Unhappy customers that are not listened to, untrained staff that are unable to complete tasks, poor cleanliness, poorly maintained accommodation, staff that lack knowledge of the local area, inability to communicate with the accommodation provider in a common language……
The EU Tourism Quality principles are a much needed approach in promoting consistent standards in tourism for accommodation providers across the EU and for them to be sustainable as a result. The standards should be of particular benefit to the sustainability of Small and Medium size Enterprises (SMEs)where frequently the larger accommodation chains have standardised a quality that has become acceptable to customers.
However the standards are only voluntary and were introduced in 2014 when the EU Commission proposed a set of European Tourism Quality Principles to ensure tourists travelling within the EU get value for money.
The principles, if acted upon and promoted should provide a confidence to customers when booking accommodation in terms of customers being listened to with actions enthusiastically taken to improve the customer experience, helping language barriers to be removed, training of staff in maintaining standards of service, ensuring standards of cleanliness and maintenance.
Providing information and making use of local amenities and points of special interest that the larger conglomerates often lack in their aspiration for a standard corporate look should give SMEs a competitive edge.
To find out more about how to implement these standards and share in developing sustainable tourism see www.smartourproject.eu
By Vicki Disley Newcastle under Lyme College
Project website – http://www.smartourproject.eu/
Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/smartourproject/