Bartering is no cash cow for Whitby hotel

19 October 2006
Bartering is no cash cow for Whitby hotel

A hotel has launched an unusual payment service in an attempt to attract local farmers - the chance to barter for their accommodation with straw, silage or sheep instead of cash.

Bill Ward, owner of the 18-bedroom Dunsley Hall Country House Hotel in Whitby, North Yorkshire, who also runs a small working farm, said the idea initially arose to help hard-up farmers.

"It's not easy to make farmers part with their money, so to get them to stay at the hotel we came up with the idea of charging them agricultural produce, such as grain or silage," he said. "But to get a bit more publicity we extended the offer to livestock."

Under the new system, payment for accommodation, which usually starts at £70 per night, is agreed on in advance, with the price of the goods offered measured against current market value.

But Ward admitted the scheme has not attracted a great deal of interest to date. "The only offer we have had so far has been a dog, which we declined," he said.

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