This category is about Holiday Home Marketing and is for UK holiday letting owners looking to improve their marketing and drive more bookings.

Whether you own an individual holiday home, apartment or holiday cottage complex Boshers holiday home marketing posts are for you. As Holiday Home Insurance Specialists Boshers are proud to share many tips, guidance and articles.

Subjects covered include increasing your holiday letting bookings, quality assessment schemes and social media hacks. Check out these posts: Year round holiday let occupancy, Quality assessment schemes for holiday lets, How to increase off peak bookings, Social Media hacks to increase your off peak bookings.

Website update. Stethoscope on laptop keyboardTop tips to get your holiday let website in great shape for the New Year

With the busiest months now behind us are you ready for a January rush of bookings? Here’re some helpful tips to make sure that your website is doing your holiday home and destination justice.

Is all of your website content up to date?

Now is an opportune time to review your holiday let website. Make sure it’s up to date and saying everything you need it to.

  • Do you have all of your unique selling points covered?
  • Have any new additions to your holiday home been mentioned and promoted?
  • Are you using bullet points to quickly highlight what your visitors will be getting?

Learn from what’s working well

If you have Google Analytics, consider looking at which are your most popular pages.

  • Why are they the most popular?
  • Do they give you an insight into what people are looking for when visiting your website and property?
  • Do they give you ideas for building upon the current information with even more?

Promoting your destination

Remember that up to date content doesn’t stop with your holiday home. Your visitors are likely to spend a good deal of their time away from your cottage.

  • Do you have up to date information on where they could be spending their time?
  • Have you spoken with local attractions to gain a link as a local accommodation provider?
  • Have you got information on season opening times?
  • Is there information on how long it takes to get there and how easy it is to find?
  • The more information you have on the local area the more likely a visitor will be attracted to stay.

Make a content plan and consider scheduling your activity

Whilst fresh, regular and relevant content is becoming increasingly important to Google, the biggest problem for most holiday homeowners is finding the time to create it.

During the summer months, when every minute is precious and often fraught with activity, time is not often available to be penning regular blog posts.

Take the time you have in the winter to put a plan in place and to create some great content for your website visitors.

Most content management systems such as WordPress will allow you to schedule when this goes onto your website, leaving you with fresh content all year round, without having to spend all year writing and publishing it.

Update your photography and make sure it does you justice

If a picture speaks a thousand words, are the photos on your website saying the right ones about your holiday cottage?

Remember that when someone is visiting your holiday home they want to have the best possible impression of where it is they’re staying. Out of date, old or poor photography can leave your marketing in tatters so ensure that the latest and best available to you are on display.

Use the visitor book to your advantage

Many holiday homes will have a guest book where visitors can leave comments. Increasingly owners encourage those staying to leave reviews on popular websites such as Tripadvisor.

If those that stay in your holiday home shout about how great it is then ensure these testimonials are prominently displayed across your website. Ensure that they are also up to date!

Is your holiday let website up to speed with current technology?

The average life cycle of a business website is said to be three to four years and you can see why; ten years ago the world hadn’t heard of an iPad! 18.9% of the global population will own a tablet within two years; 42% already have a smart phone.

It’s essential that your website not only keeps up to date with technology but also with other holiday homes. If others are taking advantage of the 52% of internet traffic that now comes from smart phones, should you be too?

Secure your holiday let website with SSL

Short for ‘Secure Socket Layer’, an SSL Certificate is something that you as a website owner buy (usually from your website hosting provider) and then install on your site.

Its purpose is to encrypt the information passed between you and your visitor, and visa versa, therefore making this information secure and unable to be hacked or intercepted.

The cost of an SSL Certificate for your holiday let website can vary from £20 a year up to £150, depending on the needs of your site and your website developer should be able to point you toward the most effective and appropriate for your needs.

Update your holiday let website Copyright

With the dawn of 2020 will come a new copyright number to be displayed on your website. Often forgotten, this small number at the bottom of most sites will need to be updated from 2019 to 2020.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home, call us on 01237 429444.

