Our scheme will not end

I WISH to put the record straight regarding the article headed End for Hotel Award Scheme that appeared in the September 15 edition. Our award scheme has not and will not end. What has happened is that central government some years ago mandated that loca

I WISH to put the record straight regarding the article headed End for Hotel Award Scheme that appeared in the September 15 edition. Our award scheme has not and will not end. What has happened is that central government some years ago mandated that local councils should only be accepting advertising entries into their guides and promotional leaflets from January 2007, from accommodation providers who had national accreditation from Visit Britain or AA under the harmonisation scheme.This decision was fostered by North Somerset Council who had no choice but to comply, or the penalty for not doing so would have been the withholding of various monies for tourism related purposes. It should be noted the cost of joining the national schemes varies between £260 for Visit Britain to £300 for the AA. The cost of our association starts at £60. The RAC no longer do inspections of hotels.Our inspection scheme has always been acknowledged as one of the best in the country and in fact in the past has given advice to other associations about setting up their own schemes. It is true what Julia Stuckeys says that we have to widen our remit and to this end we are holding an event at the Ebdon Arms, Wick St Lawrence, on October 25 at 3pm to further promote the association and we invite existing members and other hoteliers and restaurateurs to see what our association does.The event will include the launch of The Taste of Somerset where we hope to supply a chain of locally produced food, and the Flower Power presentations. There will be solicitors, financial advisors and an accountant there to give free advice. For details please e-mail saxoniahotel@binternet.comJOHN HARRAPPresident Weston Hotels and Restaurants Association


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