The UK's reopening strategy has been fragmented across its four nations, but it's good to see the tourism boards working together to regain consumer confidence.
Another stamp of approval is being created on the market intended to convince travelers it’s safe to get out there. VisitBritain has created a UK-wide industry standard and consumer-facing logo, intended to roll out as the sector in England begins to open up on July 4.
The “Good to Go” scheme is open to all tourism and hospitality businesses across the UK, who can opt in with a self assessment online and be granted the certification. Confusingly, England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland are each operating on their own timelines for reopening. That said, the scheme was created with buy-in from all those nations’ respective tourism authorities.
It indicates that businesses are adhering to their respective government and public health guidelines, as well as sector-specific guidance. England released its own reopening guidelines for the visitor economy earlier this week. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s government seems keen for the domestic tourism sector to open up. According to figures from VisitBritain, spend from inbound tourism will drop 63 percent this year, a £19.7 billion ($24.3 billion) economic loss. Domestic tourism in Britain will lose £22 billion.
“I want to encourage the public to experience a great British holiday this summer and be confident that they can do so safely,” UK Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said in a release. “This new industry standard will show people that tourism businesses, destinations and attractions are adhering to the guidance. It puts safety first and is an important move in getting this industry back up and running.”
The industry standard covers sectors including accommodation, visitor attractions, restaurants and pubs, business conference and events venues and tour and coach operators. It also requires that businesses are signed onto an alert system that will notify them of any changes in guidance.
According to a press release from VisitBritain, some of the measures that must be put in place before reopening include:
- Hotels and accommodation providers will need to introduce deep cleaning regimes between guests.
- Meal services including breakfasts will need to be pre-booked and timed, and shared facilities will only be accessible to one family group at a time.
- Timed tickets will be introduced for exhibitions, theme parks, galleries and attractions to reduce the number of visitors in locations at the same time.
- One way systems, clear floor markings and a queue management system should be in place to maintain social distancing measures at all attractions and help to limit contact between both staff and visitors.
- Organizations should also encourage cashless payments throughout to avoid cross contamination.
- In addition, visitor attractions will need to introduce regular deep cleaning regimes across their site and some interactive displays will need to be temporarily closed.
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Photo credit: A bed and breakfast in Penzance, Cornwall. George Thomas / Flickr