 

quality assessments
quality assessments

‘Quality’; it’s something we all strive to achieve and love to enjoy.  In no other area is this truer than in the tourism sector; an abundance of choice combined with online reviews from sites such as TripAdvisor mean that the discerning guest has never been as well informed or full of expectation. 

So how do we communicate ‘quality’ in the face of such fierce competition? Where do people now place their trust in light of so many quality and awards logos?

We take a look at some of the quality assessment schemes for holiday lets and available to holiday homeowners aiming to highlight the efforts they put in to ensuring no stone or bed sheet is left unturned.

Quality in Tourism

Quality in Tourism are a well know independent business offering a wide range of assessment schemes, one of which gauges whether holiday accommodation is ‘Safe, Clean and Legal’. 

Whilst guests may expect the properties they stay in to be safe, the emergence of second room renters or the ‘sharing economy’ has meant that this isn’t always the case; it may surprise you to know that Airbnb’s own terms and conditions state that “Airbnb has no control over and does not guarantee the existence, quality, safety suitability or legality of any listing”. 

When you take into account there’s an estimated 100,000 Airbnb listings across the UK it’s never been more important to highlight that you are safe and meeting all legal legislation for your guests.

For more information please visit:

THE AA | Visit England | Visit Wales | Visit Scotland | Discover NI

All of the national tourism bodies across the UK now access holiday accommodation to the same criteria, providing potential guests with a perfect and easy to understand and compare the quality of properties they’re considering.  Each property is awarded with a rating from one to five stars, with the number of stars reflecting the facilities and overall quality of experience provided to guests.

Just like Quality in Tourism, Visit England offer a scheme that provides guests with confirmation that your property is safe, clean and legally compliant – you can find more information on this entry level scheme here:

You can also undertake their full self-catering assessment scheme which looks not only at your compliance and safety, but also your facilities, guest experience and a whole host of other factors. You can find more information on the self-catering scheme and information on how to apply here:

If your holiday cottage is in Wales, Scotland or Northern Ireland, then you are able to apply and work through the similar assessment criteria via these links:

A trusted letting agent

Aside from the traditional quality assurance schemes, working with a trusted and experienced holiday letting agent in your area is another great way to communicate your quality self-catering accommodation.  More and more letting agents are beginning to conduct their own quality schemes and many are signing up to The Holiday Home Industry Code Of Practice, meaning they’ll only list your property once you meet all of their exacting standards. You’ll of course also benefit from their extra local knowledge and additional marketing reach too….

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

Attracting Millennials to your coastal holiday home
Attracting Millennials to your coastal holiday home

‘Millennial’ is a word that we hear more and more as time goes by and it’s used to mean many different things.  In essence, millennials are currently aged between twenty and thirty-seven. So what are the chances of attracting millennials to your coastal holiday home? According to research from the National Coastal Tourism Academy (NCTA), millennials are the least likely age group to visit Britain’s coastlines for a holiday, despite being the most likely to take a break in the UK. 

NCTA research findings…

The reason? The research says that they find coastal holidays to be ‘old fashioned’, perhaps likened to the ‘kiss me quick’ seaside holidays other generations had enjoyed in perceived ‘by-gone’ times.

However, there is a large glimmer of hope; of the 1,000 people the NCTA polled, 28% believed that some activities are at their best in winter, with 51% saying the coast offers activities year-round.

Their research therefore gives us a few key findings from which to work:

  1. This sector is already holidaying in the UK but isn’t aware of everything the coast has to offer.
  2. They believe that the coast is an attractive proposition for activities, no matter what time of the year it is.

Although the two seem to be in opposition to each other, it does offer holiday homeowners a large opportunity; to educate and engage them in everything the coast has to offer in the off-peak season.

So how can you go about attracting millennials to your coastal holiday home this autumn and winter?

