What does Brexit mean for B&B and small hotel owners?

27th June 2016

In last week’s referendum the UK made the momentous decision to leave the European Union.

This decision was in line with our recent poll of over 1,000 independent UK properties who were 56/44 in favour of leaving.

However, Brexit has had immediate consequences for the economy and the government. David Cameron has resigned, Nicola Sturgeon is calling for another referendum in Scotland and the pound has slumped to 30 year lows against the dollar and fallen against the Euro as many economists predict a period of volatility and a possible recession.


But this all sounds a bit abstract! So we decided to try and outline some of the more practical implications of Brexit. Here are three considerations for you:

It’s now more expensive for Brits to travel abroad:

With the pound falling rapidly against all major currencies including the Dollar and Euro it’s now more expensive for British holiday makers to visit the continent. This means we may see a rise in Brits holidaying within the UK. There is also a strong risk of inflation in the UK making imported goods more expensive and squeezing people’s budgets, so your customers will be cost conscious.

What can you do about it: There are plenty of amazing holidays to be had in all parts of the UK but you need to tell your story well!  So make sure that your website and your profile on other travel sites really put your key selling points forward, ideally with amazingly good photography.  Also, consider offering special rates to family groups staying for a week or longer to encourage them to book with you, remember, they will be cost sensitive and this could secure the booking!

It’s now cheaper for foreign tourists to visit the UK:

The weak pound means Americans and Europeans will be able to come here cheaply and their money will go further, with our rich history and strong tourism industry we could see a boom in foreign tourism.

What can you do about it: This is where you really need travel agency websites like Expedia, Booking.com and LateRooms, they will market you across the globe and make sure you reach those international guests.  And, make sure you have the ability to take payments from abroad (credit cards or PayPal) so you can accept and charge those international bookings easily.  Consider giving these travel agency sites some special offers over the summer. If the pound is low or decreasing in value, it may cost you nothing.

About the EU regulation:

There are two ways to leave the EU, Britain can do so quickly and unilaterally via an act of Parliament or negotiate its way out using “Article 50” of the Lisbon treaty. Most politicians and pundits believe we will take the latter route, as it is better for economic stability and a negotiated exit will be better for all parties.  As such it will probably take Britain about two years to organise our exit from the EU and during that time, all current EU regulations remain in place, so there is no need to worry about changing working practices just yet. This is also true for anyone employing EU migrant workers: There will be few changes to the rules in the short term.

There are of course many uncertainties now, not least of which an obvious vacuum in the political landscape as we wait to see which leadership team will take UK out of the EU and, most critically, stabilise our market economy. But there are also some great opportunities for the UK’s fantastic B&B’s and Independent properties to take advantage of the current near term market. So good luck and please do get in touch to find out how we can help you tell your story online!