Monday 11 December 2017

How Daniel and Majella helped put a big smile back on face of the B&B bean an tí

Daniel and Majella O'Donnell. Photo: Collins
Daniel and Majella O'Donnell. Photo: Collins

John Daly

Listen carefully. Can you hear it? All over the country the sound of patterned carpets being savagely beaten and flock wallpaper brushed to within an inch of its life fills the air. With April marking the real start to the tourist season, a thousand B&B landladies around the country are dusting the Pope John Paul II mantlepiece statue and double polishing the guest bathroom splash-back in anticipation of another bumper season.

With epitaphs on the demise of the humble B&B having been written a decade ago due to the relentless surge of AirBnB and other pretenders to the homestay throne, this enduring icon of Ireland's hospitality landscape has, against the odds, bounced back with a well sprung bang.

Demand for B&Bs now exceeds supply in many tourism centres, according to data collected by representative body B&B Ireland. With bookings having surged by 15pc last year, owners are bullish on prospects for 2017 as a sector that witnessed its market plummet by 50pc during the recession steadily muscles its way back to the heady heights of its 2001 heyday.

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