VisitBritain has announced that from April 1, 2008 it will only promote tourist attractions that have signed up to its new Code of Practice or the Visitor Attractions Quality Assurance Service (VAQAS).

The new Code, which is designed to improve customer experience, comprises 15 principles that operators must adhere to such as providing accurate descriptions of facilities and sustaining high standards of maintenance and cleanliness.

VisitBritain’s general manager for quality Jeremy Brinkworth said: “Britain’s tourism industry must do all it can to keep its visitors returning year after year.

“Raising the quality of attractions and accommodation is one step in addressing the challenges we face and ensuring not only that British visitors enjoy the highest quality experiences, but that we are ready to welcome the world in 2012.”

Operators who register for the code, which costs £25 and lasts until 2010, will receive access to a benchmarking and best practice guide along with regular newsletters.