Moving from holiday home to destination marketing will help in attracting millennials to your coastal holiday home

Your millennial guests are going to be spending the majority of their time outside of your holiday home.  In essence this can be as much as 80% of their waking hours throughout a holiday, so ensure that your marketing and content is as equally divided between your accommodation and selling the destination

What can they do? Where can they go? Can they get there without a car? Are there surfing lessons available? Where can they take the kids? What happens if it rains?

These should be at the forefront of your marketing; create a destination for them to immerse themselves in, not just a beautifully appointed cottage for them to sleep.

Make the most of the view

There’s something about a sea view; home owners will pay hundreds of thousands of pounds for just a glimpse, while budding tourists will fill up from the beach backwards. Use plenty of imagery of your coastline in your social media posts and email newsletters. 

If you’re on Facebook adding more than five photos to a post will turn it into a gallery, which is proven to increase engagement. 

Video is another sure-fire winner – videos beneath a minute in length are the most popular and can get as much as 10 times the amount of engagement a photograph will.  Remember you’re trying to sell the destination, so you don’t always need to make the videos or take the photographs yourself; share from the coastal path, the local surf school, restaurant or activity centre and work together to build your millennial destination.

Know your marketing

If you’re looking for millennials, then you’ll need to be searching in the right place.  That place is Facebook and Instagram, both of which have incredibly high engagement and usage levels in this demographic.

Keep it focussed

Although you’re finding them on social media, you’re going to need to get them to your website in order to secure that eventual conversion.  Don’t just limit your destination marketing to your Facebook or Instagram account; always ensure you’ve got the content that they want to know about readily available on your website no matter what time of the year.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

increase off-peak bookings
increase off-peak bookings

With the busy summer holiday letting season fast becoming a distant memory, now is the time to be thinking about how to increase off-peak bookings during the low season. 

As you’ll already know, the opportunities for parents to take their children out of school during term time are now limited, meaning that focus needs to be moved to other target markets where competition is becoming increasingly fierce. 

We take a look at some of the potential markets you could be attracting as the summer sun sets and Autumnal and Winter breaks begin…

Dog owners – there are 14 million dog owners in the UK

If your cottage welcomes dogs, then the great news is that a lot of us have one; 14 million in the UK to be precise! With as many as 44% of Britain’s households owning a pet, this is a market certainly worth taking advantage of to increase off-peak bookings.

If you’re wanting to attract the dog-friendly market, you’ll need to:

  1. Make sure it’s immediately obvious that you welcome dogs – you don’t want potential guests having to root around for the information as the more effort they have to put into finding it, the more likely you’ll lose the online conversion.
  2. Tell them what’s available for their pet in your cottage.  This should also include whether you have an enclosed garden and policies on leads etc.
  3. Build a dog-friendly destination for them – what there is to do in the local area with their dog? Walks they can go on, dog friendly pubs, dog friendly beaches and attractions.

When welcoming dogs to your holiday home our top tip is to ensure that your holiday home insurance is dog friendly too!

Young families with toddlers

Because school-aged children will need to take their holidays outside of term time you often find that pre-school families will look to take advantage of shoulder months when prices are lower and crowds more dispersed.  

If you’re wanting to attract the pre-school market, you’ll need to:

  1. Highlight everything you have in your cottage for their children, so they’re clear on what they need to bring and what you’ll be providing.  Car space can be at a premium so think of ways in which you can make their life easier.
  2. Tell them where can they go and what can they do with their children. They won’t want to be cooped up so giving them specific days out suitable for younger children will make your proposition stronger. If you can give personal recommendations, they’ll be more credible than just providing a standardised long list.
  3. If you’ve got additional features such as animal feeding, these can prove to be extremely popular with younger children so feature them prominently.

Walkers, hikers and cyclists

There’s nothing better than a good walk in fresh air.  Don’t just take our word for it; 42 million people take to the Wales Coast Path each year while that figure is equalled and eclipsed in the South West of England. 

