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British tourism institutions agree on a single health label

VisitBritain announced a few days ago that tourism companies in the United Kingdom that have been awarded the national "We're good to go" label, developed jointly by the various tourist offices in the territory, are now automatically awarded the international "Safe Travels" certification. In France, it is on a smaller scale that it happens, since each territory and each tourism business develops its own charters and labels on its own side.

Following the pandemic which has strongly impacted the world of tourism, institutions as well as tourism professionals have taken numerous steps to restart the activity as soon as possible and in the best possible conditions. It is with this objective in mind that VisitEngland, England's official tourist office, in partnership with Tourism Northern Ireland, VisitScotland and Visit Wales, launched the "We're good to go" label in 2020.

This is a health compliance label for tourist establishments. The label assures visitors that government public health guidelines are being followed and that the establishments in question have put in place adequate preventive measures against Covid-19, such as a cleaning protocol or physical distancing. More than 44,000 companies across the country have now signed up to the programme, which required them to complete a self-assessment on the online platform dedicated to the label by completing a checklist confirming that they have put in place the necessary procedures.

Subsequently, the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) recognised that the label was in line with its international health and hygiene protocols and also supported the recovery of the tourism sector within the United Kingdom. As a result, British tourism companies that have been awarded the label now automatically receive the international "Safe Travels" certification developed by the WTTC. VisitBritain is coordinating these operations on behalf of the WTTC.

While there has been real cooperation across the Channel, the reality in France is quite different. Since the beginning of the health crisis, a large number of health charters and labels have been created without the consultation of the maximum branches on a national scale. There are many private initiatives such as Accor, Pierre et Vacances or Gîtes de France. The government has also drawn up a charter with a poster entitled "Our establishment is committed" which tourism professionals can display at the entrance to their establishments.

Regional, departmental and city destinations have also designed their own health charters, as we have seen with the Provence Occitanie territory with its Sani'Accueil charter, the Caring Attitude charter for the city of Paris, the "Serenity Charter, Together to take care of you" for the Lyon conurbation or the "Marseille Provence Safe Welcome" health charter. Each institutional and professional actor in the French tourism sector works in its own way, a method that is very different from that of its British neighbour.

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