Poor service could mean end of English budget hotels

Basil Fawlty of Fawlty TowersBritain isn’t known for the best service, and during this credit crunch, that could mean the end of a vast range of UK budget hotels and other travel companies. And thousands of service industry jobs. At least that’s what Visit Britain’s chairman Christopher Rodrigues fears as he sees tourists abandoning England in droves because of poor service standards.

Mr Rodrigues said: “We’ve had a period in which people could get away with not being of the highest quality.

"We’re now in an environment where you have to do quality. Poor value for money and poor service costs jobs and will cost more jobs in a recession.”

“Threadbare towels, a previously owned bar of soap and a grumpy person who says ’we don’t do breakfast before 8am and we don’t do it after 8.12am’ - you don’t get a lot of happy customers.”

More about this and video over at the BBC.

This rhymes with a recent discussion over at Travel-Rants about how budget hotels in England have terribly low standards. I’ve stayed in some cheap hotels here in England, and I have to say that standards leave a lot to be desired. But then again, so do budget hotels in Paris, where anything decent costs at least $125 per night.



What’s your thought? Are we going to lose huge numbers of tourism jobs during this recession because service levels are so poor?

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What a gem of a hostel

Sounds like you found a brilliant hostel in Prague. Thanks for spreading the word.

Yeah, I've stayed in a couple of London hostels... Not the best experience, in fact, on par with the fleabag hostels in Istanbul. Except those cost me $6 per night including breakfast, not £18.

Jack on 19 January, 2009

Hell, let them shut down. I spent three weeks in Europe last summer, and England's hostels were by far the worst we encountered. Broken beds, five quid to "rent" a towel, outer doors locked after midnight and nobody at the front desk to let us in, broken plumbing. Ugh.

Conversely, the "bed and breakfasts" we stayed at in England were the best experiences we had. Great rooms, giant bathrooms, heat (we actually stayed in a hostel that apparently hadn't paid their heating bill), and amazing vegetarian breakfasts. I don't remember the name of the place we stayed at in Penrith, but I'd got there just to get another bite of their veggie bangers and mash.

If you're even in Prague, check out Hostel Elf. We were a bit nervous about the community-style living at first (I was traveling with two girls, one was carrying three grand of photo equipment, eight bunks per room, people coming and going each day), but at the end of our stay I was sad to leave. Great people, good conversation, and they even have coffee (free!), beer (not free, but cheap), and Internet terminals (free!)!

ben on 18 January, 2009



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