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.


GDPRMany of you will have by now heard of GDPR (the General Data Protection Regulation). However there still remains a degree of confusion around what holiday homeowners need to do in order to comply. The new legislation on how we all handle data comes into force on 25th May 2018.

So what is changing and why does it affect you as a holiday homeowner?

The new regulations are designed to supersede the Data Protection Act (DPA) 1998.

Why the need for change? Simply because the old Act no longer represents the internet today; if you think of the changes in technology over the past twenty years it’s completely understandable that the old legislation has become outdated.

The new legislation builds upon the DPA (which we should all be adhering to already); it makes some slight alternations in order to fit with modern methods of marketing and the way data is often used in today’s world.

Its aim is to attempt to stop poor use and the abuse of data; not to catch small businesses or holiday homeowners out and issue fines. Therefore if you’re a holiday homeowner that only uses data in a responsible way then the changes should be embraced.

What does it mean for your email lists?

Most holiday homeowners will use email to communicate with, and market to potential guests. The new GDPR legislation won’t stop you from doing this, but there are a few things that you need to be aware of:

  1. If you’ve bought an email list then you’ll no longer be able to use them after 25th May 2018; unless you’re able to get them to opt-in to receiving emails from you before that date.
  2. The same logic applies to any competitions you’ve run. It’s not uncommon for holiday homeowners to run initiatives that offer an incentive or prize in exchange for their email address.  If you’ve run this type of competition, then it is again imperative that you’ve gained an opt-in from entrants to receive emails from you. If in doubt, then it would be recommended that you no longer contact them unless you can gain their permission.
  3. The new regulations make reference to ‘current customers’, which could potentially be something of a grey area; afterall what constitutes ‘current’? Generally, if you’ve been sending emails on a regular basis to someone that has previously stayed with you, and they’ve not opened any in the past year then it would be sensible to remove them.  Aside from regulations, it’s best practise to cleanse your data like this on a regular basis to ensure you’re only sending to those interested in your content.

The common theme throughout the GDPR is that you need to have up to date data. Also those on your lists need to have signed up to receive your emails and be engaged with them.  Now is the time to get your data in order, conduct an audit and establish where it came from. Doing this will allow you to stay the right side of the well intentioned law!

Guide to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The best resource to help businesses including holiday homeowners prepare for the General Data Protection Regulation is available by clicking the link below:

Further guidance is also available in the VisitBritain Pink Book Online:

If you require precise or detailed information on the legislation mentioned in this article, or on the legal implications for you in particular, you should consult a professional legal adviser.

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

UK tourism figures

UK tourism figuresAlthough thoughts are now very much geared toward the summer season the UK tourism industry has had some good news. VisitBritain’s statistics suggests last December was one of the best on record for the UK tourism accommodation industry.

An extra 400,000 people enjoyed a stay with a UK accommodation provider when compared with the year before. (10.8 million domestic overnight trips in 2017 vs 10.4 million made in 2016). Those additional visits boosted overall spend by 3% to a staggering £1.7 billion.

Here’s a lowdown of some of the key figures from their latest report.

Defying winter weather and supporting staycations

Whilst it seems a distant memory with spring blossoming, December was characterised by strong winds and cool temperatures. Storm Caroline and Dylan brought with them gale-force gusts and widespread frosts.  However, this didn’t dampen overall tourism performance, with domestic overnight trips made throughout England increasing by 6% from December 2016.

There are strong indicators that the UK ‘staycation’ is still booming. Domestic trips and travel were up across the last quarter of the year. The weak pound against other currencies across the globe and continued uncertainty surrounding Brexit are both said to have potentially contributed to those looking a little closer to home.

Higher visitor numbers bring greater spending power

With bed nights up a whopping 12% year on year, it’s unsurprising that guest spend has also increased. In real-terms it’s up by around £50 million (that’s £70,000 every hour). This further highlights tourism’s importance to associated trades such as hospitality. This increase in spend is realised across the year, with spending 3% higher than across 2016 (up to £23.7 billion).

