reach people with disabilities. None of the respondents

consulted someone about what information they placed on their website though Notarius

and Brewer (2001) suggest that owners do consult someone. They also suggested that

owners confer with someone about their accommodations for people with disabilities.

Only one respondent said that he had an expert contractor and people with disabilities

who provided him with guidance. All respondents said that guests with disabilities who

had stayed with them had all provided positive feedback. Finally, one respondent

reported having great word of mouth among guests with disabilities. The other two were

not aware of any word of mouth referrals. The researcher believes that a person who was

referred via word of mouth might not mention that the referrer had disabilities.

Conclusions

Based upon the findings of this study, the following conclusions are presented.

Most bed and breakfasts have six or more rooms. The ADA requires these properties to

be accessible to people with disabilities.

Rates for bed and breakfasts vary greatly. Thus, bed and breakfasts are affordable

to people with disabilities.

Once listing themselves in an online bed and breakfast directory as being

accessible, bed and breakfasts do not follow through and provide this information on their









websites. This leaves people with disabilities without detailed information, unless they

make the extra effort of phoning or e-mailing the inn.

Bed and breakfast websites are unlikely to have audio that includes verbal

descriptions of the property. Additionally, it is improbable that they will have the

international blue wheelchair symbol on their Web page. Few sites have specific

information about their accommodations.

Websites are most likely to be attractive in appearance and least likely to market

their accessibility. Thus, owners focus more attention on the attractiveness of their site

then the descriptive content of it.

Bed and breakfast accommodations can be important to people with disabilities.

Typically, they provide positive feedback about their visit.

Discussion and Implications

Though different in several aspects, the bed and breakfast website of Kline et al.

(2004) bed and breakfast website study and this one have similar results. Primarily, the

study by Kline et al. utilized a different scorecard in the final version than this study did.

This study did not include an item in the technical quality domain to check website

spelling and did not include the fifth domain for marketing to people with disabilities.

The study by Kline et al. used an overall Likert scale at the end of each domain in

combination with the dichotomous items of each domain rather than merely a

dichotomous response category.

Kline et al. reviewed 19 bed and breakfast websites whereas this study provides the

results of 77 bed and breakfasts websites. Additionally, Kline et al. utilized a different

test of inter-rater reliability. Since they used nine raters, they were able to test inter-rater

reliability with Kendall's Coefficient of Concordance, used with three or more raters









(Kline et al., 2004) This study only utilized two raters and tested inter-rater reliability.

Thus, questions where the two raters differed by five or more responses were removed

from the overall score card. This study did not have a Likert scale after each domain,

only dichotomous questions. Ultimately, the study by Kline et al. had 41 dichotomous

items, and this study had 29.

Nonetheless, in both Kline et al.'s study and this one, websites scored highest in

website quality for site attractiveness. Though this domain is subjective in nature, it also

shows that innkeepers are more concerned with appearance than content or description.

Innkeepers provide more detail in the area of background, pictures, and font than other

areas. Additionally, in Kline et al.'s study, the domain receiving the lowest average score

for quality was marketing effectiveness. In this study, the domain receiving the lowest

average score was marketing to people with disabilities, followed by marketing

effectiveness. Both studies revealed that websites had a low quality of marketing

effectiveness. As Kline et al. mentioned in their results, this further mirrors the findings

of Morrison et al. 1999. Morrison et al.'s study concluded that small hotels were not

effectively using basic marketing principles to promote themselves through their website.

It is interesting that more than five years later this phenomenon is still true.

Bed and breakfasts have an occupancy rate 14 % lower than hotels (Lanier et al.,

2000). Through website marketing, bed and breakfasts have an ability to improve their

occupancy rate. In this study, the highest possible score was a 29. Nonetheless, on

average, bed and breakfasts scored a 16.2, with a low of 11 and a high of 21. There are

points of improvement that each bed and breakfast can attain. Internet users have access

to websites 24 hours a day; a well designed website can attract their attention. When a









website is poorly designed or does not provide necessary information, Internet users are

likely to go elsewhere.

Moreover, practical books such as Open Your Own Bed & Breakfast (Notarius and

Brewer, 2001) provide specific information to bed and breakfast owners on how to

market themselves through the Internet. Notarius and Brewer state that website users

want to be able to easily execute a search and understand the material provided.

Additionally, viewers want to see exactly at what type of place they will be staying,

specifically though 3600 pictures. Lastly, website users like to check room availability

on-line and even make reservations there (Notarius and Brewer). Frequently, bed and

breakfast websites in this study did not even follow these few guidelines put forth by the

authors in their book.

