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Published on Thursday, March 15, 2007

UK blacklists unsafe accommodation

Leading accommodation booking companies - Lowcostbeds and OnHoliday Group/Jet2holidays have announced that they are the first to sign up to a new holiday accommodation safety scheme.

The Travelsafe health and safety accreditation system will mean hotels, apartments and villas face blacklisting if they fail to pass a new standards and it aims to make it safer for Britons to holiday abroad and avoid such tragedies as the deaths of two young children from carbon monoxide poisoning in Corfu last September.

The two companies committed to the scheme will require the estimated 5,000 properties they represent to complete the assessment of their safety precautions.

The Travelsafe system, which has taken more than three years to perfect, gathers information, either online or by visiting experienced health and safety professionals, about safety standards in such areas as fire, food hygiene, and swimming pools.

There is also a special section dealing with child safety and hotels are rated Gold, Silver, Bronze or non compliant and the information can then be shared between hotels, tour operators and travel agents. 

If the hotels’ rating is poor or they do not comply, they will be assisted in implementing the necessary improvements.

If these hotels cannot be or refuse to be made safe they will be blacklisted and banned from all Travelsafe member sites.

Travelsafe CEO David Perl claimed that the system provided a cost-effective and efficient way of helping the travel industry ensure the safety of their customers, saying, “The Corfu tragedy has highlighted once again that holidaymakers do face unknown health and safety dangers when they travel abroad." 

“While it is impossible to legislate against all eventualities the Travelsafe system sets a safety standard for the industry and provides detailed information which can be shared by all the companies and organisations.” 

A TravelMole by Phil Davies in the UK

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