Close Icon

Ask the Experts: Is it good practice to provide a visitors’ book for guests or does it invite negative comments?

Ask the experts…

Q. We are uncertain whether it’s wise to provide a visitors’ book in our holiday cottage. We’ve heard it can encourage guests to record negative comments about minor maintenance issues which might damage our reputation. What do you think?

A. The Helpful Holidays Team say:

Our recommendation is to always provide a visitors’ book. At the very least, a visitors’ book makes interesting reading, and usually it’s an invaluable, ongoing conversation between visitors, listing good things to do and see, places to go and great places to eat – a brilliant source of local information, and often entertaining too. We also find they’re usually full of praise and enthusiasm for the holiday home which is a lovely reward for you.

Some guests like to write at length, so a generous size (perhaps A4 hardback) is good, and perhaps consider providing another book for children in which they can create a picture or poem or just leave a few words of their own.

To avoid the book being used to communicate problems, it’s worthwhile to provide a separate notebook in which guests can report any maintenance issues they come across, items they wished had been provided or minor breakages. This is a helpful record for you or your caretaker on changeover day. If visitors do make negative comments in the visitors’ book, you should ensure you address the issues and write a reply to show you’ve taken immediate action.