Consultancy Service By Gary Swarbrooke, Director of Policy and Quality at Quality in Tourism, the Assessment Service for Visit England
When people hear of Quality in Tourism, they think of accommodation assessment. Of course, this is correct but we actually provide a lot more than just that.
When properties are members of Quality in Tourism, they receive a whole range of services, one of which is an advisory and consultancy service.
When you, as the customer, visit any Quality in Tourism assessed accommodation, you will be able to see the level of quality that we insist the properties maintain. To be a member, there are certain levels that need to be met and quality, for us, is an absolute must.
So, what is Quality in Tourism’s consultancy service?
When you visit a property, Quality in Tourism will have given the hotel owners and managers consultancy advice around each detail of the property. This can be very varied depending on the property, quality of services offered and quality of the physical building. We also provide general advice around the industry and what each establishment can do to ensure quality and ensure that you, as a customer, enjoy your stay as much as possible.
What else does the service offer?
We also carry out Quality Awareness days for groups and associations around quality and accessibility awareness. This ensures that the properties are aware of what must be done in order to guarantee quality of physical aspects, as well as service, hospitality and food, and abide by certain guidelines regarding legal compliance.
As well as the Quality Awareness days, our Quality in Tourism assessors also offer an advisory visit which will provide each property with valuable feedback and suggestions that they can then put in place before a full quality assessment. The advisory visit will also highlight the star rating that the property could potentially achieve.
We can help an establishment save money and help them to achieve a higher star rating by telling them exactly what updates or improvements would be most effective for the establishment, rather than them embarking on a costly large scale refurbishment.
The assessors can also show properties how they mark each section (bedrooms, bathrooms, cleanliness, hospitality etc). In order to meet with the National Quality Assessment Standards, the assessors will check minimum entry requirements and quality levels to determine which star rating is achievable.
After the property’s official visit to become a member, each assessor will discuss their findings, highlighting any minimum entry requirements and general quality guidance that may need to be put in place to achieve the accommodations desired star rating.
Our assessors have all been within the hospitality and tourism industry for years. Many have been hotel/B&B owners themselves and know quality when they see it!
Over 18,000 accommodation businesses are assessed annually across eleven different schemes, making us the largest provider of quality assessment in England.
We like to think that we act as a reliable regulatory body for the accommodation and tourism industry who recognise quality, differentiate levels of facilities and services and make potential guests aware of what they can expect before they make a booking.
Our schemes use increasing levels of quality using a rating system of 1 – 5 stars. In a select number of schemes, excellence is further acknowledged with the use of the acclaimed Silver and Gold awards.
When you see our Quality in Tourism sign at a property, you can rest assured that you have chosen a quality property to be staying in. We put our name to properties that we are proud of.
Quality in Tourism (QiT) is the official assessment service provided for VisitEngland. The organisation carries out assessments and handles the administration of the national quality assessment schemes on behalf of VisitEngland. For more information either email James.Ardley@uk.g4s.com or visit http://www.qualityintourism.com
Category: Industry news