In recent years the B&B sector has been plagued by reports that the industry was set to decline as the number of budget hotels increased and a new trend of home rentals emerged.
Journalists persisted to plant seeds of doubt among B&B owners and guests alike as to whether there was a future for the traditional guest house in today’s market. Well, it turns out they couldn’t have been more mistaken!
As UK staycations have continued to rise, B&B’s have not only held their own in the market but have steadily grown year-on-year.
With the Lake District being one of the most visited tourist destinations of the UK, we met with Cumbria Tourism Business Development Manager, Sarah Davies, to find out what the current state of play is for B&Bs in the area.
"Many of our members are small guesthouses and B&Bs, and they are a vital part of Cumbria’s £2.72billion tourism economy." says Sarah
"Often family-run, they offer a level of personal service which visitors appreciate, as well as providing genuinely unique accommodation throughout the county, which many people will come back and enjoy time and time again. Occupancy rates for serviced accommodation in the Lake District, have been steadily increasing over the last few years."
"Even in 2016, where there was a difficult start to the year post-floods, with ongoing road and access issues, occupancy rates still increased marginally on the previous year. In 2017, serviced accommodation room occupancy ran around 1% up on 2016, so an ongoing upward trend, and performance now is at levels not seen since the recession began."
This isn’t just the case in Cumbria, a competitive performance of B&Bs can be seen across the UK with average occupancy rates reflecting this steady growth.
Even with the likes of Airbnb charging into the market, the booming UK tourism industry is leaving enough room for all accommodation types to succeed.
For B&B’s moving forward, as far as we can see it’s simply a case of continuing to succeed in order to dispel these inaccurate reports, and to celebrate your own successes for all to see!
Speaking of dispelling perceptions, check out our blog 5 B&B Myths That Need Busting - they give some food for thought on how to manage the reputation of B&B’s and, if nothing else, provide great entertainment!