Quality grade accommodation only policies

Colleagues managing the destination(s) of Margate, Ramsgate, Broadstairs and the Isle of Thanet believe that they may now be one of the few destinations, in England at least, that still have a firm policy of only promoting accommodation in print and online, that is either in a national,  local or in their case a sub-regional , quality grading schemes.  They are reviewing that policy and are seeking assistance from other destinations in determining the current position, especially in England but they would also welcome comment from colleagues elsewhere in the UK.

We do know, for example, that in Wales promotion by Visit Wales is linked directly to participation in the national grading scheme, nonetheless any observations on local experience would still be appreciated.  We know that in England that quality graded policies have been watered down or abandoned in many destinations in recent years, but we have lost sight of much of the detail.  We know that the AA took over the Visit England quality scheme contract from Quality in Tourism (QiT) from April 2017. Apparently, after a slow start, they are now working to develop it alongside their existing, UK wide, AA scheme, whilst undaunted QiT are  still providing their own alternative.  A number of local schemes are also known to remain active, often linked to local hospitality organisations.

Can you please let Paula.harbidge@thanet.gov.uk know whether you have had or still have a policy on grade only accommodation and as much background you can provide on the schemes and why you have retained or dropped the approach.  In due course Paula will make any substantive finding available to us for the use of other members.