VisitEngland in partnership with the national tourist organisations of Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales has launched a UK-wide industry standard and consumer mark to provide a ‘ring of confidence’ for tourism as the sector works towards reopening.
The ‘We’re Good To Go’ industry standard and supporting mark means businesses can demonstrate that they are adhering to the respective Government and public health guidance, have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment and checked that they have the required processes in place.
The scheme is free to join and open to all businesses across the industry.
West Lancashire MP Rosie Cooper welcomed the scheme, she said:
“As the lockdown restrictions continue to lift, British tourists will want to have confidence in being able to visit and holiday safely.
“I hope this initiative from VisitEngland will encourage businesses to do all they can to provide a safe environment and equally encourage visitors to support tourism here in West Lancashire and across the UK as the sector looks to bounce back from the lockdown.”
Tourism Minister Nigel Huddleston said:
“I want to encourage the public to experience a great British holiday this summer and be confident that they can do so safely.
“This new industry standard will show people that tourism businesses, destinations and attractions are adhering to the guidance. It puts safety first and is an important move in getting this industry back up and running.”
VisitEngland Director Patricia Yates said:
“With millions of jobs and local economies across the country reliant on tourism it is essential that businesses can get up and running as soon as the respective Government advice allows to capture the peak British summer season.
“We want visitors to be able to enjoy their holidays and to support businesses to be confident they have the correct procedures in place. Our priority is to make sure tourism rebounds to once again become one of the most successful sectors of the UK economy and this ‘ring of confidence’ is a crucial step on the industry’s road to rebuilding.”
To obtain the mark businesses must complete a self-assessment through the online platform including a check-list confirming they have put the necessary processes in place, before receiving certification and the We’re Good To Go mark for display in their premises and online.
Businesses across the UK are assessed according to their respective national guidance including the social distancing and cleanliness protocols that must be in place. In England businesses align with the UK Government’s official guidance for the sector including ‘Working Safely during COVID-19: Visitor Economy’. An ‘alert’ system ensures that businesses signed up to the standard are notified of any changes to the official guidance. A call-handling service provides support and assessors would also carry-out random spot-checks to ensure adherence.
The scheme has been developed in partnership with Tourism Northern Ireland, VisitScotland and Visit Wales to ensure a standard-led approach across the UK with input from more than 40 industry bodies including UKHospitality, the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, the British Holiday & Home Parks Association, the British Beer and Pub Association and the National Caravan Council as well as destination management organisations across the country. The self-assessment includes specific guidelines for sectors including accommodation, visitor attractions, restaurants and pubs, business conference and events venues and tour and coach operators with signposting to further industry and trade association guidance as required.
The We’re Good To Go scheme is being operated by VisitEngland who has been running assessment schemes for many years.
Alongside the industry standard VisitEngland is also launching a Know Before You Go public information campaign to support tourism in England as businesses start to re-open, reassuring visitors as restrictions are lifted by checking about what it is safe to do and when and sign-posting to information about destinations and available services before travelling.
Tourism is one of the UK’s most successful economic sectors, an industry worth £127 billion annually to the economy, and domestic is £88 billion of that, employing 3.1 million people and supporting 200,000 small businesses and entrepreneurs right across the country – the main employer in many coastal towns and rural communities. Tourism has also been one of the first and hardest hit economic sectors.
- VisitBritain’s tourism impact forecasts for 2020 show that inbound tourism spending is forecast to drop 63% this year equalling a £19.7 billion loss to the economy, while domestic tourism in Britain is forecast to lose £22 billion in spending across holidays and day visits alone.
- VisitEngland’s latest weekly domestic consumer sentiment research which looks at intent to take short breaks and holidays within the UK can be accessed here: https://www.visitbritain.org/covid-19-consumer-sentiment-tracker
- VisitEngland Assessment Services has been assessing tourism businesses in England for many years and offers expert advice, support and assessments for tourism and hospitality businesses. There are more than 20,000 businesses currently taking part in the wider VisitEngland schemes.