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The Caterer

Uneasy rest with bed tax

06 April 2006
Uneasy rest with bed tax

As a small hotel in Bournemouth, in only our fourth year, finding guests is our hardest challenge. We have both worked in the trade for well over 35 years, working up the ranks and building a wealth of knowledge.

We have an excellent return and referral trade, both at home and abroad. We are continuously building and are better off than some - but we find it increasingly difficult to survive.

What with business rates, fuel costs, general advertising and running costs, the "two-for-one" special-offer culture, and cut-throat prices at the larger establishments, it is no wonder so many hotels and guesthouses are closing.

Even here in Bournemouth, a holiday and business hot spot, establishments are closing weekly. If a bed tax is imposed on us as well, we may just as well cut and run now. We already have guests who comment on "rip-off Britain" because, owing to taxes and the like, accommodation prices are the highest they experience.

We are one of the hardest-working industries in the world, with job satisfaction being our main reward. We do it because we enjoy what we do. All we ask is, let us survive with a reasonable lifestyle: a very definite no to bed tax.

Paul and Anne Eyles
Proprietors, Abbey Court hotel, Bournemouth

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