THE London Development Agency (LDA) has joined forces with the AA to launch a Get London Graded campaign.
The London-wide drive aims to increase the number of graded B&Bs in the capital and is offering ungraded B&Bs help to become star rated.
The Get London Graded campaign hopes to boost numbers of that great British institution, the B&B, in the capital.
These days B&Bs face stiff competition; AA accredited B&Bs offer reassurance to guests that their chosen B&B has been inspected and that they can expect a personal welcome, good service, great home-cooked food, British breakfasts and the local touch other establishments simply can`t offer.
Only a third of London’s accommodation has a star rating from either the AA or VisitBritain. The LDA, the body responsible for tourism development in London, aims to increase this substantially over the next few years by offering a subsidy of £400 on AA grading fees over 3 years for new joiners.
The LDA’s senior tourism development manager Deborah Evans said: “We are concerned at the dwindling numbers of accredited B&Bs in London and that’s why we’ve partnered with the AA to launch this initiative to encourage existing B&B properties and anyone thinking of opening a B&B, to get inspected. “
The benefits of AA grading are numerous: B&Bs will benefit from a nationally recognised AA star rating, business advice from an inspector, free listing in the relevant AA publications including the AA B&B Guide, free listing on the AA and VisitBritain websites and exclusive training and marketing opportunities.
AA Hotel Services’ group area manager Giovanna Grossi said: The AA is well known not just for its road services but also an envied hospitality division, which celebrates its centenary this year and which publishes numerous respected annual guides on where to stay, eat or simply have a drink.
"These days B&B owners can’t just rely on word of mouth for business; with the global reach of the AA’s website and B&B recommendations it makes good business sense to be inspected, get graded and have the AA’s seal of approval."
London establishments that take advantage of the LDA Get London Graded promotion before 5 April are eligible to enter the first AA London B&B of the Year award, sponsored by the LDA.
The award will be part of the AA B&B Awards to be held at the Mandarin Oriental Hyde Park London on Wednesday 4 June 2008.
All newly graded B&Bs will feature in the AA B&B Guide 2009, published in September 2008.
For information on Get London Graded log on to www.lda.gov.uk/tourismsupport.