Category Archives: Industry News

France: changes to Chambre d’Hôte regulations

Regulations for B&Bs in FranceRunning a B&B in France? The French government has recently redefined what they class as a chambre d’hôte (bed and breakfast) under the Chambre d’Hôte regulations. Depending on how you run your B&B, it may mean that you need to apply for hotel status.

What is a ‘chambre d’hôte’?

You need to comply with the regulations if your lodging:

  • Is a B&B in France, i.e. providing overnight accommodation plus breakfast
  • Is in your own home, i.e. the house you live in – your permanent residence (this is the recent change)
  • Has no more than five bedrooms for 15 people

New low-cost ferry to France and Spain

New low-cost ferry to France and Spain‘No-frills’ ferry travel has finally arrived on Brittany Ferries who are now running a low-cost ferry service to France and Spain from the UK.

The new économie service begins on 24 March and comes as a welcome option for both travellers holidaying in mainland Europe and owners of holiday lets visiting their properties.

Costs and journey times

Running between Portsmouth and Le Havre or Santander, the ferry service is 20-25% cheaper than the company’s standard crossings:

  • France: the Portsmouth-Le Havre service runs five times each week and is from £79 (journey time 5hrs 30 mins)

Australia: strong start to property auctions

Strong start to property auctions in AustraliaThe Australian property market saw a strong start to the year with over 75% of properties in Sydney and Melbourne being successfully sold at auction, reports the Australian Financial Review.

The property auction season in Australia begins each year with the start of the school year. Following on from last year’s rise in activity and prices, this year seems no different with Sydney clearing 76.5% of its properties and Melbourne 78%.

This time of year is particularly popular for buyers in holiday hot spots such as Mornington Peninsula (Victoria) and the Gold Coast. However, the boost in last year’s residential market has yet to be witnessed in the holiday market.

Turkey: new visa rules for 2014

New visa rules in TurkeyTravellers visiting Turkey on or after 10 April 2014 will need to buy a Turkish visa online before they arrive in the country.

A new e-visa in Turkey costs $20 (US) per person and allows visitors to enter the country as many times as they want over 180 days from the date that it’s issued.

If you have a holiday home in Turkey, it’s important to remind your guests about the new visa so they don’t get caught out when they arrive.

Sunny Spain’s a hit with tourists

Book a sunny stay at Relax Bungalow, Gran Canaria

Owners of Spanish holiday accommodation will be pleased to hear that a massive 57.6 million foreign tourists holidayed in Spain between January and November in 2013.

According to the Ministry of Industry, Energy and Tourism, these are the highest numbers yet, with the Canary Islands and Catalonia proving particularly popular.

As we reported last year, tourist spending in Spain was already up by 13.7% by March 2013. The Ministry now reports a marked increase in visits from Russian and Nordic tourists, but British, German and French visitors still lead the way when it comes to booking sun-baked holidays in Spain.

Gain rave reviews from your theatre-going guests

Tourists love the theatre

Good news for owners whose property is near a theatre: new statistics reveal that experiencing the glitz and glamour of a musical or a play is one of the most popular activities for overseas tourists to the UK.

According to VisitBritain, 24% of overseas holiday visitors who stay in London go to the theatre during their break – meaning that over 2 million international tourists have enjoyed a show in the capital over the last year. Musicals, such as Wicked and The Lion King, are proving particularly popular.

Where are British holidaymakers going next?

Sainsbury’s Bank has published the following research on what travel trends it expected from British holidaymakers in 2013 and how far their British Pound would stretch.
Interestingly for our sector, it says that just 1 in 5 would plan a DIY trip, which is about the same level reported by Mintel some four or five years ago. Plus the growth in demand for self-catering DIY holidays that Holiday Lettings has experienced in the last year alone puts added doubt on that figure.
Nonetheless, it’s an interesting read and fairly easy on the eye.

This Brits on holiday infographic was courtesy of Sainsbury’s Travel Insurance.

A bumper summer for UK tourism

UK tourism is on the upUK tourism figures are on the up, according to the Office for National Statistics. Summer 2013 saw a marked increase in visitors to Great Britain, which is great news for UK holiday home owners.

During the peak summer month of August, the UK saw a 16% overall rise in visitors and an upturn of 14% in North American tourists.

There was also a 28% increase in visitors from outside North America and Europe, with many more travellers from Latin America, Asia Pacific and the Middle East choosing the UK for their leisure breaks.

Eurostar: plans for a direct train to the south of France

Permanent Eurostar to Provence and Avignon planned for 2015After a successful trial this year, a Eurostar train service between London, Avignon and Aix-en-Provence could be introduced permanently by 2015. If it goes through, the new service will help attract more guests to your Provençal holiday home.

6hrs to the south of France                                      

Eurostar’s new Route du Soleil service promises speedy train travel from London to the south of France in less than six hours. The route proved popular with tourists this season when it ran at 90% capacity during the spring and summer months.

French stamp duty rise for January 2014

Property Stamp Duty UK

Planning on buying a property in France? If you can, buy before the end of this year to avoid the stamp duty rise of almost 15%.

This summer the French government announced that on 1 January 2014 the stamp duty rate (droits de mutation) will increase from the current 5.09% to 5.80%. The increase is said to ‘plug a financial hole that is appearing in the accounts of many departmental councils’.

As an example, if you’re buying a €250,000 property in France on or after 1 January, you’ll pay an extra €1,792 in stamp duty (€14,517 rather than €12,752).