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Tourists urged to book only accredited London hotels

08 April 2008 by

An advertising campaign urging visitors to London to book only officially accredited hotels has been launched today.

The London Development Agency (LDA) and the capital's tourism body Visit London have launched Get London Graded.

Get London Graded is the first advertising campaign to encourage overseas tourists to book only accommodation that is part of the official grading scheme.

The LDA is offering help to hotels, B&Bs and hostels to become graded within the scheme, such as free business advice and a subsidy of £400.

It aims to bring another 150 properties into the scheme in the next two years ahead of the London Olympic Games in 2012.

James Bidwell, chief executive of Visit London, said the ratings would provide businesses "with a stamp of approval as well as a competitive edge".

Michael Gray, Caterer's hotelier of the year and general manager of the Hyatt Regency the Churchill in London backed the campaign.

"My blood boils when I hear the ministers complaining about the lack of quality accommodation in London. In truth it comes down to places that are not real hotels, they stick a sign up and operate as a hotel" he said.

Gray added that while the programme was a good one more powers were needed to close down rouge establishments undermining the London hotel industry.

VisitBritian and the AA's Common Standards rating system was introduced at the start of 2006 in a bid to unify the UK's different rating standards in different parts of the UK.

London Development Agency sets up green tourism grading pilot>>

Hospitality must support new Common Standards rating, urges tourism minister>>

Hotelier of the Year 2008: The search is on>>

By Gemma Sharkey

E-mail your comments to Gemma Sharkey here.

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