Bed and breakfast owners have the ability to target market to people with

disabilities by providing easily accessed, detailed information on their websites. Over a

two year period, 22.2 million individuals traveled (Blum, 2003). This a large segment

which bed and breakfasts can address. Improving occupancy rate leads to better profit

for the bed and breakfasts.

In So-You Want to Be an Innkeeper Davies et al. (1996) provide simple steps for

accommodating people with disabilities. This practical text can also provide insight as to

necessary preparation for innkeepers. Innkeepers should be conscious of their attitude

when interacting with people with disabilities, being open and inviting. The authors

suggest that if an innkeeper purchases an inn that does not already meet the ADA that

they should ask for a price adjustment. In this book, Davies et al. describe in detail some

of the items of ADA that apply to bed and breakfasts such as bathrooms, bedrooms, and









elevators. Lastly, the authors suggest that an accessibility consultant be contacted to

review the bed and breakfast property (Davies et al.). However, results of the qualitative

show that none of the three individuals interviewed had consulted an accessibility

consultant.

Simple steps can be taken by bed and breakfasts to improve their marketing in

general as well as to people with disabilities. As seen from this study, the average bed

and breakfast scored 13 points lower than the highest possible score. Providing better

description of accommodations and benefits and having easy navigational tools will help

a website to be more functional to users. In addition, information for people with

disabilities should be easily located on the home page. This could be a link to the

information or the actual information. Minimal steps can make a bed and breakfast

website more appealing and helpful.

The author of this study suggests the following for bed and breakfast websites and

property, (1) The website should be easily searchable for people with disabilities. They

(like other guests) prefer to seek information without hassle. It can be more convenient

for them to contact a chain hotel were it is likely that accessibility exists than to spend

time looking for the necessary information on a bed and breakfast website. (2)

Specifically, a link on the home page entitled people with disabilities should be provided.

Once directed to this information, details should be provided on specific types of

accessibility. Simply saying that a bed and breakfast is "accessible" does not provide

detailed information. Guests with disabilities likely want to know whether an alarm

clock with strobe light or a wheelchair roll-in shower is available. (3) In terms of the bed

and breakfast, the author would suggest that the property met the ADA requirements of









accessibility. (4) Additionally, as suggested by Davies et al., the researcher would

suggest that a consultant be asked to review the property for suggestions in barrier

removal. The researcher would suggest interacting with some people with disabilities to

be familiar with their preferences. Being at ease around guests with disabilities will

make them feel more comfortable, and thus more likely to return or provide positive

word of mouth.

This study has shown that bed and breakfast websites do not adequately market

themselves to people with disabilities and can also use improvement in the other areas

studied. Through using available texts and professional resources, owners can create a

website that better reaches potential guests. This study should encourage bed and

breakfast owners to take a closer look at their websites and make improvement where

possible.

Recommendations for Future Research

In this study, a range was provided for rates at bed and breakfasts. However, these

were not the rates for the room meant to accommodate a person with disabilities.

Research should look at how much accessible rooms cost and if that is affordable to

people with disabilities. In reason, Darcy (2002) said that accessible hotels tend to be

more upscale; maybe, people with disabilities need or are looking for more cost efficient

lodging when they travel.

This study looked mainly at the bed and breakfasts and their websites. The other

side should be a point of focus. Further investigation should look into if people with

disabilities want to stay at bed and breakfasts. Also, research should review how often

people with disabilities currently stay at bed and breakfasts.









Bed and breakfast owners who do not provide this information on their websites

should be researched. Specifically, motivations as to why they chose to select they were

accessible on BedandBreakfast.com and why they do not place detailed information on

their website. Owners should be asked whether had a consultant, builder, or specialist

review their property for accessibility.

Websites that describe their accommodations should be visited to check these

depictions. This could be done with or without the knowledge of the innkeeper and the

identity of the bed and breakfast could be kept anonymous. This could determine if they

are really accessible or not.

Davies et al. (1996) suggests that innkeepers hire someone to design and to

maintain their website. Further investigation should include if the website was

professionally created. Also, if professional, information should be collected on if a

consultation was provided in terms of content and marketing.

Studies have not recently been conducted on bed and breakfasts and the Internet as

a form of attracting guests. Future research should include determining how important

their website is to their overall occupancy rate. Perhaps, even with the increase in

Internet usage, bed and breakfasts are still marketed through word of mouth or chambers

of commerce.

