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ASSC Responds to Discontinuation of VisitScotland Quality Assurance Scheme

“In an increasingly digital world, consumer behaviour and the needs of businesses have changed, particularly since the pandemic. We must adapt to this new landscape, alongside a challenging economic climate, and ensure we invest in the activities which will generate sustainable growth in the visitor economy. To do this, we’re changing the way we provide advice to businesses, moving to a digital-first, but not digital only approach.

“We’ll focus on delivering a programme of business advice which will inspire quality in the tourism industry and ensure businesses get the latest information on market insights and trends. It will ensure we have maximum reach and can also signpost to the wider support services and products of our national business support partners, with the ability to provide one-to-one support when it’s needed most.

“Engaging with stakeholders, including industry and local authorities, will be important as we further develop our business advice programme. This will ensure it meets the needs of businesses and helps the industry to be more sustainable and profitable.” Malcolm Roughead OBE, Chief Executive, VisitScotland

Fiona Campbell, CEO of the ASSC, said:

“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 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.”


What does this mean for the QA scheme?

VisitScotland will manage a transition period to retire the QA schemes and deliver a free-to-access business advice programme.

Instead of assuring a business at a single point in time, they will focus on the delivery of information and insight to help businesses develop the visitor experience and respond to the changing needs of visitors.

The QA Schemes include:

  • Quality Assurance star grading
  • Taste Our Best
  • Welcome Schemes
  • iKnow Partner Programme

More Information

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