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VisitScotland Quality Assurance Scheme Ending – ASSC Position

Our position:

  • Fiona Campbell, ASSC CEO has represented the ASSC on the VS Quality Advisory Committee since 2015.
  • The QA Schemes include Quality Assurance star grading, Taste Our Best, Welcome Schemes and the iKnow Partner Programme.
  • Fiona has been working with VS on the future of the QA scheme since 2020, including consulting with members on their engagement with the scheme. In 2006, there were 9,000 businesses (all sectors) registered as part of the VS QA scheme. This had more than halved in 2019 to 4,300. In 2020, just 42% of ASSC members were part of the scheme. There are currently just 776 self-catering businesses registered.
  • In 2020, Fiona suggested VS should maintain a QA scheme to encourage quality across the tourism sector. Fiona’s view was that with analysis and a considered refresh, it had enormous potential to deliver an innovative and positive impact to the Scottish tourism industry, by supporting the businesses that deliver it.
  • The ASSC was informed that the Quality Assurance scheme is to be discontinued by VisitScotland’s CEO Malcolm Roughead some months ago, and after extensive consultation. We were not in a position to share that information at the time.
  • We recognise that many will have concerns about this development as the scheme had the trust of businesses and visitors alike for many years.
  • However, Visit Scotland will continue to offer advice and support, but change the way they are doing so via a digital first approach.
  • The decision underlines the importance of membership of the ASSC, which evidences a commitment to our Core Principles: quality, integrity, cleanliness, comfort, courtesy and efficiency.
  • The ASSC will continue to work closely with VisitScotland to develop support mechanisms for our members in the coming months and years.
  • “VisitScotland will continue to play an important role in providing quality advice to businesses, helping to drive up the quality of Scotland’s tourism product and the visitor experience. This is crucial if Scotland is to meet its ambition to be a world leader in 21st century tourism”. 

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