Festival a boost for B&Bs in hard times
TIMES ARE hard in the B&B industry, and without Wexford Festival Opera Kay McMenamin is under no doubt that many guest house owners would struggle to survive. As hotels can afford to slash room rates to attract clientele, B&Bs are having difficulty competing.
At least the festival, and the huge number of visitors it attracts to Wexford, gives them some breathing space.
' The Festival is so valuable to B&Bs in Wexford. There are so many beds available in Wexford now, and B&Bs just can't compete with hotels, who are slashing their room rates at normal times of the year,' she said.
However, with rooms at a premium during the festival, hotels put their prices up, which levels the playing pitch for B&Bs.
Kay also notes that the return business for the festival every year is particularly rewarding. 'We get a lot of people who come to us, and as they are checking out they book again for next year. During festival time we don't tend to have guests as such, we have friends returning to us,' she said.
Kay says that McMenamin's Townhouse is just one of many small businesses that are indebted to the Festival for what it brings to the local economy.
'Look at all the small restaurants and bars. They would be dead at that time of the year without it. There would be nobody anywhere,' she said.