If you have good cycling or walking routes near your holiday cottage you should:

  1. Include information on all routes on your website and promote them through your social media. 
  2. There should be routes for all levels and ages of walker with varying difficulties.
  3. Make sure you share the best photos and videos from your routes. Encouraging guests to do the same can gain you even more social media traction.
  4. Make use of local walking organisations and coastal paths in your marketing – some will have great video and photography you can tap into.
  5. Try to turn your walking routes into an event – where are the best places to stop for food and drink on the way? What else can they do? Create a day rather than a walk.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444 and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have.

Wales Coast Path

If you’ve got a holiday home in Wales then you’ll undoubtedly have plenty to shout about to your prospective guests; rugged coastline, heritage, beautiful blue seas and sandy beaches make up just some of the many reasons tourists flock to the 870 mile coastal path that flanks the country each and every year.

St Davids Head

Here are a few things you might not know about the Welsh coastline…

  1. Over 43 million visits are made to the Wales Coast Path every year.
  2. Walkers along the Coast Path are estimated to spend nearly £550 million a year.
  3. 47 beaches in Wales were awarded Blue Flag status in 2018 – more than anywhere else in the UK.
  4. It would take about two & a half weeks to walk the 186 miles of Pembrokeshire coastline

With all of this on your doorstep, how do you make sure that those browsing for their next holiday know everything the local area and coastline has to offer?

The Wales Coast Path has put together a free online resource which gives coastal businesses in the country wide access to a range of resources aimed at promoting the welsh coast as a destination.

You can find a copy of their toolkit on this link:

We’ve had a good read and it’s incredibly thorough – here are just a few of the things you could and should be taking advantage of as a coastal business in Wales…

Make use of their library of images

If you’ve got an incredible coastline, one thing you’ll definitely want is for your potential guests to see it! The toolkit includes a large gallery of professional images that can be used to promote the local area and coast path, so be sure to make the most of them in your social media and newsletters, as well as on your website.

You can find access to their gallery on page 9 of the toolkit.

Take advantage of technology

The coastline isn’t just about breath-taking views and scenery; buried beneath the sand and stone is centuries of Welsh heritage and history.  Your guests won’t miss a thing with the new Wales Coast Path App, designed to keep children and families entertained and informed as they make their way along the coast.  Here’s a taster of how the App can get your guests inspired by the stories and secrets of the coastline…

Attracting the dog-friendly market

There are 12 million dog owners in the UK and there’s nothing our furry friends love more than to hit the great outdoors with the excitement and vigour only a dog knows how to! The good news is that the coast path is open to a man’s best friend as long as they’re kept on a lead, so the dog friendly market is certainly one you need to be tapping into. 

The Coast Path Toolkit highlights a number of ways you’ll be able to attract dog owners to the area, including badges you can place on your website showing you openly welcome dogs. To download a copy of the Toolkit please visit the Wales Coast Path website here:

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday let? Give us a call on 01237 429444.

social media

social mediaSocial media has changed the way in which many of us find and book our holidays; more and more potential paying guests are now finding their holiday home accommodation provider through platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, where once upon a time they’d be at the local travel agent or reading about them in a glossy magazine or directory.

The question is no longer if you’re using social media as an agent or a cottage owner, it’s whether you’re utilising it to its maximum potential. With that in mind, here’re five very simple tips to increase your performance and generate more enquiries from your social media presence.

It’s good to find a niche and be targeted

All social media needs content; whether it’s 140 character tweets on Twitter, photos and some text for Facebook or that perfectly filtered image to go onto Instagram, content makes the world go round.

So how can you make that content more focused? By understanding who you’re targeting and thinking before anything you post, ‘would that person be interested in this content?’

Your holiday home will attract a certain type of person; if it’s ideal for young families then your content needs to be interesting and engaging to those with children. Are there soft play areas nearby? Is your cottage ram-packed with kids toys?

If it isn’t interesting to your target market, then it’s unlikely to stimulate response and intrigue.

