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Press Coverage

Looks like we have made a bit of a splash! Working together will benefit us all. Saving commissions and putting our profits back where they belong - into the local economy!

Lochaber News Article

The text reads:

Guesthouse & B&B owners in Fort William appear to be winning a "David & Goliath" battle against online travel agencies such as Booking.com and Laterooms.com.

Fort William Accommodation Marketing Group (FWAMG) marked the second anniversary of its online booking website this month and celebrated saving its members no less than £20,000 over two years.

The group, which is a not-for-profit organisation run by its members, set up its free booking website and searchable "widget" in 2013 in an attempt to fight back against the high commission fees imposed by online travel agencies.

However, members could not have predicted just how successful it would become.

Group Chairman Andy Keen said "We started out hopeful, but with quite low expectations. It felt like a bit of a David and Goliath situation going up against these industry giants. The first bookings came in quite quickly. After that, it just began to grow and grow.

And it hasn't stopped growing yet.

Over the past two months the 25 members of FWAMG have taken over £37,000 in direct bookings via the website - saving members thousands in commission fees.

Members of the group are also discovering that there is strength in numbers and have successfully negotiated substantial discounts from a variety of oil, electricity and local suppliers, helping them make even bigger savings.

Mr Keen said "Why should this money go to multinational corporations when it can remain in the Lochaber economy?"

"Too many local accommodation providers are paying a fortune in commission when it could stay in their pocket."

Secretary Michael Dunham said "By pooling our resources, we're not only making savings for all our members, but can draw on each others knowledge and experience. We can also shout with a much louder voice about all the great reasons for visiting the area."

The group is keen to hear from other Fort William B&Bs and guest houses who would like to start saving money and benefitting from everything the group has to offer

More information on FWAMG can be found at www.fortwilliam-guesthouse.com or by contacting Andy Keen on 01397 702583.

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Local Online Booking Extended

To make finding your bed and breakfast accommodation in Fort William as easy as possible we now have an online availability check. Enter the dates and room(s) you need and you will see a list of members who have appropriate availability. From there you can book securely on line to confirm your choice.

We are a local, not for profit co-operative group and don't charge our guests booking fees or our members commissions so you can be confident you are booking your chosen accommodation at the best prices available.

Assisting our guests to find and book accommodation direct with their chosen B&B is our primary objective. We have now released a new booking widget which has been embedded in a number of local information and activity sites. This means you can now book locally and safely without even having to leave the Nevis Range, Mountain Festival or AboutFortWilliam information sites. You will also find links to our availability on other local sites including those for the Jacobite Train and the Outdoor Capital of the UK .

 

B&B or Guest House?

The terms Bed and Breakfast, B&B and Guest House are virtually interchangeable in Scotland. We provide a less formal alternative to hotels in Fort William.

Our "B&B Experience" members all aim to provide you with genuine Highland hospitality, a comfortable bed for the night and a substantial breakfast to start your day in the morning.

Stay with us and experience the difference!

 

Local B&B? Want to join us?

Help us to help our guests. Our visitors need lots of accommodation at a range of prices, all easily found and online bookable. Put your availability online through the Fort William B&B Experience website. Together we can provide for our guests with local flair, variety and true Highland hospitality? Contact us now. Together we are stronger and more useful, to each other and to our guests.