British B&Bs celebrated at the first “B&B Summit”
by David Weston
Chairman of the Bed & Breakfast Association
Since the B&B Association was founded 11 years ago, we have always been conscious of a feeling that British B&Bs – though a real success story in many ways – somehow did not ever quite get the recognition they deserved; especially in official circles.
Might that be about to change? On 18th October, we are holding the first-ever “B&B Summit” in London – and the new Tourism Minister, John Glen, has agreed to open it and give the keynote speech, celebrating the best of British B&Bs and guest houses.
We’re delighted that our sector – typified by many of the readers of “Luxury B&B Magazine” – is now at last getting recognition in Government. At the B&B Summit, the Minister will be joined by the CEO of VisitBritain, and (most importantly) some of the best and award-winning B&B owners in the country.
This Government recognition in England follows similar Ministerial recognition in Scotland, where the Scottish Government’s Cabinet Minister for Tourism and external affairs, Fiona Hyslop MSP, launched the Scottish B&B Association last November, hailing the B&B sector as “a unique – but vital – part of our tourism and hospitality industry”, and a “vibrant sector”.
The Minister added “I know from my own travels around Scotland that our new generation of B&Bs is everything that tourists are now looking for: individual, high quality and with one-to-one personal service. And that is reflected on a leading ratings website, where B&Bs are rated more highly that our hotels for guest satisfaction”.
And the Ministerial recognition in Scotland and England in turn added to the extraordinary international recognition this Summer, when the Chinese launched a lavish and prestigious ‘International B&B Conference’ in Shanghai, and invited the B&B Association to give the keynote speech about British B&Bs – which the organisers recognized as the model which a nascent Chinese B&B industry could aspire to follow.
So we will keep ‘flying the flag’ for you and for the British B&B sector, only now perhaps we will not be merely voices in the wilderness. We will be speaking for an industry recognized even in corridors of power as a vital contributor to UK tourism. An optimistic note on which to start looking ahead towards 2018!
The Bed & Breakfast Association is the UK trade association for B&B and guest house owners, and exists to inform, support & represent owners. Membership costs £60 a year.