Category Archives: Industry News

New look Inbox

The art of conversation is important, especially when it comes to securing bookings for your holiday home. Responding quickly can often be the difference between securing a booking or having empty weeks. That’s why we’ve reorganised and highlighted the important bits of your Inbox to make it work even more like a well-oiled machine. Log in to take a look at some of the new features of your Inbox:

  • We’ve smoothed out the booking process by leading you through it every step of the way. Whether you’ve received an enquiry or a booking request, we tell you simply what the next step is to progress the booking.

How to collect TripAdvisor reviews (and boost bookings!)

TripAdvisor reviewsWe all love to know what other people think. When we’re making a decision on where to stay, hearing from previous guests can really sway our choice and:

  • Give real insight into a stay at your property
  • Boost guests’ trust and confidence, increasing your chances of securing a booking
  • Push your ad up the search rankings when guests are sorting their results by ‘number of reviews’.
  • Improve guests’ experiences by helping you to make changes to your offering

To get guest reviews on your ad, we’ve got all the info you need:

How to collect reviews

French stamp duty increased by 0.71%

French stamp duty increase March 2014Buying a property in France? Then it’s worth being aware that French stamp duty, or taxe de publicité foncière, increased by almost 1% on 1 March. Find out more about the change and which regions have opted out.

The increase of 0.71% is applied to the sale price of all completed purchases (actes authentiques) that take place from 1 March 2014. The rise only affects properties built at least five years ago (a lower rate applies to newer properties, which hasn’t been changed).

A temporary rise?

The extra money generated from the increase will be going to local councils, forming an important part of their budgets and compensating for reduced government grants.

Driving in Spain: changes to traffic laws

Car in TenerifeNew traffic rules came into play on 21 April affecting pedestrians, drivers and cyclists in Spain.

If you’re planning on holidaying in Spain, or visiting your Spanish holiday home, it’s worth making a note of the changes so you’re not caught out with a fine.

Driving in Spain

New speed limits

In some urban areas, e.g. around schools, speed limits have been lowered from 50kph (31mph) to 20kph (12mph).

Children in cars

Only children over 1.35m tall (4ft 5in) can travel in the front seat of a car. Children under this height must sit in the back.

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.