A picture speaks a thousand words

No matter what platform you’re on, always try to include stimulating photography. It’s undoubtedly the easiest way to stand out from the crowd, and also sell your destination and accommodation. Consider stock-piling photography during the summer and brighter months which will tide you over during the winter. Many can become stuck for photos when the nights are longer and the leaves are long gone from the trees!

Timing is everything in social media

It’s important to understand the best times to post in order to boost the levels of interaction you gain. When it comes to Facebook, evenings (6.30pm – 10pm) are particularly effective. A massive amount of holiday research and bookings are made on a Sunday evening. If you’re not posting late in the afternoon or early in the evening on a Sunday, you could be missing out!

Twitter also buzzes during the evening when interaction is proven to be higher (people have more time having left the office for the day), whilst Instagram have done away with chronological post feeds meaning that post interaction is less dependent on timing (although first thing in the morning is still a winner!).

You’re more than just a holiday home (destination)

Holiday homeowners can sometimes come unstuck when trying to come up with content ideas. It doesn’t have to be just about your cottage, so worry not that you’ll need to be putting that same photo of the master bedroom up for a fourteenth time!

Visitors are likely to spend a good deal of time away from your cottage, so what is it that your area has to offer and how can you use this to entice potential guests? As much of the content you’re sharing should be about your destination as well as your property, and remember to make this all relevant to the person you’re trying to reach (as mentioned in our first point!) so it really strikes a chord and encourages an enquiry.

Be focused when it comes to advertising

Facebook make it incredibly simple and easy to advertise through their big blue boost buttons. Although it doesn’t mean that you need to be doing this recklessly. If you are considering boosting a post, then always consider if there’s any point to doing so before you do.

Trying to fill a week after a cancellation and have a special discount to encourage a booking, then fine, boost away!

Just posting an image and an update with no real call to action? Keep your money in your pocket!

Selectively boosting when there’s a distinct action you’re wanting the viewer to take can be extremely effective. By avoiding irrelevant post boosts you’ll have more spend to ensure it really works when you should be using it!

When holiday letting your second home to paying guests it’s essential to take advice on suitable insurance. Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to holiday letting owners across the UK. Need an insurance quote for your holiday letting property? Please give us a call on 01237 429444.

 

Stonehenge - Stonehenge - Visit Britain tourism figures

Stonehenge - Stonehenge - Visit Britain tourism figuresEarly autumn is often the first opportunity holiday homeowners get to take stock and review their performance from a frantic summer.  For many, the feeling has been that it’s been a good one; a heatwave which at one point showed no signs of ever ending meant that it was not only one of the hottest since records began, but also one of the driest. But what did that really mean in terms of the sector as a whole? Does great British weather lead to more heads on beds? Has the reality been as positive as the perception? We take a look at the latest statistics from the VisitEngland ‘Tourism Business Performance and Confidence Monitor’.

A strong summer for the tourism sector as a whole

The good news is that the figures released by VisitEngland have been every bit as positive as the general perception.  92% of those surveyed indicated that they were confident of their business performance during the peak summer months, with more than half of accommodation providers indicating that their bookings would be up on 2017.

VisitEngland said: “It is encouraging to see that accommodation providers and visitor attractions have experienced a strong summer with bookings up on last year and confidence sustained beyond the peak season. These results are testament to the quality and range of experiences on offer year-round across England.”

Trips taken in England at highest level for nine years

The ‘staycation’ has been a term that’s been bandied about for many years, with previous promises of BBQ summers suggesting that Brits would flock to the shores and countryside of the UK for their summer holidays rather than venturing to venues across the European peninsula.

So was 2018 the actual return of the ‘staycation’?  Well in terms of trips made in England over the first six months of the year it may well be; 16.2 million domestic holiday trips were made in England even in advance of the peak summer season, the highest for more than nine years!

The impact of ongoing good weather into October

Great weather in the summer often means better bookings in the shoulder months; it is after all much more tempting to book a holiday in England when there’s wall to wall sunshine outside! So the good news is that the boom seems set to stay a little longer. 67% of those surveyed by VisitEngland are reporting very good advanced bookings beyond the October half term.

