As 2014 draws to a close, Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages, discusses the changes it has seen as the business turns 35 next year.

The company's founder Elizabeth Daniel has noticed a transformation in perceptions of these types of holidays. Whereas previously tourists would opt for all-inclusive hotel stays and think of cottage holidays as cold, drab, isolating and hard work, the market has overcome this stigma.

Now with 370 properties in Wales, Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages has a staff of 14 and an established brand.

The company says it has not been stung by the sudden popularity of new competitors such as AirBnB. 

Now with 370 properties on its books it has enough variety to suit each customer and when booking online, each customer can ask which member of her local team of staff is familiar with the cottage.

For visitors opting for a luxury holiday cottage today, the experience is not so far removed from a hotel break. Ensuite bathrooms, amenity trays and even food parcels containing local produce.

The company says the recent trend in planning holidays with extended family has been an ideal fit for the self-catering cottage market. With many clients being time-poor, yet affluent through extensive work commitments, spending holidays with multiple generations of their family in the UK is often seen as the perfect solution. Elizabeth Daniel is seeing more and more of the large properties on her books in especially high demand.

-In the last year (September 2013 to September 2014) Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages have seen a 12% increase in bookings than the year before.
-The previous year (September 2012 to September 2013) they saw a 5% increase in bookings than the year before.
-In the last six months, Brecon Beacons Holiday Cottages signed 45 new cottages onto their books.
-Each new cottage goes through a vigorous check, guidance programme and inspection to guarantee the guest experience meets and exceeds the agency’s requirements.
-As for trends, the team has seen a lot of changes but most noticeably they’ve seen an increase in short breaks and very last minute bookings.

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