We all love traveling and exploring new places, interacting with new people and gathering new experiences. While some people don’t care about the mode of travel to a destination, others don’t care much about the places to see when they plan. Still others don’t mind lazing in their place of accommodation, much to the angst of their partners! Bed and Breakfast (BnB) may be an answer to your dilemmas!
What do you look for before planning your trip?
I am sure accommodation is the one thing that comes to your mind! Whether you are traveling alone or with your family, you would want to know where you would spend your night. Some questions that would come to your mind are:
- What is the price of the room per night?
- How safe is the place?
- Whom can I call if there’s something wrong with the place?
- How well-connected is the place to major transit points and shopping malls?
- What are the facilities, especially the toilets?
- And most importantly, how is the behavior of the persons who shall serve you?
Barring 4-star and 5-star hotel categories in India, can you be sure that a 3-star hotel or lower category hotels would have it all sorted for you? I doubt!
Instead, what if I tell you that there are economical rooms with good facilities situated in a residential area with the property owner residing on the premises ready to solve your issues with a smile? Well, there are hundreds of Bed and Breakfast rooms in Delhi alone, almost 10,000 in India. The Government of India registers these rooms with a few guidelines that they need to follow. The following Ministry of Tourism document shall make it clearer to you.
How did Government incentivize Homeowners to convert their homes into BnB?
The government of India gave the homeowners a few incentives to convert their homes into BnB by lowering their capital and maintenance charges. Government has exempted these BnB from paying the luxury tax or service tax (up to a certain limit) which the hotel owners must pay. Apart from that, water and electricity rates are at residential rates for the BnB owners while the Hotel owners must pay electricity and water charges at commercial rates.
Thus, since the amount of investment is less while they need to maintain similar standards of professionalism so, the BnB are found to be 25%-30% cheaper than a hotel with equivalent facilities.
These are the tangible benefits of BnB over hotels. Now, let us move over to the intangible benefits of BnB over hotels. Have you ever seen a hotel manager or staff coming along with you to help you do souvenir shopping for your loved ones’ back home. A hotel staff/manager would at most suggest you the marketplaces or if generous, would arrange you a pre-booked cab to the place you wish to visit.
However, if you stay in a BnBNation’s cherry-picked BnB, there is a very high possibility that the host would reside on the premises as only some BnB have been let out to professional hospitality agencies. If it is your lucky day and if the BnB owner is free, he/she might as well as accompany you to the nearest marketplace and negotiate the prices of the stuff that you buy!
Who owns these BnBs?
With the aim to put India on the global tourism map and to improve India’s image as a safe, warm and hospitable tourist destination, the intellectual elite of the society came forward to convert their homes into BnBs! Thus, it is quite usual to find that a BnB owner is a retired IPS or a retired Indian Army Major and such stature!
Feeling Intimidated? Well, the miscreants are even more intimidated by people of such stature, and integrity! The homeowners’ profile keeps the miscreants at bay and renders their homes safe for tourists whether domestic or foreign. Additionally, you would not find anyone enters their homes without a visiting card or a proper reason.
In an earlier post, we had highlighted the safety features of a BnB and why they are so safe for women travelers: http://wp.me/p7iRDY-2
As a tourist, waking up in a retired Indian Army officers’ house would be amazing. Isn’t it? Share a breakfast with him while listening to his tales of bravery and heroism?
Now, with such a high level of personalized services at economical rates, where would you prefer to stay? In a BnBNation certified BnB or a hotel?
*- With inputs from Anshul Saxena and Dr. GG Saxena)
Sources of Inspiration:
“Role of Bed and Breakfast scheme of Delhi in Development of Tourism in Delhi”, Ph.D Thesis by Dr. G G Saxena.