12 June 2019
Brighton Holiday Homes ceased trading at the end of May 2019, leaving both visitors and property hosts out of pocket. Why is this able to happen in a world where red tape and litigation fills our daily lives?
Deborah Heather, Director of Quality in Tourism explains “Many consumers are unaware that the industry is currently unregulated with no sanctions or redress opportunities in place to support either consumers or the property hosts.”
“With the rise in platforms such as Airbnb in the Sharing Economy and user generated content through Online Travel Agents (OTA’s) such as TripAdvisor the ability to just list a property and gain good reviews has never been easier, but at what cost? Who is checking that these properties have met minimum basic requirements such as fire safety and insurance?”
Interestingly consumers assume safety and legality as standard, however Quality in Tourism recently commissioned an independent survey of 2000 consumers. The survey showed that over 70% never checked basic safety standards such as insurance and smoke detectors but 57% believed that self-catering cottages would have to meet basic safety standards before they could book. Over 80% of those surveyed believe that things like fire safety and hygiene standards should be minimum mandatory requirements across the industry, including self-catering, hotels, B&B’s and homestay operators.
Quality in Tourism operates the Accredited Safe Agency scheme (QASA) which checks the robustness of the policies and procedures in place for holiday letting agents, assuring consumers what to expect from their stay, helping them to make an educated and informed decision. Consumers should look for the QASA logo when booking with a self-catering agency to assure them of their professionalism, ethics and that consumer safety is a priority.
If you’re an agency or a property host and would like to find out more, please contact the Quality in Tourism team on 0845 300 6996 or email firstname.lastname@example.org