A US-based health and safety accreditation system for premises including hotels and resorts is targeting growth in the UK travel and hospitality sectors.

The WELL Health-Safety Rating will be open to all UK travel suppliers with a focus on hotel operators and is designed to offer official accreditation for businesses looking to demonstrate measures in place for post-Covid operation.

It has been created by the International WELL Building Institute and shaped by an advisory board which includes brands such as Mandarin Oriental, Wyndham, Karisma Hotels & Resorts and Loews Hotels, in addition to its co-chairs, former US surgeon general Richard Carmona and Stacey Rizza, professor of medicine-infections disease at Mayo Clinic Rochester.

It currently has a footprint in 63 countries worldwide and believes there is scope to extend the scheme within the UK.

Rachel Gutter, president of the IWBI, said: “Hotels and resorts are among the hardest hit by Covid-19. By earning the WELL Health-Safety Rating seal, properties signal to guests and employees that evidence-based protocols, grounded in science, have been adopted and verified with third-party document review.”

Michael Dominguez, chief executive of Association of Luxury Hotels International, added: “The hospitality industry has taken great steps to establish guidelines in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, including the centralisation of best practices across many disciplines.

“This is an opportunity for property owners and operators to extend their work with third-party documentation review, which is a critical step in verifying the adoption of these practices.”

Applicants for the accreditation will need to provide policies and proof of compliance in a range of areas: cleaning and sanitisation procedures; emergency preparedness programmes; health service resources; air and water quality management; and stakeholder engagement and communication.