Research should look into properties already choose to target market to a different

segment such as those with special dietary needs or gay and lesbian travelers. Within

their business plan, owners may establish that they want to target market a segment other

than people with disabilities






67


A qualitative study could be performed that reached a larger sample of owners.

More of a consensus might be seen among answers if there were more participants.

















APPENDIX A
BED AND BREAKFAST WEBSITE EVALUATION


B&B Name:

Location:

Website address:

Number of Rooms:

Date built:


Last restored:


Lowest rate: Highest rate:


User friendliness
YES NO
Is a site content search function available?
Is a site map or index available?
Is a home button available from all pages?
Direct email contact clearly available?
Mailing address clearly available?
Telephone number clearly available?
Fax number clearly available?
Clear and effective navigation tools on each page?
Limited vertical and horizontal scrolling?



Site Attractiveness
YES NO
Are pictures or images available to reinforce text content?
Are the pages clean and uncluttered?
Is the text clear and readable?
Is there a sufficient contrast between background and text?
Is the background effective and appealing?
Does the use of color improve the visual appeal of the site?
Are the photos and images of a good quality?
Is there an effective use of web page space?
Are the hyperlinks easy to read?











Marketing Effectiveness
YES NO
Awards information available?
Is Testimonial information available?
Is a Calendar of events available?
Are Hyperlinks to sponsor/advertisements available?
Is there a logo reflected on the website?
Is a mission statement available?
Are house pictures available?
Are room pictures available?
Is a virtual tour available?
Are the rates available?
Can you make a reservation online?
Are special packages offered?
Are special promotions addressed?
Are special target markets addressed (children, pets, ADA, etc.)?
Does text describe uniqueness of the B&B (architect, historical, etc.)?
Does text describe innkeepers or owners?
Are local activities and events listed on site?
Are there links to activities and area attractions?


Technical quality: (by NetMechanic.com)
YES NO
Link Check
HTML Check
Browser
Compatibility
Load Time


Analysis on marketing to people with disabilities
Location of information: home page 1st subsequent page
(check all that apply) 2nd subsequent page 3rd+ subsequent page

YES NO
Any information about accommodations for people with
disabilities?
Standardized wheelchair graphic?
Appropriately vocabulary used?
Description of accommodations?
E-mail address listed on page about accessible
accommodations?
Phone number listed on page about accessible accommodations?















APPENDIX B
QUALITATIVE BED AND BREAKFAST SURVEY



Bed and Breakfast Name:

Name of person:

Title of person (owner, operator, etc):

1. Why did you choose to make your bed and breakfast accessible?




2. Did you make the house accessible or was it already that way?




3. Besides providing information on your website for people with disabilities, what steps
have you taken to make your property accessible for them?




4. In the last year, please estimate how many people with disabilities have stayed with
you.




5. Has your revenue/bookings improved because of your accessible accommodations?




6. What caused you to provide detailed information about your accommodations on your
Website?









7. Have you consulted a person with disabilities or an expert about disabilities to review
your accommodations and/or marketing technique via your Website? Have you
consulted any other type of source with regards to accommodating people with
disabilities? If so, what types?




8. Have you had any response from your guests with disabilities, positive or negative?




9. Have you found that guests with disabilities have recommended you via word of
mouth to other individuals with disabilities?


10. Is there any other information you would like to share?















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BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH

Felicia Ann Rogers was born on January 3, 1982, in Lakeland, Florida, and she

lived there her entire life prior to moving to Gainesville. She is the daughter of Dan and

Sharon Rogers and has one sister, Lori. Felicia moved to Gainesville in 2000 to pursue

her bachelor's degree in commercial recreation and hospitality management at the

University of Florida. During her last semester of undergraduate work, she completed an

internship with the Hilton University of Florida Conference Center as a sales and catering

intern.

After completing her bachelor's degree, she continued schooling with a similar

focus for graduate coursework at the University of Florida. Specifically, Felicia chose to

focus her master's degree in tourism marketing. She enjoyed taking classes related to

ecotourism, heritage tourism, and marketing. She took the most pleasure in attending the

National Outdoor Recreation and Rural Consortium in the Great Smoky Mountains

National Park. It was the first hand experiences with tourism, nature and history that she

liked the most. Felicia is now graduating with her Master of Science in Recreational

Studies degree from the Department of Tourism, Recreation, and Sport Management.