A new scheme to drive up the standard of accommodation in Blackpool and help visitors choose a decent hotel has been unveiled.
The Blackpool Approved scheme – which is accredited by VisitEngland – will start next year and aims to get smaller hotels and guest houses on the ladder to full accreditation in the future.
Backed by the council, it ensures that a property is “legal, safe and clean”, meets all requirements on health and safety, and demonstrates good customer practice.
Although it does not give an indication of a property’s quality of facilities, it shows visitors the accommodation is a correctly registered and properly-run business.
It allows hoteliers to be part of a recognised standard at a reasonable price starting at around £80, and requires only a short visit from a trained assessor from partner groups Yes Hotels, VisitEngland and StayBlackpool.
It will also mean they can appear in an “entry level” section on the VisitBlackpool website, take part in a variety of marketing campaigns and the annual Destination Guide.
Coun Graham Cain, Cabinet Member for Tourism and Leisure, said: “We have not changed our position in that our preferred route is for accommodation businesses in Blackpool to secure the star rating standards approved by VisitEngland and the AA.
“We hope the entry level scheme will prove a platform for hoteliers who don’t currently have a national accreditation rating to get on the ladder and start to reap the benefits of working with VisitBlackpool and VisitEngland.
“By introducing this scheme, it means that we can give an assurance to visitors that the accommodation they are considering is either a nationally accredited business, or at least has an entry level accreditation that says it is safe, clean and legally compliant.”
Claire Smith from StayBlackpool, said: “StayBlackpool is delighted to be working with VisitEngland and VisitBlackpool on the introduction of a new nationally accredited entry level scheme for visitor accommodation in the town.
“This means a visitor staying in a “Blackpool Approved” property will be ensured it is “legal, safe and clean,” correctly registered and properly run.”
Tony Urmson, of Yes Hotels, said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to change public opinion about the stereotype of Blackpool accommodation.
“Yes Hotels is delighted to be offering the new Blackpool Approved Entry Level Accreditation Scheme.”