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Congressional House Committee Hearing – Let your Voice be Heard

Congressional House Committee Hearing
Investigating Big Tech’s Impact on Small Business

Rustic White Windmill and old BarnDo you ever feel as though you are jousting at windmills? As a passionate supporter of our industry, I spend a good deal of my time gathering data, networking, educating, and running to ground current or potential issues that may affect your ability to maintain and grow your business.

While there are some in our community who may misconstrue our motives, the truth is, we care deeply about this industry, therefore we will continue to dig and uncover any negative outside forces on your behalf.

Our Advantage Plan clients already know which of these outside forces are impacting your day-to-day business and what you can do to manage them.

One powerful force is Google. For decades, we have been tracking Google’s impact on how individual Innkeepers and Associations do business. Ever since Google first released GMB (Google My Business) in June 2014, your ability to get free organic traffic and bookings has been on a downward trajectory. Innkeepers have been forced to pay to play in the Local and Travel world, either by using an OTA, or by purchasing advertising from Google just to stay in business. And Associations simply do not have the power they did before Google created their Local and Travel offerings. 

So what can be done?

Thanks to Greg Dugal of Hospitality Maine, I was able to share on last month's Club 60 how I had connected with Congressional House Majority Counsel on Telecom, Meagan Sunn, in September of this year to discuss growing concerns about Google's impact on the travel realm. During that time, I was also introduced to Allyson Cavaretta. Allyson is part of the owning family at the Meadowmere Resort in Ogunquit, Maine, an independent hotel founded in 1983. She has served on the Ogunquit Chamber of Commerce Board and is a member of the University of Notre Dame Business Council, of which she is also a graduate. She sits on the Hospitality Maine Board of Directors, Government Affairs, and has received formal recognition from the Maine State Legislature, of which she has been a candidate for State Representative.

Standing up for change!

Allyson will be appearing before the Congressional House Committee on Small Business on November 14, 2019.

Allyson will provide a sneak-peak of her presentation to our industry on Friday, November 1, 2019 via a webinar at 11:00 AM (PDT), Noon (MDT), 1:00 PM (CDT), and 2:00 PM (EDT). If you would like to attend the webinar, please register below.

Finally, there is a way to have your voice heard!

We need your individual Inn data to support Allyson as she brings forth the issues affecting all small lodging businesses. Specifically, we need your Google Analytic numbers that speak to the loss in organic traffic in 2019 vs. 2018. This data will be presented anonymously in a written report that Allyson will be providing to the Committee (only indicating the city and state of the Inn’s location). The more data we have, the more weight and credence it will give to our concerns being presented.

How can you share your data with us?

If you are an Advantage Plan Level 3 or 4 client, your project manager will gather this data for you. Please contact your project manager to discuss any questions or concerns.

If you are an Advantage Plan Level 1 or 2 client and would like Acorn to pull your data for you, please fill out the following Share Data form below and we will include your information in the report.

Level 1/2 Share Data

If you are a PAYG (Pay as You Go) client, or not currently an Acorn client, you can contribute your data by watching the following video and then completing the subsequent survey with the information you have gathered.

PAYG Button

Association Leaders

Please get this word out to your member inns. You can do this by referring them to the BookDirect.Education post on this topic. Ask them to watch the instructional video above on how to obtain and share their Google Analytics data for Allyson to include in her written documentation. The more people who share, the more strength our concerns will have.

Lisa Kolb
President and Windmill Jouster
Acorn Internet Services, Inc.

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