Holiday bookings become a safer bet with new tick of approval
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.