Ireland is famous for its hospitality industry. The country is synonymous with a fantastic B&B culture and while bed and breakfasts went under the radar for a number of years, they've now bounced back in a major way and are enjoying a resurgence in popularity.
So why is the B&B having such a rebirth right now?
Visitors to Ireland and the Irish love the traditional and it doesn't get more traditional than a cup of tea and slice of cake or home made soda bread on arrival. The genesis of B&Bs came from the women of Ireland who started out by taking in paying guests to top-up income and it soon started to soar and become much more than that as more and more tourists arrived.
Recently with the popularity of Airbnb, bed and breakfasts had a lower profile and went slightly out of fashion but now they are seriously back in vogue. Today there are around 3,000 B&Bs across Ireland and almost 1,000 of these are approved by Fáilte Ireland.
Helena Healy, Chief Executive of B&B Ireland points out that the sector is now doing really well once again and this is particularly because of the popularity with Europeans including Germans, Italians and French.
The big appeal is getting a chance to stay in an Irish home with freshly-cooked breakfasts and great local knowledge. The increasing desire now for authenticity and word of mouth and a more genuine approach to travel is again helping the B&B sector to rise above the parapet.
B&Bs across Ireland have been quietly reinventing from cool urban locations to traditional farmhouses and many of them are now award-winning and focusing on the provenence of the foods that they serve and embracing Ireland's fantastic food culture. North Americans are particularly attracted to Ireland's B&Bs and they are also proving to be a great base for activity holidays, particularly around the marketing of the Wild Atlantic Way and Ireland's Ancient East.
For those that want an authentic Irish experience plus superb breakfasts and that traditional Irish welcome, B&Bs look set to shine once more in 2019.