B&Bs nervous about Airbnb effect

-       Nearly half (47 per cent) of B&B owners across the UK are nervous about over supply in the market due to Airbnb and budget hotels

-       22 per cent of B&B owners believe B&Bs are stifled by over regulation

-       One in six (16 per cent) are anticipating a shortfall in occupancy rates over the next 12 months

New research from Direct Line for Business1 reveals B&B and guest house owners across the UK are nervous about the impact Airbnb and budget hotels are having on their business. Nearly half (47 per cent) are nervous about over supply in the market in the next 12 months as a result of more Airbnb options and the growth of the budget hotel sector. One in 10 B&B owners are extremely nervous.

B&B owners are also concerned about the impact of regulation, with nearly a quarter (22 per cent) believing B&Bs are stifled by over regulation. All B&B owners need to ensure that their business follows strict regulations, whether it be for obvious things such as fire safety, food standards and alcohol licences or ones you might not expect including television and music licences.

On average, B&B owners are anticipating a 55 per cent occupancy rate over the next 12 months. For their business to continue to be financially viable, B&B owners need occupancy of 49 per cent. This means B&B owners are expecting to be very close to the mark in financial viability, with one major event or emergency likely to have a significant negative impact. In fact, one in six (16 per cent) B&B owners are anticipating a shortfall in occupancy over the next 12 months.

David Weston, Chairman of the Bed & Breakfast Association said: “B&B owners are dedicated to their businesses and go above and beyond to provide an outstanding service to their guests. The B&B Association welcomes competition but is working with the Government to level the playing-field of enforcement so all our guests are protected. Owning and operating a traditional B&B remains an ambition for many Brits looking to move into the hospitality industry.”

Despite the rise in budget hotels and Airbnbs, B&B owners have a positive approach to their business. The overwhelming majority say finding pleasure in their job is important to them (100 per cent), as is providing a unique experience for their guests (98 per cent). B&B owners are also motivated to maintain the current number of guests staying (96 per cent), increasing the revenue of their B&B (84 per cent) and renovating or refurbishing their property (76 per cent).

Table one: Factors important to B&B owners

Rank  Factor Percentage who said this is important to them
1 Finding pleasure in my job 100%
2 Providing a unique experience for my guests 98%
3 Maintaining the current number of guests staying at my B&B 96%
4 Increasing my B&B’s revenue 84%
5 Renovating or refurbishing my property / properties 76%
6 Increasing the number of properties in my portfolio 6%

Source: Direct Line for Business 2019

B&B owners are savvy when it comes to their insurance needs, as 95 per cent have a specialist bed and breakfast or guest house insurance policy. However, one in 20 (five per cent) rely on their domestic home insurance policy which may not cover anything relating to their business, like contents and stock, employers liability and business interruption cover.

Jemma Holloway, B&B Business Manager at Direct Line for Business, said: “It is great to see that B&B owners are so switched on when it comes to insurance by making sure they have a policy which works specifically for their business needs. Our research shows that many B&B owners are not far away from their business not being financially viable, so insurance is vital as, alongside paying out to have things fixed, adding business interruption cover to a policy will help B&B owners stay on their feet if an insured event like a fire or flood resulted in them being unable to offer accommodation.

 “To help manage any disruption and get B&Bs back up and running as quickly as possible, we allow Direct Line for Business’ customers to proceed with vital repairs that cost up to £1,500 without prior approval, if the claim is covered under their policy (Subject to policy cover, excess, conditions and exclusions. Keep replaced parts/items. Photos of damage and repair docs required).  They do need to tell us about the repairs afterwards and wear and tear is excluded, but it means owners can make the necessary repairs and keep their rooms open for guests.”

For further details on Direct Line for Business’ B&B and Guest House cover, visit https://www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk/small-business-insurance/bed-and-breakfast-guesthouse-insurance


Notes to Editors

1  Research carried out by Direct Line for Business and the Bed and Breakfast Association among a sample of 55 bed and breakfast owners across the UK in October 2019

For further information please contact:

Direct Line Group
Unni Henry
Senior PR Consultant
Tel: 01903 636 149
Email: [email protected]


Direct Line for Business

Launched in 2007 Direct Line for Business provides a range of insurance products for the small business sector direct by phone or on-line.

Direct Line for Business insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Direct Line for Business and U K Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line for Business products or get a quote by calling 0345 301 4827 or visiting https://www.directlineforbusiness.co.uk