The age of those travelling

The greatest increase across the past year has been in trips taken by 25 – 34 year olds (up by 7%) and those that are 55 years and over (up by 3%).  As these two markets are very different in terms of potential needs, taste and requirements from a holiday home, it’s positive for the market and variety within it as a whole.

The biggest winners

When looking at the specific areas that benefited from higher bed nights and stays during December the biggest winners were the North West (up by 14%) and Yorkshire & Humber (up by 15%).  The North East also so a gain of 7% when compared to 2016 figures.

For full information on the latest trends and figures from Visit Britain please click on this link – PDF format: VisitBritain December 2017 Detailed Report 

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

Negative feedback and guest complaints

Negative feedback and guest complaintsTimes they are a changing, and never has that been truer than in the area of negative feedback and guest complaints. Where people would in times gone by leave their feedback in a comment book placed within your holiday home and raise any issues over the phone during their stay, these comments and issues are now often left online once they get home for the world to see.

So what is the best way to address negative feedback or guest complaints made after they have left your holiday home, and the option of rectifying any issue is no longer on the table?

The TripAdvisor conundrum

Love it or loath it, TripAdvisor plays a large role in effecting the buying decisions of potential guests. Therefore any negative reviews need to be dealt with effectively, efficiently and also without emotion.

You should have a strategy and approach to Tripadvisor which should include the following:

  1. Having someone responsible for reviewing and responding to your reviews, both positive and negative.
  2. Have a time frame for responding to any ongoing reviews.
  3. Create a review process for any response to a negative review which brings in more than one person.

The final point is a key one here; when writing online it can be very difficult to denote tone, which means that in the majority of cases the person reading the response you’ve written (whether that’s the person that’s left the complaint or a potential guest) will apply their own perceived tone to it.

Ensuring that more than one person has read the response, and that it isn’t posted in haste, will help to ensure you’ve struck the correct chord.

Is it all lost or can the situation be resolved?

If a guest has left a negative review then it can be understandably difficult to not take it personally; you’ll spend a lot of time, effort and money in making your cottage a great place for guests to stay so any complaint can seem as somewhat of an attack.

Because of that the default position may be to revert to defense.  However, take some time to think how best to resolve the issue rather than pointing elements out to the contrary of what they’ve said.

Entering into conversation away from the public eye is a positive way of moving toward a resolution and away from an unseemly TripAdvisor spat, which can quickly and frequently, go viral.

If points they’ve made do need clarification make sure they’re made in a factual and non-emotive way.

What if they’re not made on Tripadvisor?

The question here is how to find them! Although TripAdvisor is a massive part of holiday home and tourism life, not all comments and reviews will be made through the platform.

You should regularly monitor your brand online through Google, Twitter and Facebook.

How to find recent mentions of your cottage on Google

When it comes to Google, try putting in the name of your cottage, or your website url (try both).  If you select ‘Tools’ which is just underneath the search box on Google and alter the ‘Any Time’ drop down to ‘Past week’ you will only be seeing new information added to Google in the last seven days.  This can be a great way of keeping on top of the vast search engine.

How to find mentions of your cottage on Twitter

Are you already using the third party application Hootsuite for Twitter? If not then here is a great reason to do so. Hootsuite provides quick and easy access to recent mentions of your holiday cottage from the millions of tweets made every hour.

You can do this in seconds by:

  • adding a tab / stream into the platform; and
  • setting the search to the name of your cottage.

This will let you see mentions of your cottage when they’ve not included your Twitter handle in their tweet. (These will appear automatically in your @mentions tab on Twitter).

For more information on adding columns to Hootsuite, take a look at these instructions:

How to find mentions of your cottage on Facebook

Last but not least; you can find mentions of your cottage on Facebook by using the simple search tool available on all profiles.

And once you’ve located the comments?

Once you have found any feedback and comments from your guests ensure you always respond. Do so in the same effective, efficient and non-emotive way as you should on TripAdvisor.

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

welcome hamper

welcome hamper

The start of any holiday is an exciting feeling; you’ve got your out of office on, you’ve packed your car and you’re on the road heading to an idyllic holiday home. First impressions are everything, so what better way to greet your guests on arrival than the smell of the contents from your sumptuous welcome hamper wafting in the air?

