28 November 2018
Earlier this year, the core topic of debate in the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for Tourism was the significant concern among authorities about quality control of the short-term let market. It was highlighted that short-term letting accommodation can be freely listed on sharing platforms or with Destination Management Organisations (DMOs), even if hosts haven’t carried out any safety assessments on the property or in some cases are not even meeting minimum regulatory standards. Transgressions include not installing smoke alarms, CO2 monitors or basic safety equipment. These shortcomings not only leave guest safety at risk and allow profit from unsafe environments, but in many cases have huge, unexpected ramifications on the home owner should an accident occur.
In a proactive new partnership, specifically designed to protect Cornwall’s tourists, Cornwall Council has formed a Primary Authority Partnership with industry self-regulators Quality in Tourism, assuring the company’s already established Safe, Clean and Legal TM framework. This enables accommodation providers to demonstrate they reach safe operating standards, giving consumers peace of mind.
Commenting on the new Primary Authority Partnership, Peter Hampson, Chief Executive at British Destinations said, “In an unregulated market that has become increasingly diverse, assessments such as Safe, Clean and Legal TM need to be put in place across the UK in order to prevent consumers from being injured or worse, by those who fail to realise that providing tourist accommodation, however briefly, is a full-time profession and one that comes with serious responsibilities attached.”
Malcolm Bell, Head of Visit Cornwall said, “This is an issue that has worried us for a long time: it’s simply an accident waiting to happen. Safe, Clean and Legal TM gives us the tools we need to protect our consumers and by the end of 2019 I intend for it to be mandatory for properties to have been assessed before they are registered and promoted on the Visit Cornwall channels. This is an issue of safety for all”
The assessment of houses on sharing platforms such as Airbnb and One Fine Stay has been discussed at great lengths in the industry with suggestion that hotels and B&Bs have been competing on an ‘unlevel playing field’ for some time in terms of health and safety provision. The disjointed compliance regulations in the tourism sector mean that these more traditional accommodation types are required to adhere to strict safety regulations, whilst the sharing economy currently has no regulated accreditation scheme in place or mandatory safety checks to comply with. Safe, Clean and Legal TM provides a solution that not only ensures the safety of consumers and protection of tourism professionals but is a scheme that can be applied across all accommodation types from Yurts through to large 5* hotels.
Quality in Tourism’s Safe, Clean and Legal TM framework has been approved as a Primary Authority co-ordinated partnership with Cornwall Council, which has been ratified by the Secretary of State. The assessment scheme acts as a blueprint for any other Councils or organisations that want to adopt it in order to protect their consumers.
Deborah Heather, Director at Quality in Tourism said, “We have provided a solution to a problem that is being faced by Councils, short-term letting associations, DMOs and sharing platforms across the UK. Reputations of these organisations and businesses are being risked every day by listing properties that may not be complying with even the most basic safety requirements and therefore risking consumer welfare.
Our aim is for Safe, Clean and Legal TM to be adopted by all as an easy to use, affordable assessment scheme that demonstrates to the consumer that their chosen accommodation is fit for purpose. Cornwall Council is leading the way by showing how the scheme can be applied quickly and efficiently and we hope that other Councils and organisations will follow suit.”
Find out more about our Primary Authority Partnership with Cornwall Council. If you'd like to adopt Safe, Clean and Legal as a Destination Management Organisation, Local Council or accommodation provider, please contact us on 0845 300 6996 or email firstname.lastname@example.org