Visit Isle of Man, an Executive Agency of the Department for Enterprise, has launched an industry focused Safe, Clean & Legal™ COVID-19 accreditation scheme for local tourism and hospitality businesses across the Island.
The accreditation has been launched in conjunction with tourism and hospitality quality assessment provider; Quality In Tourism (QiT). QiT has been assessing hospitality and tourism properties to set and improve industry standards across the UK for over 15 years, with Visit Isle of Man having worked with the assessor for over 13 years.
The QiT accreditation will involve an independent third party assessment, which is subsequently performed annually and grades a business as safe and compliant based on a number of strict factors, rather than personal opinion. Assessment criteria includes cleaning protocols and compliance, public safety measures and staff training, ensuring the accreditation framework remains robust and relevant to provide increased consumer confidence.
Visit Isle of Man will be offering the accreditation to Island accommodation, activity & attraction providers and Taste eateries, free of charge.
Rob Callister MHK, Political Member with responsibility for Visit Isle of Man and Motorsport commented:
‘Tourism and hospitality have been two of the hardest hit sectors as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Visit Isle of Man team is focused on supporting the industry and helping to prepare businesses for when the Island can welcome visitors again.
‘It is important that the Island’s tourism businesses champion new visitor expectations in order to build levels of confidence in our destination offering. Consumer insights show visitors are looking to book with confidence; recent research commissioned by the Visit Isle of Man Agency, revealed that 84% of respondents considered a low risk of COVID-19 as the most important influencer when deciding where to holiday. Given our current COVID status, rolling out an Island-wide scheme such as this stands the Island in very good stead for when the borders do reopen.’
The accreditation, which has been ratified by Public Health Isle of Man, also encompasses helpful training modules, toolkits and more, and successful recipients will receive a certificate of compliance and a QiT Safe, Clean & Legal™ COVID-19 logo to use across their online and offline marketing.
John Keggin, Owner of Island Escapes, one of the first travel and tourism providers’ on-Island to be awarded the accreditation, commented:
‘At Island Escapes we recognise the importance of a sparkling clean holiday home, and it was a pleasure to be asked to pilot the new Safe, Clean & Legal™ COVID-19 award on the Isle of Man. The assessment process was straight forward and the virtual assessment, hassle free. Having the award will give Island Escapes that much sought after ‘book with confidence’ message that visitors will be looking for in the post-COVID era and it provides me with the comfort that the properties in our portfolio are meeting the required standards.’
Deborah Heather, Director, Quality In Tourism commented:
‘Since the Accreditation was relaunched across the UK to include COVID-19 protocols, QiT has accredited over 10,000 businesses. The Scheme was recently featured in Which? Magazine, who described it as “robust” in comparison to the “box ticking” alternatives, which can damage consumer trust.
‘Safe, Clean & Legal™ COVID-19 has been adopted by businesses across the UK in Europe, Jersey, Guernsey and the Isle of Man. The Isle of Man has always been a market leader in the area of compliance, a factor which has now never been so important to consumers when making buying decisions; with safety and trust predicted to be the most important criteria influencing consumers going forward.’
QiT will be delivering a series of complimentary training and educational webinars for industry over the coming months. The first in the series, taking place throughout December, will introduce the Safe, Clean & Legal™ COVID-19 scheme to various sectors in the industry; exploring the benefits to businesses of obtaining the accreditation and an overview to the accreditation process.