Accreditation Scheme Accelerates Re-Opening Plans For UK Hospitality Industry

Over 1,250 hotels and accommodation providers across the country have already adopted Quality in Tourism’s (QT) Safe, Clean & LegalTM accreditation for cleanliness and safety to improve customer confidence in preparation of the lifting of lockdown measures.

The scheme is long established; created as a solution to differentiate between responsible operators compliant with regulation, and those that are not in the industry. Safe, Clean & LegalTM has recently seen renewed vigour in response to the current pandemic, with 700 additional enquiries being processed, which further demonstrate the commitment of the industry to keeping guests safe.

SilverDoor, the Short Term Accommodation Association (STAA), Best Western Great Britain and the Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) are just some of the industry leaders adopting and endorsing the Safe, Clean and LegalTM scheme to ensure that accommodation is in compliance with standard procedures as well as updated covid-19 cleaning protocols to support re-opening to visitors.

With almost 80% of people in a recent survey* identifying that it was ‘highly important’ or ‘important’ that any prospective property they visit in the future had a recognised accreditation for its cleaning; it is hoped that the further adoption of this scheme will allow the British tourism industry to re-open quickly and safely whilst giving the public the confidence to stay away from home.

Deborah Heather, director at Quality in Tourism, said “Our robust Safe, Clean and LegalTM accreditation scheme has been in operation since 2018 and is a proven tool that protects both guests and providers whilst driving accommodation standards. We have updated the scheme and introduced additional cleaning protocols surrounding Coronavirus to support the industry to re-open. Our accreditation scheme inspects accommodation providers against best practise guidelines and audits their application of new protocols, before being visited by a Quality in Tourism assessor and, if successful, awarding them with the marque that will reassure guests.

The application of industry regulations remains inconsistent which is why we launched the accreditation scheme in 2018, but it has gained additional relevance following the Coronavirus outbreak. It is the only accreditation which includes a physical inspection and which does not award a marquee on the basis of self-certification by the accommodation provider.”

Current figures include:

  • 500 independent hotels & accommodation providers across the UK, including the Channel Islands & Isle of Man
  • STAA, the Short Term Accommodation Association have been recommending Safe, Clean & LegalTM to their member agencies since March 2019
  • SilverDoor apartments have 1400 property listings. The partnership was agreed in February 2020 with properties encouraged to sign up.
  • Best Western Great Britain signed 297 Hotels in May 2020 in response to Coronavirus.
  • HBAA, the Hotel Booking Agents Association signed a partnership deal in May 2020 where they recommended the accreditation to their agents, hotels & venues.

Eighteen97 has a 5 star Gold rating with Quality in Tourism (one of the first in Yorkshire to receive the accolade), owner Fiona Gardham said: “We moved to Quality in Tourism last year as we liked their modern approach to accreditation and felt it important that our guests can be reassured of their safety when staying in our property. Visitors so often assume the basics of insurance and cleanliness and it isn’t always the case. I am so pleased that the scheme has been updated to reflect the current pandemic and we can continue to reassure our visitors that we are safe to visit, as and when the time is right.”

Louisa Watson, Director of Marketing at Wyboston Lakes Resort, said: “Getting this accreditation is hugely important for Wyboston Lakes Resort. Ensuring our accommodation, meetings and events are safe and protecting our guests and team members is our first priority. We know things will be different going forward but they can still be good and this accreditation ensures that it will be safe too.

Quality in Tourism has a Primary Authority partnership for Tourism with Cornwall Council. The partnership covers Environmental Health, Trading Standards and fire safety and ensures that QT members are kept fully up to date with regulatory changes and amendments that may affect their business, sharing best practice examples with them to ensure their efficiency.