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Case study: Scotlands Best B&Bs

2016 marks the 20th anniversary of Scotland'sBest B&Bs the only four star and five star bed and breakfast organisation in Scotland. This 75+ strong group of B&B owners are located across the country, from Edinburgh to the Highlands and to the Isle of Skye.

"As an organisation we have been around for a long time and seen remarkable changes in the B&B industry. As such we are a respected voice of B&Bs in Scotland" says Heather Scott, the organisation's Website and Digital Marketing Manager. "Visitors to our B&Bs come from all over the globe, with no two years being the same; things like exchange rates, big events like the Commonwealth Games and new airline routes all influence where our guests come from".

"Our B&B owners are all passionate about the quality and service they offer their guests, indeed all of the properties are inspected annually by Visit Scotland's Quality Assurance advisors (usually incognito)."

"From our humble beginnings promoting ourselves with colour brochures distributed in our own B&Bs, by post and in Tourist Information Centres we have truly embraced the latest digital marketing technology. We recently relaunched our "all singing, all dancing" website which is fully optimised for all mobile platforms including phones and tablets."

"It was around three years ago that we persuaded all of our members to embrace online booking. Having integrated with freetobook 's 'Together' booking functionality guests can view availability across all of our members' accommodation according to their search DATE. This is a great addition to our other forms of accommodation search by LOCATION or PROPERTIES (with further search functions including PET and FAMILY friendly, WHEELCHAIR ACCESSIBLE and CREDIT CARDS ACCEPTED). Some of our property owners were initially worried about losing the personal contact with guests but even those dead against it are now evangelical about online booking. Our B&Bs can still contact guests before they arrive and give them as much information and help as they need before they even arrive in Scotland."

"The Availability search is very important to our group, with over half of the visitors using it during their time on the website. This helps guests to plan the perfect tour of Scotland and book a number of quality properties all from one place. With such a huge amount of overseas guests, being able to make this information available 24 hours a day is essential."

"We also encourage all of our property owners to be active across social media, including Facebook and Twitter. This provides us with a wealth of information, news and pictures from around Scotland to post on our main social media sites. As a group we use our website to promote local attractions, the fantastic scenery and the local, specialty food and drink that's on offer, but the focus is firmly on the B&B properties themselves. We aren't trying to replicate the job that Visit Scotland and other destination tourism organisations do."

"Our customers are not looking for the cheapest place to stay, they are looking for somewhere very special to stay where the quality is assured," concludes Heather.

Scotland's Best B&Bs are currently recruiting for new members. For more information visit:

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