B&B News welcomes contributions from those involved in the hospitality trade about issues affecting the industry today.
We would also be interested to know if you are doing something special like celebrating an award, anniversary or simply give us your views and gossip!
Photographs are welcome and will be returned.
Some recent letters to B&B News are reproduced below,
your news and views are welcome too!
Dear B&B News
I just wanted to say that I think the magazine is going from strength to strength. Now, one has to set aside an hour or more to read it. There is some really good stuff to get your teeth into! And it really does focus the mind on matters such as the upside of the business, which in our case, is living the green life.
Taking last month’s issue as an example, Bob Salmons’ article on Traceability was good and I loved the Holben family’s chicken story! Hugh Caven's column is great and very entertaining.
has just become so much more diverse and more topical with something of interest for everyone - at whatever stage of “B&B-ing” you are at!
Dear B&B News
I recently booked a couple of nights B&B at a farm in Corston, near Malmesbury for my elderly mother, aunt and myself. When I offered to give my credit card details, to secure the booking, I was told that it was not necessary. However, on arrival at the farm (albeit a little later than I had anticipated), the proprietor greeted us rudely and abruptly and denied ever speaking to me!
Feeling somewhat ‘shell shocked’, we spent the next two hours looking for a place to stay. The silver lining came when we found two of your subscribers, Val & Nigel Ogilvie, at Thurleston Lodge in Corsham – where we stayed for our little break and it is somewhere that I would recommend very highly.
Susan M Vickers,
Thank you for the latest edition of the B & B News.
I read the ‘Legal Matters’ article about smoke-free legislation and discovered that the sign for Wales, is different to the English sign and that I also had to display a no smoking sign. So I down loaded the appropriate sign and it is now on display. I was not aware of the possibility of being fined for not displaying such a sign.
Thank you, to the author of Legal Matters - Nigel Lea!
I have just had installed the mains smoke alarm system to comply with the fire regulations. I opted for the mains radio link type to be installed to avoid wiring problems and speed of installation. This method was successful apart from a small commissioning problem which was over come.
My only hope is that I am now complying with the appropriate legislation and that I am not going to be caught out by some further bureaucratic nonsense!
Thank you to the B & B news for looking after my business.
A Gem of an Idea!
Dear B&B News
The “cluster effect” is a well known business phenomenon and there are many examples where groups of similar businesses benefit from close proximity of those that could be seen as “competition”.
We formed our B&B group, ‘Gems of Midlothian’ in 2000 and in the 1st year, purely by sending overspill to each other, we gained an EXTRA 977 bed nights.
This represents an increased turnover for the group of approximately £30,000 and all it costs was the price of a few phone calls. This also increases the revenue going into the local economy with the extra spend on entry to visitor attractions, food, taxi hire, hairdressers, kilt hire etc.
We have now taken things a stage farther and leave our vacancy sign up till all the local accommodation providers are full. When someone comes to the door and we have no vacancies we take the time to phone round the “competition” till we find a vacancy. Helping visitors this year will hopefully lead to referrals in the future.
It is the same with e-mail and phone enquiries, they are passed round most of the accommodation providers in the area. Each of us uses different forms of advertising, so enquiries are coming from a much wider area. Yes, it does take up time, but the proof is in the revenue generated. We were up 19% in June, 17% in July and it looks like we will be up about 8% in August.
All this gives us the confidence to maximise pricing when we know we are going to be busy. We have proved that if accommodation providers are prepared to work together they can all be winners.
Dear B&B News
In the last 5 days we've received five e-mails from five different addresses from what seem like agencies who are looking for accommodation for their "delegates".
They may offer to pay in full by cheque or credit card and the potential booking is a long one and they are often seeking up to 6 rooms at a time. Potentially it looks good especially as they are enquiring about dates, not only September and October as well.
Co-incidentally if one compares the e-mails quite often the same client's name appears several times but one way of distinguishing them from a genuine enquiry is that the grammar is appalling and "I" is written as "i".
They will enquire what a B+B has available and when told that no consecutive nights are available they will then enquire what is available.
If you have the patience to list what you do have available they will then ignore it and go back to their original demand for 6 rooms!
When I finally got a reply and agreement over dates and rooms they then asked for 2,100 Euros up front to help them process their tickets with the travel agents. This only confirmed to us that e-mails like this are scams.
Have any other B+B owners experienced similar problems?
Editor’s note: I suggested to Heather that she should send this information to UKAPAS, (the United Kingdom Accommodation Providers Alert Scheme (UKAPAS) website - http://www.uk-apas.org.uk/
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