And a final positive…

It’s been a good year for holiday homeowners, with 52% of those surveyed indicating 2018 has been better than 2017.  Let’s hope these figures can continue to move in the right direction.

Boshers are specialist providers of holiday home insurance. For information on specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

coastal holiday let

coastal holiday let

Styling a property and making it your home is something that’s completely reliant on your own taste and personality; you’ll ultimately fill it with items that match your own style expectations and that represent you, your family and the ones you love. But when it comes to styling a coastal holiday let to be occupied by countless guests with a broad range of tastes, where do you or should you begin?

You’ll want your coastal holiday let interior to be neutral in order to not alienate anyone thus narrowing your potential market. Equally you’ll want to stand out from the crowd and make sure that your holiday home has the wow factor to make it leap from the website page your potential guests are viewing.

This is particularly pertinent for coastal cottages; many people want to spend their summers (and winters!) by the sea, but how do you stand out from the standardised ‘nautical’ look and feel that has swept the coastlines of the UK?

Here’s just a few tips on styling your coastal holiday let…

Know your target market

Any interior design or furnishing always starts with understanding who’s going to be staying in your holiday cottage.  The look and feel of a family-friendly abode is going to be very different to that romantic bolt-hole for young professionals venturing out of London for the weekend.

So the question is, are you in your own target market? If not, then it can be incredibly difficult to step away from our own tastes or personal preferences and place ourselves into the shoes of those that will be.

The answer? Consider asking the people that matter the most – your own guests. What do they like about the interior of your cottage at the moment? Are there aspects they don’t like? What would they change for the better if they could?

Feedback forms are often filled out by guests on departure. However these rarely veer from the generic questions of overall quality and satisfaction. If you’re considering renovating or refurbishing your holiday home, perhaps take the opportunity to ask your guests for their opinions.

Less is sometimes more

If you’re based on the coast, then it can be tempting to sweep through your holiday home with swathes of white and pastoral blues, but the latest trends and interior design experts suggest that less in this case certainly is more.

They recommend using blues as an accent colour, rather than one of dominance, which if you’re wanting to welcome guests to your holiday home in the winter months is certainly worth bearing in mind as blue is always thought to be a cooler colouring by the human psyche.

Avoid the cliché

Lighthouse lamps, porthole mirrors, seashells, rope, anchors, wall-hung oars and endless prints of ships. How many of these feature in your coastal holiday home? Props in your holiday home can not only lead to a forced style, but also clutter and if you’re welcoming young children into your property, create situations where such items can be easily broken or lead to harm.

A holiday home will generally be more lightly furnished than your own home. So always ensure props or any additional pieces become features rather than clutter.

So what actually is in style?

The people in the interior design know tell us that in-vogue at the moment are:

  • classic tongue and groove panelling,
  • painted floorboards,
  • galvanised metals and weathered paintwork

Accessorising with antique mirrors, worn leather chairs, white china, glass jars and vintage enamelware will finish the look.

No matter what the current trend, your styling success will ultimately come down to connecting with your target market. By finding common ground with them and placing them at the heart of every decision, you’ll not go far wrong.

Remember when creating the perfect style for your coastal holiday let be sure to review your sums insured. After all that hard work you’ll not want to fall short on cover should the worst happen.

Boshers are specialist providers of holiday home insurance. For information on specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

dog friendly welcome information

dog friendly welcome information

The saying goes that a dog is a man’s best friend. In modern Britain they’re certainly part of the family with almost one in three households having a four legged friend. With so many of us owning a dog you’ll not be surprised to hear that around 40% of guests are seeking pet-friendly holiday home accommodation.

If you currently welcome dogs into your holiday home are you giving their owners all of the information they may need during their stay?

We take a look at what you could be including in your dog friendly welcome information folder, on your website and all communications when it comes to attracting and welcoming dog owners to your holiday home.

