30 November 2001

Use the web for a full house

OWNERS of holiday lets and bed-and-breakfast businesses can now use a new web-site to help fill vacancies and boost incomes.

Last Minute Cottages aims to provide farmers and others offering accommodation with an effective advertising platform for late-availability bookings.

The business is run by partners from the Brecon Beacons and rural Devon, areas hit hard by foot-and-mouth.

"Many owners of holiday accommodation and indeed our partnership have been personally affected by the outbreak. We are all looking at effective ways to rebuild our businesses," says Jill Nielson, who lives at Beer Farm, near Hatherleigh, Devon, a F&M hotspot earlier this year.

Spur-of-the-moment breaks are also becoming big business, she adds. "Most owners, at some time of the year, will have vacancies they would like to see filled."

Through Last Minute Cottages, owners across the UK can advertise vacancies for up to six weeks ahead.

The site is updated constantly, and each entry includes a photo of the property and a brief description, as well as price and location.

Members pay an annual fee of £100, inclusive of one property listing, £10 for each subsequent property, and there is no limit on the number of times each can be featured in the site.

Inquiries: Tel: 01837 851221, www.lastminute-cottages.co.uk

Jill Nielson ready for the last minute bookings.