Rise in occupancy rates

Richard Beaman

A Cornish holiday homes letting agency is reporting a 6% rise in occupancy rates compared to last summer.

Cornwallscottages.co.uk, which markets holiday accommodation on behalf of owners throughout the Duchy, has already more than doubled its turnover for the whole of last year – with four months still remaining.

The company was launched in 2008 with just three properties on the books. Now the company has more than 80 and expects to have at least 140 by Easter 2011.

Managing director Richard Beaman attributes the success to increasing numbers of self-catering visitors on so-called staycation breaks – together with the business’s low overheads.

He said: “Our website is highly effective and nearly 70% of our bookings are now made directly online.

“Because our own costs are low we are able to charge a low commission fee of 12.5% which makes us very attractive to local holiday property owners. We are also different in that we only charge for the bookings we make for our clients and we don’t wait until a holiday is taken before paying them.

“The tourism industry is changing and it’s important for Cornwall’s holiday providers to realise that and use the available technology to stay ahead of the game. Our experience shows that more and more people are booking last minute and they are using the internet to make those bookings themselves. To meet that challenge, it’s vital to have dynamic websites that top search engine lists and to make the booking process as simple and painless as possible.”