It’s something more and more holiday cottages are offering, so what does make a great welcome hamper? What should you be considering when carefully crafting yours?

Is it OK to include alcoholic drinks in a welcome hamper?

A welcome hamper needn’t contain alcohol, as tempting as it may seem to slip in a tipple for your guests. Before you do be aware that there are licensing implications to consider, which we covered in an earlier article that can be found here:

Know your area

It’s always important to remember that your cottage is more than just a place to stay; the local area, the restaurants, the attractions and the food and drink suppliers are all part of the ‘destination’ that draws people in.

So why not give them a slice of this? Packing your hamper with great local produce makes sense; it supports local businesses, it makes your welcome more personable and will ultimately be more special than any generic offering.

Quality not quantity

As with many things, the key to a good welcome hamper is quality not quantity. Even leaving a fresh pint of local milk in the fridge and a few tea bags near the kettle will have a positive impact on your guests after a long journey.

Know your market

Hampers are often associated with food and drink but it needn’t stop there. Who is it that stays in your holiday cottage? If you’re the finest accommodation around for families, consider including something for the children.  Whether it’s a colouring book or board game, when the rain comes (which it often will with the great British weather!) the parents will be glad of the distraction, and thanking you for not providing sugary sweets!

Understanding allergens

If you’re offering food or drink you’ll need to bear in mind that approximately 2% of the population have some sort of food allergy, so the chances are that during the course of a busy summer you’ll be welcoming someone that may be intolerant to something within your hamper.

You may have noticed in recent years that restaurants and eateries are now required to list the allergens contained within their offerings on their menus and other promotional literature.  Communication is the key here; if the cookies from the local bakery contain peanut or gluten then you need to make this clear to guests.

Whilst nut and gluten are two of the better known allergies, there are several more that are common within Britain including:

  • Cereals (which includes gluten).
  • Crustaceans, for example prawns
  • Eggs
  • Fish
  • Soybeans
  • Milk and other dairy produce
  • Mustard
  • Celery
  • Sesame
  • Sulphur dioxide (a food preservative sometimes found in dried fruit).

NB This list is not exhaustive and is only an indicator of some of the most commonly found allergens in the UK.

It’s important to have dialogue with your suppliers and ensure that they provide you with all of the allergen information you need to give to your guests; they shouldn’t be left in any doubt as to what’s in your hamper.

Offering your own produce

When selling a house, there’s always been an old adage that the smell of home baked bread in the air as potential buyers walk through is a sure fire way to seal the sale. So how about adding that feel to your holiday home with some freshly baked scones?

If you’ve got the time and the culinary skills to cut the mustard, you’ll need to adhere to all food hygiene requirements – you can find an outline of those in our previous article:

Insurance implications

To avoid gaps in cover ensure that your holiday home insurance includes both public and products liability. Check that your policy includes cover which extends to holiday letting to paying guests.

This is just an overview for holiday homeowners on welcome hampers in holiday homes. If you have any tips or suggestions please leave them in the comments box below.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK including public and products liability cover for holiday letting. For information on how specialist insurance can help protect your holiday home business, give us a call on 01237 429444.

Stonehenge - Stonehenge - Visit Britain tourism figures

Stonehenge - Visit Britain tourism figuresAs the summer of 2017 drew to a close the anecdotal feeling throughout much of the industry was that it had been a busy one, and we’re delighted to say that the latest Visit Britain tourism figures make very pleasant reading for those within the UK’s thriving tourism sector.

The number of tourists visiting the UK from abroad during July 2017 stood at a whopping 4.02 million. The first time the four million mark had been topped in a single month, and the largest figure since records began in 1961!

Industry experts have suggested that the weaker pound against the euro and dollar during the past twelve months has contributed to an increase in international visitors seeking to take advantage of great deals and currency leverage, which when combined with more brits staying within the UK for their summer holidays, has led to an overall swell in visitor numbers and nights during the peak months.

Let’s take a more detailed look at some of the latest figures…

Record-breaking Visit Britain tourism figures

The latest figures (which are for July 2017) show that the first half of the summer (May through to July) saw an increase of 4% in overall visitor numbers, making it the busiest opening to a UK summer season on record, with 11.1 million overseas visits made to Blighty during the period.

