3rd November 2010
Tourism Minister, Mary Hanafin says there has been a positive response to the new star ratings system for the Bed and Breakfast sector, adding that customers can now choose the standard they require. The Minister was speaking at the annual conference of B&B Ireland, the body which represents the sector.
“The Bed and Breakfast product plays a vital role in our tourism industry attracting overseas visitors who want to sample this true Irish experience,” says the Minister. “It’s also attractive for Irish visitors who want an authentic experience of rural and urban Ireland, and who like the personal touch that the B&B offers. All visitors can now choose the quality of accommodation they want in a B&B stay.”
The new Fáilte Ireland ratings scheme was launched earlier this year and already over 450 B&Bs have received 3 to 5 star ratings. Entries for 2011 are expected to rise significantly, says B&B Ireland chairperson, Ms Margaret Cahill. “The new classification scheme is a major development for the B&B sector, B&B Ireland are supporting members through the process that will transform the sector and lead it forward,” added Ms Cahill.
“Our industry is made up of micro-businesses who have pulled together, pooled resources and up-skilled to meet the market demands under the leadership of B&B Ireland. We have embraced the technology needed to offer the sort of online service consumers and tour operators need, and our bookings have remained relatively steady despite the challenge of the global recession. However this trend was in the main tourist centres with operators outside not doing as well.”
“We have also responded to consumer demands through another innovation within our sector in that individual homes can offer holiday breaks tailored to a special interest such as walking, angling, golf, farm stays etc. This will further enhance the uniqueness of the B&B offer and highlight the excellent range of natural and world class products throughout Ireland”.