As we start to see the tiniest chink of light at the end of a very dark tunnel, what will destinations and tourism providers need to do to show the consumer that they are safe to travel to?
For a long time, safety standards in the tourism & hospitality industry have been assumed; from having working fire alarms to appropriate insurance in place, the consumer believes that the provider has everything in place. Of course, for the most part that is true. However, there is a small section of the industry where that isn’t the case. Not necessarily due to unwillingness, but due to being unaware of what the rules and regulations are.
One of our clients, Quality in Tourism, commissioned independent research in 2018 which showed that 83% of consumers supported regulation of all pay to stay properties. We wrote a white paper for Quality in Tourism on Safety Standards in the Sharing Economy, based specifically on what councils and Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) can do to work with owners of short-term rental properties. https://www.qualityintourism.com/safety-standards Quality in Tourism, one of the leading providers of assessment and accreditation in the tourism & hospitality industry, has created a framework which can verify whether a property is Safe, Clean & LegalTM. The framework has a number of checks including insurance provision, cleanliness, fire safety and food hygiene.
Working with partners at Cornwall Council, there is now a Primary Authority Partnership in place which supports the advice and guidance that Quality in Tourism gives to businesses during the assessment process. Covering the core areas of fire safety, food hygiene and trading standards, member businesses can be assured that they are being given relevant and up to date information to help them better operate their business.
There is an opportunity for destinations to utilise the framework, requesting that businesses in their area undertake the accreditation so that the destination can use the accolade as a USP to encourage consumers to visit. The added benefit of using the framework is that it also creates a register of properties not only in the immediate area, but also across the UK, making it easier for relevant authorities to make contact with these businesses and creating a better understanding of the properties operating in this sector.
We are working with a number of DMO’s on their recovery planning for post COVID-19 and cleanliness is a core requirement coming from consumers and a key consideration for businesses. Destinations will need to communicate what they are doing in response to consumer demands and finding a way to highlight how they are safe and can be trusted as a place to visit. An accolade such as Safe, Clean & LegalTM can offer a risk assessment process for businesses, a symbol of trust for consumers and a unique selling proposition for destinations. Take positive action and sign up!
For more information on Quality in Tourism, visit their website https://www.qualityintourism.com/