Business development · 27 June 2016

British B&Bs surge up global ratings board

Owners of British B&Bs are producing an offering in demand
Owners of British B&Bs are producing an offering in demand

Research conducted by TripAdvisor has discovered UK-based bed and breakfasts (B&Bs) have created an industry that is now the top-rated in the world.

Having “lagged behind” other international rivals, the travel site’s findings determined that, in 2015, UK hotels and B&Bs achieved an average review rating of 4.16 out of five, putting Britain second out of 15 major tourism markets.

TripAdvisor believes B&Bs are the biggest contributor to the review climb, with smaller establishments achieving an average score of 4.4 – while those with 26-100 rooms posted 3.97.

David Weston, chief executive of the Bed & Breakfast Association, commented: “These figures are excellent news, and show that the UK has moved in ten years from the lowest-rated country to the second highest, driven by the success of independent accommodation.

“The innovation and quality of small owner-managed properties have raised standards across Britain’s tourism accommodation sector over the decade.”

TripAdvisor research
Average accommodation review ratings on TripAdvisor: 2005 vs 2015

While British B&Bs are producing sound consumer ratings, separate research from Direct Line in August 2015 suggested this business type is one of the most expensive companies to purchase. For every £1 of turnover generated, B&Bs had a purchase of £4.49, which was considerably higher than the figure for the average UK small firm – at £1.74.

TripAdvisor also found out UK reviewers are among the most positive in the world. During 2015, the average review rating given by a UK traveller was 4.19, meaning they are the second most positive reviewers out of the 15 markets analysed.

The findings were backed up by a recent analysis by Oxford Economics, which found that consumer reviews had brought about quality improvements within the accommodation sector and generated £2bn in visitor spending in the UK in 2014.

“We found evidence of a virtuous cycle by which increased travel leads to increased reviews shared on TripAdvisor. Those reviews then help other travellers planning trips and also provides businesses with valuable feedback to improve service and in turn attract more customers, which ultimately has the effect of raising standards across the UK hotel industry,” said Adam Sacks, president of tourism economics at Oxford Economics.

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ABOUT THE EXPERT

Hunter Ruthven is the editor of Business Advice. He is also the editor of Real Business, the UK's most-read website for entrepreneurs and business leaders at the helm of growing SMEs. Alongside this, he is part of the team that hosts the Growing Business Awards, First Women Awards and Future 50 initiative. Prior to his role at Real Business, he was editor at competitor website Growth Business and head reporter at M&A Deals. Throughout his career he has interviewed leading entrepreneurs including Alex Chesterman, Lopo Champalimaud, Sarah Wood, James Averdeick and Alex Saint.

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