Spending is up

There is even more good news as data shows that tourists have also been spending more than ever before. During July 2017 spending associated with tourism rose by 3% compared to the same month last year, reaching a whopping £2.8 billion. With record-setting results in six of the first seven months of the year, inbound visitors spent a record £13.3 billion in the first seven months of 2017, 9% more than during the first part of 2016.

Director at VisitBritain, Patricia Yates, said “Very often people budget in their own currency. They’re getting more pounds for their money, and we can see their spend going up.”

Where are the visitors coming from?

The two core long haul regions are the US and China. Both have seen significant increases when it comes to making trips to the UK. They’re up 19% and 29% respectively year on year.

“We’ve seen the American market coming back,” Yates said. “They are high spenders so we like them. Even smaller hotels in Wales are saying they are seeing American visitors. Not only do they go to London, they travel around and explore the regions. They are great visitors to have.”

The UK is also proving a popular choice for EU holidaymakers. 8.3 million visits recorded during the first quarter of 2017, which is an increase of 7%.

What does all of this mean?

The increase in visitor figures will come as a welcome relief for the industry in light of previous fears that recent terror attacks on Manchester and the capital could lead to international travelers staying away, as had been seen with visitor numbers to Paris and other areas of France after similar events.

Patricia added; “This sustained growth demonstrates Britain’s continued ability to compete internationally for visitors and shows that tourism, one of our most valuable export industries, is an increasingly important driver of economic growth across our nations and regions,”.

It will be interesting to see the figures for August and see if the records continue to be broken.

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.

holiday letting property images

holiday letting property imagesMore than 400 million people login to the photo sharing app Instagram every single day, and as a result one thing that a growing number of us will take for granted is the ability to quickly and easily edit our photos, add a filter and improve their quality, all with just a few flicks of our finger on a smart phone screen.

It’s not just reserved to our own personal photos either; many of the photographs gracing glossy magazines and daily papers are now enhanced to ensure they’re looking their best.

This is however no modern phenomenon; the process of enhancing photos has actually been around for decades, but is now becoming increasingly common in estate agency, and more recently in the marketing of holiday letting properties.

So what are your options when it comes to making sure that your photos really are doing your holiday cottage justice?

Why would you need to enhance your holiday letting property images?

The online world in which we market our cottages is becoming increasingly instantaneous; more than 50% of all traffic will now arrive to a cottage site from a smart phone.  People want information and they want it quickly; this places a perennial pressure on the instant impact that a great photograph can make.

A photograph really can make or break an online booking decision.

We also need to bear in mind that the great British weather won’t always play ball; how often do cottage owners book in that professional photographer only to be scuppered by dark skies and rain?

So what can you do to make your holiday letting property images as good as they can be and just how much can they be altered to do you justice?

What sort of thing might you want to change?

It’s important to state here that you’re not going to be able to alter things beyond recognition, nor are you going to want to when it comes to managing the expectations of paying guests.  There are, however some aspects that can be tinkered with in order to tip the booking balance in your favour.

Interior issues

Getting great photos of the interior rooms of a property is notoriously tricky and why a specialist professional photographer is worth their weight in gold when shooting them. A photo enhancing service will be able to easily adjust exposure, shadows, colours and the saturation of your photo.

Rooms can essentially be made to feel as light and airy as they are in real life, which is great if the rain clouds arrived along with your photographer.

Handling those rain clouds

Once they’re finished inside, you’re still going to want some external shots of your cottage. A blue sky adds something to every holiday home, and the good news is that the sky can easily be changed to slightly sunnier times.

Visitor cars and other large objects

For most cottages, you’ll want to take your photos in the summer when the leaves are green, the grass is cut and everything is looking at its very best. There-in lays an age-old problem; how do you take the best photos you can when there are guests around?

Issues such as cars parked in the drive, children’s toys scattered across the lawn or wetsuits splayed across a fence are all things that will detract from the perfect picture. The good news again is that these can be edited out of your photo by enhancing services, providing you with the perfect combination of taking a photo at the best time of the year, whilst not having to worry about your guests.

