Bed and Breakfast Nationwide – Thirty Years In The Making
Bed and Breakfast Nationwide has been a vibrant part of the B&B scene for nearly thirty years. Their brochure – The Little Green Book – and busy website have encouraged many thousands of people to make the most of home-grown holidays in some of the best B&Bs in the UK and Ireland.
The company was launched in 1987 by friends, Sue Opperman and Rosie Lumb, who were running B&Bs in their homes and were constantly being asked to recommend B&Bs in other areas. They realised there was a need for a free, national guide. They initially contacted 3,500 hosts, received 180 replies and published a simple brochure. The Little Green Book is now a sophisticated, full-colour 112-page brochure with more than 500 hosts and a print run of 150,000.
A little luck helped BBNW on their way. Early on, Danish Bacon sponsored them by offering hosts bacon vouchers. In 1990, Brittany Ferries made them their agent for B&B package holidays. They still work together. Then The Times newspaper featured the company and the hunt was on for more top quality B&Bs.
“This proved easier than expected,” says BBNW’s Managing Director, Sue Opperman. “We were becoming known as a source of first rate B&Bs, which had all been specially chosen and inspected. Our inspectors still ask themselves the all important questions: ‘Would I want to stay here myself …and with this host?’ As well as checking the quality of the accommodation.
“And we have a policy of putting our hosts first with our popular USP of not including too many B&Bs in one area for fear of diluting their bookings.”
In the mid 1990s BBNW designed their first website, it became an award winner, and now have page one Google listings for their latest site: www.bedandbreakfastnationwide.com.
“We’re very proud of our website,” says Sue. “With its tourist information and a ‘what’s on’ diary, it’s an exciting way of promoting bed and breakfast in people’s homes and encouraging visitors to enjoy the great British and Irish way of life.”
The Little Green Book has a bright future, too.
“We’re committed to the printed brochure. There’s a demand from visitors from around the world as well as our hosts, tourist information centres and our many other outlets. We’ve had users call it their ‘Little Green Bible’… one I particularly like is ‘the passport to travelling pleasure’. Roll on next year…our 30th birthday.”
Bed & Breakfast Nationwide
Tel: 01255 672377
PO Box 10894
Essex CO13 3AN