I said that £800 a year was more than I was willing to pay for a website as it would not be the main source of guests. "Of course it is. How else will you attract visitors?" she asked with way too much smugness in her voice for my liking.
When I explained that our research was clear that most guests would just turn up at our door on spec, she was aggressively dismissive. She had never heard of such a thing, everyone ALWAYS books their accommodation in advance! Nobody would even think of finding a room on the day! She went on for some time! Eventually I interrupted and said that I had done my research and I knew the local situation, whereas she didn't. It was only when I asked her if she had ever been on a touring holiday, in Scotland or elsewhere that she shut up long enough for me to repeat that I wasn't interested and hang up.
Well, the past three months have proved how wrong she was.
Over the summer we've had a succession of anxious people at the door, asking if we have rooms available. This is good for our business as roughly 50% of our guests are "walk-ins" and having people at the door is usually the prelude to having guests. But for those looking for accommodation it can be a nerve-wracking experience.
"Thanks be to God!"
This was the heart-felt response of one of our guests a week or so ago when I said we had a room available. He said he'd take it before I'd told him the price and described breakfast. Fort William has been very full for the last three months and rooms have been scarce.
So our first season is going very well and we are thoroughly enjoying our new business. 😀