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Bed & Breakfasts in Italy: The case of the Emilia-Romagna Region

di Teresa Branzaglia

Alma Mater Studiorum
UniversitĂ  di Bologna
School of Economics Management and Statistics
Campus Rimini
Second Cycle Degree Programme in Tourism Economics and Management
Relatore: Manuela Presutti
Anno Accademico: 2015/2016

3.2.6 - Competitor Analysis

There are about 600 non-hotel structures (Bed & Breakfasts, campsites, farmhouses, hostels, holiday houses, etc.) in the Province of Ravenna, and around 300 in the municipality. As for B&Bs, there are about 300 in the Province of Ravenna and about 200 in its municipality. We only consider as competitors the accommodation structures located in the countryside that target rural tourism and offer our type of service.

As we introduced before in the “Industry Analysis” part, we count 14 B&Bs, 4 “affittacamere”, and 1 hotel within 20 kilometers from our position (Figure 10).

Figure 10 B&Bs, Hotel, and “Affittacamere” within 20 km from Villa Teresa

B&B in Italy: the case of the Emilia Romagna - Immagine 18

The hotel (San Giorgio) can be ignored because it is located in the city of Forlì and it has nothing to do with peace and relaxation. With regard to the “Affittacamere”, the only one that offers a service similar in quality to ours is “Podere Angela Schiavina”, but we differentiate from it thanks to our greater flexibility concerning check-in and check-out hours, our bigger garden, bigger pool, tennis/volleyball court, shuttle service to pick the guests up at the train station/s, and a more competitive price.

Moving on to the other Bed and Breakfasts in the area of analysis, they are 14 (Table 9) and, assuming that it is important to have one private bathroom for every room, the ones that satisfy this criterion are 9. Out of these 9, only 4 have the same number of bedrooms, beds, and bathrooms (3 – 6 – 3) as we do, which is the maximum allowed from the Emilia-Romagna law, and the size of bedrooms is between 14 and 20 m2 (ours are all between 21 and 30 m2). It is also fundamental to have a good knowledge of the English language, which only 8 have. In “Agliofata”, “Abracadabra”, and “Prisca” the owners also speak a second foreign language. “Agliofata” has a little pool too, and so do “Tramontodivino”, “Chery”, and “Papaveri e Papere”. “Abracadabra”, in Gambellara, is the only one that has a proper swimming pool.

Parking is a free service included in all of their offerings. As for dogs, they are allowed in most structures, but often only on condition that they are a small size. Bicycles for the guests are an exclusive priority of “Prisca”. About the prices, the average is 68 euros, therefore 3 euros more with respect to our double-room price. Lastly, only 2 out of these B&Bs are accessible for people with disabilities.

Table 9 B&Bs in the area of Villa Teresa

B&B in Italy: the case of the Emilia Romagna - Immagine 19

Our B&B will include all the services in the table, no one excluded. It will allow dogs, even big ones, it will offer free parking (garages), a big pool, a barbecue, some bicycles at guests’ disposal, and most importantly, it will be accessible. Owners are able to speak fluent English, Spanish, and French. Besides the services that competitors offer, we will add some more, such as the volleyball court and the shuttle service (upon previous request).

In order to check for the presence of an accommodation structure that provides all the quality services we provide, we applied all the filters that correspond to the characteristics of our B&B on bedandbreakfast.it and, expanding the search to all types of non-hotel structures and to all the municipalities, we found one result: the farmhouse and winery “La Sabbiona” (Faenza), which is accessible, admits dogs (little), presents 9 rooms, a big pool, and a parking space. Plus, the owner speaks English. We can say that we operate in the same business, but we are not focusing our strategies on the same market niche; in fact, their main target is not nature lovers but rather farm and food & wine lovers. Moreover, we do not consider “La Sabbiona” as a direct competitor due to the distance between us (27 km).