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Bed & Breakfasts in Italy: The case of the Emilia-Romagna Region

di Teresa Branzaglia

Alma Mater Studiorum
Università di Bologna
School of Economics Management and Statistics
Campus Rimini
Second Cycle Degree Programme in Tourism Economics and Management
Relatore: Manuela Presutti
Anno Accademico: 2015/2016

1.4.4 - Rest of Europe

Bed & breakfasts in Europe have had great success in both large and small countries; consider for example Austria, where the culture of hospitality had already reached a very high level in the past century and is deeply rooted throughout the whole country. Austria is divided into nine Bundesländer (i.e. federal states), regions that, while forming a political union, are different from each other both for the landscape and for some cultural aspects. Each Land has set out specific rules for the accommodation sector of its territory.

As for the extra-hotel segment, in each of the nine regions there is an association or consortium that gathers the Privatzimmer (literally “private rooms”) and has its own "statute" with its own rules. According to the Austrian National Tourist Office, there are about 120.000 bed & breakfasts in the whole country.

In Germany, instead, the agency in charge for the grouping/booking/information about bed & breakfasts is called Bed & Breakfast Privatzimmervermittlung and it is directly related to the national tourism body. All the structures belonging to the “network” are regularly inspected and classified according to three categories: standard (simple guest room with shared bathroom), superior (comfortable guest room with private bathroom), and luxury (stylish guest room with private bathroom inside the room).

Moving to the north, in the Scandinavian countries, Denmark in particular, the bed & breakfast formula has spread very quickly thanks to the numerous "circuits", created following the example of Great Britain and Ireland, which promote the business and ensure its seriousness through stringent controls on the quality of the services offered and on the prices charged. In these countries, B&Bs are well organized and advertised both with regular signs outside the homes and through the tourist guides and the Internet.