The first-ever "National B&B Day"
- 24 March 2018
Minister and MPs visit B&Bs on National B&B Day
Above left: The Tourism Minister, Michael Ellis MP (right) meets Rick Wilson (centre), owner of Hillview Guest House, in his Northampton North constituency with David weston (left), Chairman of the Bed & Breakfast Association, on the first National B&B Day, Saturday 24th March 2018.
Above right: Gordon Marsden MP (right) meets Kath and Rick, owners of the Old Coach House B&B in South Shore, Blackpool, to celebrate National B&B Day 2018. Blackpool is the "B&B capital" of the UK with 862 B&Bs - that is 64 per square mile. Many other MPs visited B&Bs and guest houses in their constituencies on National B&B Day.
Minister says B&Bs play a "vital role" in Britain's economic & cultural life
The Minister of Tourism, Michael Ellis, said:
"Millions of tourists from the UK and abroad get a great night's sleep and a delicious breakfast every year, thanks to the hard work of these entrepreneurial small businesses up and down the country. These are businesses that create valuable jobs in their local communities and together contribute over £2bn to the UK economy each year. This day serves to highlight the vital role that B&Bs play in Britain's cultural and economic life and I am delighted to support National B&B Day 2018."
After many months of planning, Saturday 24th March dawned on the first-ever "National B&B Day" at last - and so much was happening up and down the country to mark the event.
We have been overwhelmed by all the messages, tweets and news of what B&B owners were doing and saying about B&B Day - which incidentally helped #BandBday "trend" in the top 10 on the day on Twitter.
There were at least eight radio or TV broadcasts mentioning or about National B&B Day - including our chairman David Weston being interviewed at 08.15 on BBC Radio.
The press coverage included 12 pieces in national papers, reaching a total of just over half a billion (yes 502 million) readers in all, and 60 pieces in regional press, reaching 2.5 million.
National B&B Day's website (BandBday.com, sponsored by eviivo) carried supportive comments on its sponsors' page from VisitBritain, Google, TripAdvisor, Booking.com, Expedia, AA Hospitality, Laterooms, Ryanair Rooms, Toprooms, National Express, Yorkshire Tourism, Cumbria Tourism, Visit Somerset, Visit Wiltshire, Tourism South East, English Riviera, Stay Blackpool, Visit Brighton, Bournemouth Tourism and others.
And it was good to see the normally "unsung" heroes of hospitality - Britain's brilliant B&B owners - being recognised by MPs from Blackpool to Orkney, who visited local B&Bs and guest houses on the day.
David and Louise Weston of the B&B Association accompanied the Minister of Tourism, Michael Ellis MP, on his visit to Hillview Guest House in Northampton.
Such visits not only show proper recognition by politicians of hard-working businesses, but also can only help foster better understanding amongst politicians about the B&B sector - and the Minister was very supportive in what he has said.
Typical of the many comments from B&B owners was one from Number One St Luke's, Blackpool: B&B Day was "fab for us Ð all our guests enjoyed a free bottle of Prosecco to celebrate here. A HUGE THANK YOU to all involved in creating, promoting and supporting this amazing event. Let's do it all again next year!"
B&B Bookings up
The 'B&B Index' nationwide booking data recently published by eviivo showed that in the week following B&B Day, B&B bookings across the UK were up 8.1% compared with the same week in 2017. We hope that all the promotional activity around B&B Day played a part in that boost to the turnover of 'B&B plc' - which is a £2 billion-plus business these days. B&Bs and guesthouses are part of something very valuable to UK tourism - in the words of the Minister of Tourism at our 'B&B Summit' in London last October, "B&Bs have been the cornerstone of British tourism for generations".
Early-Day Motion supporting B&Bs tabled in the House of Commons
Alistair Carmichael MP tabled this "Early Day Motion" in Parliament in the run-up to B&B Day:
Early Day Motion No. 1068
"That this House notes that there are some 25,000 B&Bs and guest houses across the UK, with a combined direct turnover well in excess of £2 billion; stresses the important role that B&Bs play in rural and coastal areas, where they are often the only tourism accommodation and play a key function in supporting local livelihoods; urges all hon. Members to visit local B&Bs on 24 March 2018 for National B&B day; and calls on the Government to support B&Bs as an integral part of the UK's tourism sector."
"I love a B&B" says Gyles Brandreth
Broadcaster and author Gyles Brandreth tweeted about B&B Day to his 27,000 followers:
"When I'm on tour I love a B&B. (Better breakfasts & fewer cushions to heave off the bed.) I see this Saturday is #BandBday and I'm trying to work out where I'm going to stay. Now consulting @BandBassoc and bandbday.com."
"I like either a very grand Grand Hotel or a really cosy B&B with a proper breakfast that isn't a buffet that's been under the hot lights too long ... Well done B&B Association for creating B&B Day"
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