In a bid to protect Cornwall’s tourists, the council has developed a Primary Authority partnership with Quality in Tourism and adopted their Safe, Clean and Legal framework. This will give the opportunity to help self-regulate the county’s portfolio of short-term letting accommodation, in order to protect consumer safety.
As highlighted by the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) earlier this year, there is significant concern among authorities that short-term letting accommodation can be listed on sharing platforms or with Destination Management Organisations (DMOs) even though hosts haven’t carried out any safety assessments on the property or, in some cases, have not even installed smoke alarms, CO2 monitors or basic safety equipment.
Peter Hampson, Chief Executive at British Destinations said, “In a market that has become increasingly unregulated, assessments such as Safe, Clean and Legal need to be put in place across the UK in order to prevent consumers from being injured or worse by those who fail to realise that providing tourist accommodation, however briefly, is a full time profession and one that comes with serious responsibilities attached.”
In addition, there has been demand from within the hospitality and tourism sector for a ‘level playing field’ for all accommodation suppliers. As it currently stands there are safety regulations which accommodation providers should adhere to in order to safeguard their customers. It is becoming apparent that some accommodation providers and hosts who list their properties on shared economy platforms are not.
Malcolm Bell, head of Visit Cornwall said, “This is an issue that has worried us for a long time, it’s simply an accident waiting to happen. Safe, Clean and Legal gives us the tools we need to protect our consumers and by the end of 2019 I intend for it to be mandatory for the safety of all properties to have been assessed before they are registered and promoted on the Visit Cornwall channels.”
Quality in Tourism’s Safe, Clean and Legal framework has been established for over a year and has now been approved as a Primary Authority co-ordinated partnership with Cornwall Council, which has been ratified by the Secretary of State.
Deborah Heather, director at Quality in Tourism said, “We have provided a solution to a problem that is being faced by councils, short-term letting associations, DMOs and sharing platforms across the UK. Reputations of these organisations and businesses are being risked every day by listing properties that may not be complying with even the most basic safety requirements and therefore risking consumer welfare.”
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