There are a number of photo editing solutions and services out there; as always make sure you get a few quotes to ensure you’re getting the best possible price, and also ask to see some examples of their previous work (including before and after shots). 

If this all sounds like too much trouble all good holiday home letting agents will be able to offer these services as part of their package. This tends to be either in house or by using professional freelance photographers and editing services.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how we can help and support your holiday home business call us on 01237 429444.


cancellationWhilst many holiday cottages across the country are busy with bookings for the peak season, most will also have at some time had to deal with a late cancellation. These are often completely unavoidable. Even if a sizeable deposit has been taken, they can still leave you out of pocket. The other issue is you only have a short space of time to fill them.

With that in mind, we’ve put together some top tips to help you maximise the chances of getting new guests into that prime summer slot.

Don’t rush to discount

The obvious temptation is to drop your price and discount the week. Depending on how quickly you need to fill the vacancy this won’t always be the best way to go; you’ve got a quality cottage, it’s been in demand, so why not test the water and offer it at full (or near to full) price?

This can be particularly pertinent if you’re focussed on the family market; during school term time prices are obviously artificially higher than at other times of the year. If you have the time, try offering your week at the same price before offering any potential hefty discounts. Should it not work, you can then adopt some sort of discounting offer.

Build your database on an ongoing basis

It pays to have a Facebook page full of likes or an email database brimming with past and potential customers. Otherwise the cost of filling your cancelled week will be higher than if you put the ground work in well in advance.

For that reason, you should be constantly taking emails from past and present guests (make sure you offer them the chance to opt-in to your emails), as well as having a clearly visible signup form on your website.

These people are going to be the first port of call when it comes to getting the news of a cancelled week (as they’ve either stayed or showed an active interest in your cottage), and will be a cost effective way of filling your vacancy.

When it comes to Facebook, always encourage people to like your page. This can apply during the booking process, right through to their stay and once they’ve returned home. If they’ve already experienced how great your holiday cottage is then you’ll want to be able to tell them about the latest availability through your page, and as mentioned above, by email too.

Use Facebook effectively

When you post onto Facebook you will organically reach around 20% of your page likes (if the post doesn’t receive interaction such as likes, comments and shares).

This means that when your post about availability goes on, you’re potentially only reaching 20% of your target audience and the other 80%, who are likely to be interested as they like your page, are none the wiser.

For this reason don’t be tempted to just hit the big blue button that says ‘boost’ on it; go to the advert manager and run a campaign to the people that like your page already. This will hit those 80% who like your page and are therefore the best bet to fill a vacancy.

If that doesn’t work then you can then focus on reaching their friends, who are likely to have similar lifestyle traits and tastes.

For more information on how to do this please take a look here: Facebook advertising | 3 ways to target more bookings

Ensure you’re employing email marketing

With Facebook becoming more and more prevalent in filling bookings, email can sometimes be the forgotten marketing ingredient. For every £1 spent on email marketing in the UK, £28 in revenue is generated.  Send an email to your database letting them know about the availability, as well as posting it on Facebook.

For more information on how to do this please take a look here: 10 tips for holiday let email marketing success

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. For information on how we can help and support your holiday home business call us on 01237 429444.

UK visitor numbers show increasing trend

UK visitor numbers show increasing trendThere has been much conjecture over the potential impact of Brexit on the UK tourism sector since the EU referendum. One thing is for certain, all of the statistics now being released on last year’s visitor numbers are incredibly encouraging.

Recent reports have largely focussed on the perceived renaissance in domestic travel and the ‘staycation’. Whilst now a rise in overseas travel that is also being celebrated. The latest industry statistics from Visit England, with a 3% increase on 2015 meaning more than 37.3 million tourists flocked to our shores in 2016.

Let’s take a more in-depth look at where these visitors are coming from, and the potential reasons underpinning this upturn…

Visitor numbers up

Although the UK continues to be a popular holiday destination for many around the world, it’s those travelling from across the Atlantic that have seen the largest increase.  A whopping 4.3 million US citizens visited the UK in 2016, a 7% increase on the previous year.

The reason for this may have been the competitive exchange rates between the two countries during this period. Thus allowing Americans seeking a slice of Britain competitive rates on accommodation and other expenditure during their time here.

