A Lifeline for Lake District Guesthouses

Has today been one of those where it feels like you have stepped into an episode of Fawlty Towers? 

Between staff calling in sick, the government COVID-19 restrictions changing and guests complaining about their eggs being too runny, the dream of running a quaint little B&B in the Lake District can seem a world away. 

The recent and ongoing actions of government to help curb the spread of Covid 19 has left a dramatic impact on guesthouses. These small businesses that have had to close with limited support, are often run by families. During the winter months, these self-employed business owners will be feeling the pinch more than ever. 

Skies Holidays want to do their bit to help, saying “We partner with businesses offering accommodation in the lake district to help support and promote guesthouses in an ever more challenging industry.”

A fund has been allocated to assist the accommodation and guest house industry which has been impacted significantly by the coronavirus restrictions. Although there can only be a limited number of successful applicants for the funding, Skies Holidays are offering support and guidance to everyone that applies.

“We can fully appreciate the difficulties that most guesthouses face this winter, and with the future being so uncertain communities and businesses need to come together.”

There is currently little support offered by the growing crowd of booking methods, travel agents and software systems and it requires monitoring to make sure they work correctly. Having the time to invest in learning new technology can be a lot to ask when running your own business. 

Director of Skies Holidays, Matthew Howarth understands only too well the stresses involved in running accommodation businesses within one of the most competitive areas in the country, saying “We’d like the opportunity to discuss the challenges you are coming up against and what Skies Holidays can do to help your day run a bit smoother. We can put systems in place and manage your reservations to help transform your guest house into everything you want it to be.”

Skies Holidays is part of the Aphrodites Group, a family-owned hospitality business in the Lake District. Mathew Howarth has been involved for several years, playing a major role in modernising and designing the group. He has brought in experts to help overhaul booking systems, marketing techniques and personnel to showcase what they have to offer. After creating a winning formula, he has decided to help other businesses locally, achieve the same success. 

Matthew comments, “The hospitality world is moving online, and there are multiple booking channels to choose from. It can be chaotic trying to juggle incoming guest reservations while still providing top-notch service for the guests when they arrive. Let’s face it; you did not get into hospitality to be staring at a computer screen!”

Skies Holidays have already helped Lyth Valley Country House (pictured) get back on its feet after the first lockdown. The guesthouse was struggling to get the reservations flowing without falling foul to double bookings. The Country House is now thriving with high bookings ratios and the owner now able to concentrate and what he does best and not spend all his time watching a computer screen.

Managing Director at Skies Holidays, Zara Myers and her team work very closely with the venues to untangle the booking agents, systems, and software packages. Skies Holidays are focussed on simplifying everything so guest house owners can go back to doing what they were good at… good rooms and good service. 

Zara says, “Often the guest houses try to advertise in as many places as possible creating a higher risk of missing something and double-booking units. Trying to manage bookings without the right systems is a recipe for disaster.”

For any guesthouses that want to seek help and to apply for the Skies Funding Covid recovery fund, then get in touch with Skies Holidays on info@skiesholidays.co.uk or phone 01539 324055 and an application form will be sent out to you. Further information can also be found here