|Monday, November 07, 2011, 16:00 Hrs [IST]|
Bed & Breakfast: A good concept gone haywire
Bed & Breakfast, a concept much trumpeted by the Union Ministry of Tourism and the various state tourism boards to contain the paucity of hotel rooms in India, is losing its charm due to apathy and lack of direction on the part of the authorities. Maansi Sharma revisits the once much-hyped accommodation programme
By definition, a Bed and Breakfast unit (B&B) is an establishment that offers, as the name suggests, overnight accommodation and a morning meal. B&Bs typically offer a maximum of ten rooms for accommodation and only the morning meal. The rooms offered would usually be private bedrooms with bathrooms, for a hotel-like experience in a homely setting. In such establishments, usually the owners themselves stay within the premises, provide breakfast, do the housekeeping and deal directly with the guests. As a result, most B&Bs sprung from colonial private homes that had not more than ten bedrooms at the owner’s disposal.
The custom of opening one’s home to travellers is said to have begun in the 18th century in Colonial America. At that time, lodging establishments were few, and barring a few coaching inns, the only accommodation available was if someone lent the travellers a bed in their homes for a night for a minimal fee. This eventually became a business prospect. The fee was enough to be of financial aid to the owner, while being economically viable to the traveller.
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