EU Visits break previous records

Despite the United Kingdom opting to leave the European Union in June, visits from the other 27 member states broke the record books for a second consecutive year. 25.3 million visits were made from our European counterparts, an increase of 4% on the figures enjoyed in 2015.

VisitBritain Chief Executive Sally Balcombe said: “The strong growth in inbound visits demonstrates British tourism’s continued ability to compete for international visitors and deliver economic growth across our nations and regions.

“We must seize the opportunity to build on this, boosting visitor spending by driving home the message of welcome and value particularly in our high spending markets such as China and the US and the valuable European market.”

Winter trips increased

Holiday visits to the UK saw a boost towards the end of the year, resulting in an 11% increase between October and December. That’s 3.2 million visits during the winter season and a large area of growth for many accommodation providers.

It also looks like Brits have been inviting their nearest and dearest to join them on holiday. Inbound visits to friends and relatives rose a huge 10% to 11.5 million visits. The vast majority of these visits were made outside of the Greater London area, which commands a large proportion of international visits and is a great indicator of the growing strength of the UK’s tourism market.

Looking ahead

2016’s end of year surge gives a positive outlook for 2017, despite uncertainties surrounding Britain’s exit from the European Union. January 2017 saw an 11% rise on visitors from the previous year. This adds further indication that Britain’s tourism industry is set to have yet another fruitful year. Let’s hope for plenty of sunshine to help it along the way!

For more information on what this year could hold, read our previous post on UK inbound tourism in 2017.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Require a quote for your holiday apartment, cottage or complex? Please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Instagram and Holiday Cottage Marketing

Instagram and Holiday Cottage MarketingSocial media is one of the best ways for holiday cottages to promote themselves and build relationships with potential guests. Most owners have a Facebook page and maybe a Twitter account too. How about combining Instagram and holiday cottage marketing?

Hugely popular (there are over 400million monthly users!) and owned by Facebook, the photo-sharing social app is a great way to show off your holiday cottage. 68% of users engage with brands regularly, compared to 32% on Facebook, which means it is the perfect place to get noticed by potential guests, and build relationships with them that turn into bookings.

Okay so we’ve convinced you to download the app, now what? It’s time to post a picture. Before you start snapping away, there are a few things to think about. Here are our top seven tips for posting on Instagram as a holiday homeowner.

  1. Use high quality images

This may sound a bit obvious, but having an image that isn’t blurry or pixelated will give your post the solid foundations it needs; Instagram is, after all, a platform for sharing images! If you’ve had professional photography taken, then these can also be easily stored on your phone and shared through the App.

  1. Show off the cottage AND the local area

Your holiday cottage is part of a destination, so you’ll need to be using your posts to show the local area as well as your lovely property. Mix up the images you post, combining interior shots with local attractions and views.

Try to make them a similar style, maybe bright and vibrant, or calm and pretty – whatever suits your holiday cottage, its location and your target market! Filters are a great way to make an ok-picture look great, so play around with the settings and ready-made filters to find something that works.

  1. Get the caption right

Adding a picture of the sofa in the holiday cottage is fine, but once it captures someone’s attention what would make them take the interaction any further? That’s where your caption comes in.

Keep it short but make sure there’s plenty of personality in there, why not use an emoji or two? You should also use a Call To Action (CTA); this could be a simple line such as “find out more by clicking the link in our bio”, or a question that encourages interaction.

  1. Use hashtags, and use them properly

Hashtags, put simply, are used to create connections; they’re labels that allow people searching for a specific topic to find your post. For example, if you are a holiday cottage in Devon you might add “#Devon” to your post. If someone were searching for #Devon, they would then see your post in their search results.

To avoid using excessive amounts of hashtags (which looks very spammy!), think about what people would realistically be searching for. For a post of your Devon cottage living room using #sofa #livingroom #cushion won’t get you very far, instead try #Devon #holidayhome.

There’s some good news here; if you’re not sure which hashtag to use, Instagram shows you the volume of people using the hashtag as you begin to type it, providing you with valuable information and helping you to reach as many people as possible.

