16 februari 2015

YENN b&b licenced by the Flanders Tourism Board - a bit of our history

YENN b&b is playing in a "superior league": in the past we were licenced as Comfort category for b&b's (with categories Basic, Comfort and Luxe) and since February 2015 our licence is upgraded to the  LUXE category.
A big THANK YOU for this to the inspection division of the Flanders Tourism Board ;0))

Some more history or YENN b&b.

In 1996 my husband bought me this book in the Oxfam bookshop in Oxford : "how to start your own holiday accommodation" ...
ever since 1994 we house exchanged for our family summer vacation ...
Running my own b&b seemed a challenge for me ... I would do that after my retirement.
In 1997 we started living here in this beautiful large town house (we = myself, the husband & 2 sons, small kids at that time) at Tiensevest where we rented out 4 rooms to students - a common situation for the university town of Leuven.
In 2003 mom (= me) became 40, with the prospect of having the office job till her 65th and realized that if and when she was to realise her b&b, she'd better get started ! 
A dream is a plan with a deadline: before my 50th I should be up & running - husband agreed, children OK'd and so I started ...
- for myself professionally (can I, may I, do I want to do this ?) 
  I was still in an interesting fulltime job and I had never been self employed before ...
  I never worked in hotel & restaurant business either.
- but also from a pragmatic point-of-view: 
  I visited the very first b&b fair in Brussels,
  took courses at Syntra (Hotelmanagement, 2 years - still grateful for the inspiring teachers!),
  I invited the prevention officer of the Leuven Fire Brigade for advice and
  I had a meeting at Leuven Tourism office (I still remember my first contacts with Nancy Brouwers). 
By then it was early 2008.
Plans were taking form:
- interior architect was set to work,
- our students were told they could not rent anymore after the summer, etc... 
In July the students went out, building contractors came in,
until December 2008 ... 
Beginning of 2009 started slow - reculer pour mieux sauter !
If only for the international economic recession and the hotel and travel crisis.
Leuven Hotel managers were in despair. 
What did I do ? 
But, the point of no return was there.
By Summer 2009 YENN b&b was licenced by the City of Leuven.
Our Fire prevention plan was OK'd and the Tourism office of Leuven started promoting YENN b&b.
However, there were new rules and regulations worked out on a higher level -
Flanders' Tourism Board was developing a new set of rules and regulations for b&b to live by ... YENN still had time to get the files ready.
Finally, November 2011, all papers & stamps collected and and sent to Brussels -
the deadline was very near now. 
But yes:
Right now YENN b&b is licenced by Flanders' Tourism Board as a b&b with Luxury label, corresponding to 4 stars hotel services.
And YES, I'm still happy I dived in, planned this dream, and took the chances: hospitality is a nice sector to work in, for business or for leisure visitors, it's a real asset to be able to offer travellers a home away from their home.