Dog-friendly local walks and beaches

You’ll already know that your guests will spend the vast majority of their time outside of your cottage and exploring the local area during their stay. You want them to know the very best spots to take a dog – whether that’s local beaches, local walks or even local dog-friendly attractions and venues so make sure these are listed on your website (to tempt them to book) and in your welcome pack (to ensure they’re able to make the most of the local area during their stay).

Remember that whilst our canine friends never seem to tire us humans do have our endurance limits, so consider offering tips on a range of routes and walks that will suit guests of all levels and ages.

What if it rains!

Just like us, if a dog is housebound for the day due to inclement weather they can get a little restless, which isn’t great news for the owner and definitely won’t be for your holiday home interiors.

Remember to feature things to do and places to go if the heavens open; perhaps there’re local cafes that are perfect for dogs, or undercover local attractions that will welcome them with open arms no matter what the weather.

Local pet shops

What are they going to eat? With so much to pack sometimes things get left behind or simply won’t fit in the car. Just in case the bags of dog food don’t make it to the boot of your guest’s car, make sure you let them know where they can buy food and other essentials.

Raw meats and other dietary options for dogs are becoming increasingly popular so it’s also worth giving them plenty of different options when it comes to pampering their pooch at tea time.

Local vets

Your dog friendly welcome information folder should already prominently feature emergency telephone numbers. When welcoming dogs or other pets these should definitely include the contact information of local vets. We suggest that these numbers are not just confined to the welcome pack itself; consider making them clearly visible so in times of emergency they’re always easy to find.

Dog sitters and walkers

Sometimes your guests may need a little ‘me-time’; to put down the lead, and have a few hours away from their furry friend. For these magical moments they’ll need a little support from the very best local dog sitter or walker. How about making sure their information is always on hand!

More dog-friendly welcome information for your holiday cottage:

Boshers are specialist providers of holiday home insurance. For information on specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, please give us a call on 01237 429444.

secure holiday cottage website

secure holiday cottage websiteThe security of the internet and the information we share on it is becoming a concern for all of us. Whilst the ransomware attack on the NHS back in May 2018 was an extreme example, any business or holiday cottage website can fall victim to hacking. There were no fewer than 5.6 million fraud and computer misuse crimes committed in the UK during 2016 alone.

Having a securer internet is a cause that Google have been championing for a number of years; in 2014 they announced they were beginning to take whether or not a site was secure into their ranking algorithm. Google have continued in that vein with a view to contribute toward creating a safer internet for all users.

As this is a technical area, let’s talk through it in plain English…

How do you know if your own holiday cottage website is secure?

Look at the url bar of your web browser, you’ll see that your website starts with either:

  • http://
  • https://  

If it is https:// you will often also see a small padlock which indicates that your website is secure. (Although this may depend on your browser).

Secure in this context means that the information you are viewing and data you enter into the site is encrypted. (An example of this is where you fill out a contact or booking form).

So the next question is if it is not already, how does the information become encrypted and the site therefore become secure?

What is an SSL Certificate and why should your holiday cottage website have one? 

Short for ‘Secure Socket Layer’, an SSL Certificate is something that you as a website owner buy (usually from your website hosting provider) and then install on your site.

Its purpose is to encrypt the information passed between you and your visitor, and visa versa, therefore making this information secure and unable to be hacked or intercepted.

The cost of an SSL Certificate can vary from £20 a year up to £150, depending on the needs of your site and your website developer should be able to point you toward the most effective and appropriate for your needs.

What are the benefits?

As we’ve already mentioned, Google first began taking security into consideration within its algorithm back in 2014, and this is only going to continue to grow as a ranking signal.

Whilst it’s an over simplification to say that having an SSL certificate on your site and operating over https:// will increase your rankings on its own, it will certainly help.

With the new GDPR legislation dictating how we all handle data also coming into place in May this year, this is a good time to be diligent in how you handle data in all areas of your holiday cottage business, including your website.

Need more information on installing an SSL Certificate to make your holiday cottage website more secure?

Please talk with your hosting company and website developer who will be able to asist you.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home, call us on 01237 429444.