A ‘Safe, Clean and Legal’ accreditation is being promoted to help kick-start post-pandemic recovery of the events, meetings and accommodation sector.

Industry body the Hotel Booking Agents Association (HBAA) is collaborating with assessor organisation Quality in Tourism in an effort to drive customer confidence among delegates, guests, agencies, staff and employers.

The regulated accreditation is awarded to hotels and venues that meet or exceed standards, including compliance with hygiene and food safety regulations which have become paramount following the Covid-19 outbreak.

All properties submit their standards and are then audited to ensure that they maintain the rigorous levels of cleanliness and safety, providing greater reassurance to customers.

Advantage Travel Partnership chief executive Julia Lo Bue-Said said: “The UK hotel and venue market is particularly important to our members’ businesses and our global network of TMCs, with four UK cities featuring within our top five locations for hotels booked through our hotel programme.

“An accreditation process such as this is a welcome positive step in encouraging confidence back from both the corporate and leisure travel markets and will help boost the recovery of our industry.”

HBAA consultant executive director Juliet Price said: “We are spearheading this standard enabling customers to feel assured that the accommodation and venues they’re using are compliant with the latest government guidance and agreed protocols.

“Working with such an accreditation from a recognised authority like QT drives confidence from its rigorous application and inspection process. It is an important initiative which we can all get behind.

“Whilst we continue to see more hotel chains and venues present their own cleaning standards, which we welcome, we do need to drive consistency on a level playing field.”

Quality in Tourism director Deborah Heather added: “I am delighted that HBAA has decided to endorse and champion our accreditation across the industry by recommending the Safe, Clean & Legal accreditation which Quality in Tourism designed back in 2018.

“The scheme has evolved to include Covid-19 cleaning protocols, with the support of our primary authority partner Cornwall Council. We have worked with Environmental Health to develop protocols and standards for hotels and venues to protect their teams and their guests.”