  1. Try a video

Video is becoming increasingly popular on Instagram. With the recent introduction of live videos and extended post times, it’s a great option for getting attention. Boomerang, an app that captures a short video and repeats it, is also becoming more and more popular on Instagram, so make sure you give it a go with those coastal waves or walks in the countryside.

  1. Interact

Instagram is a social media platform, so get social! Like and reply to comments, follow people back, and even share their photos. Although only if it relates to your holiday cottage or area. Remember that the overall promotion of the destination is a key to everyone’s success. Conversation is key! That’s what builds up relationships and encourages people to take the next step and book a trip.

  1. Post regularly

A little like Twitter, with so many users posting your images can be lost if you’re not a regular. Ideally, you should be posting twice a day (don’t panic that’s two minutes’ tops!). To reach those who are looking for a holiday, make sure you post at the right time. Consider when they’re likely to be on their phone and Instagram. For example Sunday evenings, as well as lunch time and after work.

Boshers offer specialist holiday home insurance to owners across the UK. Require a quote for your holiday apartment, cottage or complex? Please give us a call on 01237 429444.

Year of Literary Heroes

Year of Literary Heroes

2017 has been named the Year of Literary Heroes by VisitEngland and VisitBritain as part of a new tourism campaign. It celebrates the works, and lives, of England’s best loved authors, attracting tourist attention along the way.

A plethora of literary anniversaries are coming up, and the Visit team will be hosting plenty of activities and events throughout the Year of Literary Heroes. They’ll also be posting a variety of content across their main marketing channels (including social media and their website) which can be used freely. The hashtag #BookEngland is also being encouraged, so if you’re making use of the materials then be sure to join in the conversation on Twitter and Instagram!

To help you get started, we’ve been doing our literature homework and have created a list of famous authors from across the UK. Find your local literary hero below and inspire your holiday cottage guests to explore the works of your area.


Topping the list in Scotland is Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Born in Edinburgh, the author of Sherlock Holmes was a leader of the Crime Fiction genre, and today his work is still loved around the world.

Scotland is also home to current Poet Laureate Dame Carol Ann Duffy who was born in Glasgow. She’s held her position since 2009, and is the first Scot to have the influential title.


Cardiff born Roald Dahl is most famous for his children’s books, including titles such as Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and James and the Giant Peach. His books have sold more than 250 million copies worldwide!

The world can also thank Wales for Dylan Thomas, a poet whose work took the world by storm. He was so popular that he completed a three-year tour of America between 1950-1953.

Northern England

One of our Northern favourites has got to be Beatrix Potter! Her love of the region inspired her work and took her on a unique journey. Did you know that she was the President of the Herdwick Sheep Breeders’ Association?

The North also gave inspiration to a poet, who created one of the first guides to the Lake District. Wordsworth’s ‘Guide through the District of the Lakes’ was published in 1820. The publication sparked off the first beginnings of mass tourism to the area.

The Midlands

Middle Earth – sorry, the Midlands, set the scene for JRR Tolkien during his childhood. The author grew up in Birmingham and one of his books, The Hobbit, has sold over 100 million copies and been translated into 50 languages.

Sue Townsend, creator of Adrian Mole also called the Midlands home, and was born in Leicester. Her humorous style has had readers across the world laughing as they follow the life of one of Britain’s best loved characters.

South East England

This region can be thanked for numerous iconic characters; Oliver Twist, Miss Havisham, and Tiny Tim were all created thanks to Portsmouth’s Charles Dickens. Regarded as the greatest novelist of the Victorian Era, Dickens’ work has stood the test of time.

As well as the classic novelist Dickens, the South East gave Enid Blyton and her best-selling series The Famous Five and The Secret Seven to the world. The former was adapted into several formats, including theatre, film, and even video games.

South West England

It would be almost impossible to talk about authors from the South West without mentioning Dame Agatha Christie and her home in Torbay! The queen of crime published 66 detective novels as well as 14 short story collections.

Further down the coast we’ll find Winston Graham’s home of 34 years, Perranporth in Cornwall. This is where he penned Poldark which has since been turned into a popular television series.

Find out more about the Year of Literary Heroes here.

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