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New grades anger smaller operators

08 December 2005
New grades anger smaller operators

Local hotel associations are still incensed over the new common grading scheme that will stop smaller businesses using the word hotel in their names or marketing material.

Guesthouses and B&Bs are demanding the right to retain the name hotel and still be graded under the guest accommodation scheme rather than the more stringent criteria for hotels.

Although the grading bodies have relented over the use of the word hotel in internet domain names, guesthouses won't be able to retain it in any promotional material.

Derek Ellershaw, company secretary of the Blackpool Hotel and Guesthouse Association, warned that smaller premises "would lose out massively" on internet business as search engines tend to scan text rather than domain names.

Simon Lever, proprietor of the Daylesford hotel in Torquay, Devon, and executive member of the Torbay Hospitality Association, said members were incensed that the grading bodies had redefined what constituted a hotel with only "minimal consultation".

Lever claimed only 432 members of the public were surveyed, while Ellershaw said none of the 30 local hotel associations he had contacted had been involved.

The British Hospitality Association has agreed to raise the key points made at a meeting last week of 20 local hotel associations.
BHA chief executive Bob Cotton said none of the issues was insurmountable and that he hoped they would be resolved within the next couple of weeks.

By Angela Frewin

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