Our credentials go back to Killarney in 1994 when we started promoting the town and Kerry in those pioneering days of the Internet. Many at the time could not see the value of the worldwide web to tourism. They failed to look at the benefits of collective Internet marketing and the cost savings that it could bring. However, the B&B sector was the first organise itself, and three significant players emerged "Family Homes of Ireland", "Town & Country Homes" (now BandB Ireland) and the B&B Network (ourselves, renamed the B&B owners Association in 2012)
Until the recession in 2008, these companies grew and provided bookings for thousands of B&Bs in Ireland. However, many B&B businesses started to close their doors as revenue dropped and many others desperate to survive started signing up with the big online travel sites. During this period, the island of Ireland most likely lost up to 50% of its B&B accommodation as the online companies began to dominate, eating into a B&Bs fragile profits. BandB Ireland and the B&B Owners Association still exist, and many B&Bs are migrating back to these organisation to save money, benefit from collective marketing again and the low cost of bookings.
Today the BOA offers a welcome alternative for B&B Owners caught in the trap of high commission, cancellations and monthly commission bills. The Association maintains around 20 B&B portals, directories and regional websites for the Irish B&B sector that capture visitor traffic and direct it to our members' pages and sites allowing guests to book directly by phone, email or booking engine.