More on the power of feeling welcome and included

We were fully booked last weekend, in all three of our rooms; I was delighted to welcome back some returning guests, who first stayed with us last summer and also some new ones, who were in Gillingham to attend a baby shower. Hopefully we will see them again too,  when they come back to the area in the New Year for the baby’s naming ceremony!

Welcome to Sunflowers

I blogged a few weeks ago about the various nationalities who have passed through our doors this year – since then,  we have welcomed a lady from China and a couple from Ghana; but also quite a few extremely local people who needed a place to stay whilst they went out to a Christmas party. It’s always fascinating to hear the answers to the question “So, what brings you to Gillingham?” and this lovely photo, originally shared by a bed and breakfast owners’ group of which I’m a member, completely sums up my hosting ethos: WELCOME.

Thank you – and a few thoughts on inclusion

2016-08-07-15-16-22Today my friends and former/future guests in the USA are celebrating Thanksgiving. So I give my thanks to everyone who has stayed with us since we opened up the doors of our home – I am truly grateful to you all.

And a few weeks ago, people of Indian/Hindu origin celebrated Diwali,  the festival of light; I’ve spent a lot of time in India and Diwali has always been one of my favourite celebrations. Thinking about these global traditions also coincided with Airbnb publishing its “Community Commitment”, which reminds hosts to treat people fairly and equally and to not display bias or discrimination towards potential or actual guests.  As somebody who spent a long part of my corporate career in a senior diversity and inclusion role, thinking and behaving in an inclusive and welcoming manner is very much in my DNA; now that I’m a Dorset B&B landlady, this is proving to be the most wonderful part of my life.

Today, we received a booking from a lady of Chinese origin,  who will be in the area on business – she will be our first guest from that country. Looking back through my guest book,  I can see “thank you” written in about six different languages and I note that we have hosted  people from countries which include all four corners of the UK, the Republic of Ireland, Nigeria, France, Russia, India, Zimbabwe, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Poland.

So,  thank you again to all of our wonderful guests – we have loved hosting you and we look forward to all that the future may bring.