MORE than 300 bed and breakfast owners have signed up to use a website aimed at giving small businesses greater access to Scotland’s £4.2 billion tourism industry by slicing through bureaucracy.
Private House Stays was launched five years ago by husband and wife Archie and Cassie Bouverie, who run a B&B on Edinburgh’s Scotland Street. Now the pair have moved to North Berwick and redeveloped their website using £25,000 of their own cash. Cassie said: “We came up with the idea for the website while we were running our B&B in Edinburgh. Because we had a very distinctive website address – Edinburghbedandbreakfast.co.uk – we were receiving far more enquiries than we could fill.
“So we used to pass bookings on to other B&Bs but, having previously worked in online business information in London, I realised how powerful the internet could be for B&Bs.”
Cassie said that Private House Stays makes it easier for B&Bs, boutique hotels and guest houses to update their room availability and their seasonal prices, which can vary for busy periods such as the Edinburgh festivals or Hogmanay.
“We earned our spurs as B&B owners so we know there has to be as little bureaucracy as possible,” said Cassie.
“A lot of people think that you have to sign up to VisitScotland and subject yourself to inspections. But actually you don’t and you can even earn money by simply renting out your spare bedrooms.”
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Thursday 23 May 2013
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