26 November 2019
The accommodation sector in the UK has always been diverse, but probably not as much as it is currently. The rise of platforms such as Airbnb has enabled more people to open up their homes to the general public, giving wider choice and options to the consumer than ever before.
New research from Direct Line for Business has revealed that B&B and guest house owners are concerned about the impact that budget hotels and platforms such as Airbnb are having on their business. Nearly half (47%) cited that they are nervous regarding the oversupply in the market.
The research went on to highlight owners concerns regarding regulation. B&B owners need to follow guidelines surrounding fire safety, food standards, trading standards plus more obscure ones such as music or DVD licences. Nearly a quarter of respondents (22%) believed that the level of regulation that they needed to adhere as a B&B was stifling, arguably beyond the obscure licencing requirements and business rates, the fire safety, food standards and trading standard requirements are there to protect the consumer.
Deborah Heather, Director of Quality in Tourism says “Airbnb is a platform that has made experiential booking easier than it has ever been before. We have been keen to work on the ‘levelling of the playing field’ as we believe that ALL pay to stay properties should adhere to the same regulations, whether it’s a room in your home or an 8 bedroom guest house. It’s one of the reasons that we created our Safe, Clean & LegalTM (SCL) scheme, so that owners could highlight that they had undergone basic safety checks. Whilst we welcome the recent news from Airbnb regarding the verification process that they are planning to put in place by the end of 2020, we suspect the traditional operators are not using this current USP as a differentiator. Traditional B&B and guest house owners need to get accredited as SCL or star rated to recognise their quality, they should focus on their USPs and highlighting their points of difference to the visitor, such as home cooked breakfasts and the historic property from which they may operate. We regularly discuss with our members how to highlight their USP’s and support them on the fast paced changes within the industry – you can no longer stand still, there is a constant need to innovate and move forward if you are to succeed.”For more information on any of the Quality in Tourism schemes visit https://www.qualityintourism.com/quality-assessment