The popularity of bed and breakfast establishments in South Africa has increased phenomenally, with numbers growing from 300 in 1993 to an estimated 9 000 in 1997.
Many people consider that starting and running a bed and breakfast business would be fun, but bear in mind that it involves a lot of hard work and long hours. "You have to be a people's person, be patient and diplomatic. Professionalism and a fair level of business acumen are essential. You need composure and the ability to treat people well. Above all, you must enjoy hard graft." (Source: "Bed and breakfast anyone?" - see Publications below.)
Before you start a bed and breakfast venture, your plans must be approved by the Town Planning Department of your local council. If approval is granted, you will need to register the venture and obtain a trading licence from the Licensing Department. You must also register with the regional Services Board and with Inland Revenue as a business sole proprietor, close corporation (cc) or private company (Pty).
A number of local government departments have the authority to check on B&B establishments, such as Health, Fire and Traffic. Other aspects that the owner needs to be clear on are correct signposting, taxation, VAT and possibly a licence to play music for your guests in communal areas.
Associations and organisations
Bed and Breakfast Association of South Africa (BABASA)
PO Box 2005,
Tel & Fax: 012 480 2041
Cell: 083 212 5133
Guest House Association of Southern Africa (GHASA),
27 Tennant Road,
Kenilworth, Cape Town, 7800.
Tel: 021 762 0880
Fax: 021 797 3115
Cell: 082 902 8416
Federated Hospitality Association of South Africa (FEDHASA).
National Accomodation Association of SA
11 Hilken Drive, Umhlanga Rocks, 4319, KwaZulu-Natal
Tel: 031 561 3795
Fax: 031 561 2088 or 0866 514 335
Industrial Development Corporation
(for information on the Tourism Development Finance Incentive Scheme by which the Department of Trade and Industry (dti) provides limited subsidies for certain SMEs in the field of tourism). PO Box 78055, Sandton, 2146. Tel: 011 269 3000 Call Centre: 086 069 3888
Quick tips for marketing your Guesthouse or B&B
No nonsense advice for entrepreneurs in the tourism. A Business Partners feature. Downloadable pdf document.
"Bed and breakfast anyone?"
Your Business, August/ September 2002.
"Major boost for township tourism" by Talisma Viljoen.
Big News, September 2002.
"Study and hard work makes B&B possible".
Big News, September 2002.
"Start and run a profitable bed and breakfast" by M Taylor.
3rd Edition, October 1999. (Source: http://www.amazon.com/
"Starting a bed and breakfast".
Start and Manage Your Business, August/ September 2000.
is the relevant body for the Bed and Breakfast industry sector. A skills levy is paid to the Receiver of Revenue and a grant claimed back through THETA. For other training possibilities, contact the Associations listed above.