Code unveiled to boost UK tourism

VisitBritain is launching a national Code of Practice that aims to improve the quality of the country’s visitor attractions. The code will be introduced on April 1 next year.

The Code of Practice for participants of the Visitor Attractions Quality Assurance Service (VAQAS) will have 15 principles that an attraction must commit to, such as providing accurate descriptions of operating hours, amenities, facilities and services, entry prices and any additional charges.

From next year, the tourism authority will only promote attractions that sign up to the code. It will cost participants £25 to be subscribed to the scheme until 2010.

The attractions will also have to provide information about pre-booking and significant entry restrictions, sustain high standards of maintenance, customer care, courtesy and cleanliness and provide facilities for visitor comments and complaints.

Participants will receive a copy of the Code, which they can display at point of entry, access to a benchmarking and best practice guide, and regular newsletters.

The code is supported by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions, the Historic Houses Association and Heritage Railways, as well as the National Trust and English Heritage.

Jeremy Brinkworth, VisitBritain’s general manager for quality, says: “Britain’s tourism industry must do all it can to keep its visitors returning year after year.”

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