As the country’s official trade body, the UK’s B&B Association has helped hundreds of independent accommodation providers with all aspects of running their business. By providing practical help and advice when dealing with day to day operations, and representing owners’ interests with government, the Association has gained the respect of both businesses and policy makers. We are therefore very pleased to welcome the Association’s Chair, David Weston, to the first of a series of Trade Talks where we discuss with him the hot topics affecting the hospitality sector in the UK and beyond.
As well as catching up on many recent changes at Westminster, for the first of our chats we asked David about tourism taxes, registration schemes and financial support available to businesses. We also posed the questions that we know many hosts and hoteliers want to know the answers to today:
• With rising costs and fewer visitors in the colder months, should I close my property this winter?
Sadly, you can’t tell paying guests to just put on another jumper and then turn down the heating to cut costs. Guests will rightly expect to be warm and cosy! But if you close, you’ll have zero revenue. There are still winter bookings out there and we discuss how local events can offer opportunities to fill your rooms.
• How should I be marketing myself at this time of year?Making sure your images are appropriate to the season, with frosty and snowy winter scenes (or a warming log fire if you have one) is an obvious way to attract winter bookings. Find out what else you can be doing, including tapping in to the health and wellness market, one of the big current travel trends.
• What should I be reviewing from last year?The changing of the year is always a good time to take a look backwards as well as forwards. We talk about the key metrics you need to be looking at to inform your pricing and activities for the coming months.
• Where can I find new guests?Hear how local businesses, schools and hospitals can be a good source of out of season bookings. They are often looking for temporary accommodation for visitors or relocated staff all year round.
• How can a trade association help?
Find out how a trade association such as the B&B Association, PASC, ASSC, ASAP and UK Hospitality can inform, support and represent their members. They are well worth joining to get your voice heard in the wider industry.
Catch up with the full conversation with David here. You’ll find out there is plenty to keep you busy in the winter and these may be far from quiet months!
If you would like to submit a question for a future trade talk, email us at [email protected]
Image: PJ Photography / Shutterstock