Hotel group Accor is launching a label for hospitality businesses to certify safety standards and cleaning protocols as they look to reopen once government restrictions are lifted.
The certification will initially be available in France and subsequently across all European countries and is being developed in partnership with Bureau Veritas, a company specialising in testing, inspection and certification.
The label will cover both hotels and standalone restaurants and has been designed in partnership with doctors and epidemiologists, based on the health and safety recommendations of authorities such as the World Health Organisation and developed in collaboration with Accor property owners and trade associations such as Union des Métiers et des Industries de l'Hôtellerie.
The project will be shared next week within Alliance France Tourisme as well as with the relevant ministries (French ministries of tourism, health and labour) so they are involved in and validate the recommended standards.
Proposals will then be submitted, in France and subsequently in Europe, to the various governments, ministries and committees to inform how lockdown measures are eased. It will then become an operational guide made available to the hospitality industry and is estimated to be ready for launch in mid-May.
European guests will be able to check on a dedicated Bureau Veritas website whether a hotel or restaurant has been certified.
Franck Gervais, chief executive of Accor Europe, said: "Welcoming, protecting and taking care of others is the very DNA of Accor and at the heart of what we do. Today, more than ever, our employees, customers and partners need to be reassured of our ability to offering them the best welcome possible. As the European leader in hospitality, it is our duty to anticipate needs and respond to health and safety requirements by adhering to the highest standards. We are pleased to be pioneering this drive with Bureau Veritas and to extend it to all stakeholders."
Jacques Pommeraud, chief executive of Bureau Veritas Africa & France, added: "With this label, today we have the ability to meet the new expectations of our society in terms of health and safety. This label will contribute to the hospitality and restaurant industry reopening with confidence. We are proud to work with Accor, at first in France and subsequently in all European countries. This approach will benefit the entire industry as every company could request to be certified by Bureau Veritas."