Hol­i­day book­ings be­come a safer bet with new tick of ap­proval

The Weekend Australian - Travel - - Travel & Indulgence - MERRY KIRK­WOOD

A NEWqual­ity-as­sur­ance trade­mark will give those plan­ning a hol­i­day in Aus­tralia ad­di­tional peace of mind when book­ing ac­com­mo­da­tion and ac­tiv­i­ties.

The na­tional TQUAL ac­cred­i­ta­tion scheme, backed by the fed­eral gov­ern­ment and Tourism Aus­tralia, will be rolled out over four years in a $5.5 mil­lion pro­gram aimed at iden­ti­fy­ing and pro­mot­ing top-qual­ity op­er­a­tors within the nation’s $34 bil­lion tourism sec­tor.

‘‘The TQUAL mark will help vis­i­tors choose busi­nesses they can rely on, which have signed up to stan­dards in­clud­ing cus­tomer ser­vice, en­vi­ron­men­tal prac­tices and ac­cu­racy in ad­ver­tis­ing,’’ says Tourism Min­is­ter Martin Fer­gu­son.

In the past, more than 25 frag­mented ac­cred­i­ta­tion pro­grams have op­er­ated across the coun­try, but TQUAL will bring the nation’s best op­er­a­tors un­der one um­brella.

Ex­ist­ing rat­ings schemes can ap­ply for TQUAL ac­cred­i­ta­tion via a web por­tal (ret.gov.au), and sev­eral, in­clud­ing the STAR Rat­ing Scheme, the Aus­tralian Tourism Ac­cred­i­ta­tion Pro­gram, Eco Cer­ti­fi­ca­tion and Re­spect­ing Our Cul­ture, have al­ready signed up. These pro­grams will co-brand with TQUAL, pro­vid­ing an eas­ily recog­nis­able tick of ap­proval for their mem­bers.

TQUAL ac­cred­i­ta­tion will be over­seen and mon­i­tored by in­de­pen­dent as­ses­sors.

A sim­i­lar pro­gram, Qual­mark, op­er­ates in New Zealand.

As the Aus­tralian tourism sec­tor grows, these are wel­come de­vel­op­ments.

A na­tional ac­cred­i­ta­tion sys­tem will of­fer trav­ellers a user-friendly ref­er­ence point for de­ci­sions re­lat­ing to hol­i­day book­ings, while op­er­a­tors will be able to get their mes­sage to a wider au­di­ence with TQUAL’s con­sid­er­able mar­ket­ing reach.

With our do­mes­tic tourism in­dus­try un­der con­sid­er­able pres­sure, this is surely a boon.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.