To welcome visitors? Or to huddle in our insular security? Portsmouth is very much an Island City both in geography and mentality. It is both what makes us special and hinders our progress. Whatever you view our place, it is a one-off location. This month I share some views from fans of our City, Pride in Pompey is strong and after 25 years here I am almost a local.
Our City has lost the plot. Next week all manner of chaos will ensue as we welcome the most powerful man in the world to Portsmouth. It feels a little surreal but has been a very pleasant boost for those of us involved in the hospitality industry.
In contrast to the uncertainty of the reception for our guest next week, there was a splendid article by Peter Hitchens suggesting that Portsmouth become the next Capital City of the UK. We really are blessed with having it all so take a few minutes to read, it reminded me of why I love this City.
A creative alternative for our fair City can be found here.
Preparing for Summer guests is a bit of a gamble. Do you raise prices? This risks lower review scores as guests do not feel that they are getting great value. Reviews feature random acts of omission in your apartments. Comments such as 'there were no egg-cups", 'the stairs were too noisy" are commonplace. The majority of complaints are regarding things beyond the control of the apartment or host or could easily have been rectified during the stay.
Most of all, lack of Parking provides the greatest level of dissatisfaction. We residents are accustomed to commuting to our cars in the morning but pity the poor suburbanite with his driveway for 3 vehicles. The shock of coming to Portsmouth with a car causes severe fainting spells and having to put their precious Skoda on the street. Suddenly a Chelsea Tractor that the guest cannot reverse park is no longer simply and expression of their success in the world but a burdensome tank that, quite frankly, does not fit their environment. This, naturally, is the fault of the host who must scurry along, lead the guest to a parking space (perhaps even reverse park for them) then return them to the accommodation with a smile. The hand must also be held on the return leg of their adventure when the location of the car is long forgotten.
So today I will be sending out the pre-emptive emails regarding the parking restrictions next week. Links to the DDay arrangements, reminders to use public transport or the park and ride and a reminder that Portsmouth is the most crowded City outside of London. We love to have visitors but our infrastructure is creaking and road-map Victorian. Would I swap it for Milton Keynes? Not in a million years!
Written & oral information and advice from the Portsmouth & District Private Landlord's Association is given in good faith, but no responsibility whatsoever is accepted by the Association or it's officers for the accuracy of it's information & advice nor shall the Association be held responsible for the consequences of reliance upon such information.