Accor has partnered with testing, inspection and certification provider Bureau Veritas to develop a ‘label’ certifying that appropriate safety standards and cleaning protocols have been achieved.

The group hopes that the label will help to support the hospitality and restaurant industry return to business following global lockdowns as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

The label will cover both accommodation and catering, and will set the sanitary standards applicable to all of the group’s hotels, “as well as to other chains and independent hotels”.

The idea is that customers in Europe would be able to check on a dedicated Bureau Veritas website whether an individual hotel or restaurant had been certified, before making a booking.

Accor said that the project had been carried out in partnership with doctors and epidemiologists, and had been developed in collaboration with Accor owners and trade associations.

It will be shared with Alliance France Tourisme next week, as well as with relevant ministries “so that they are actively involved in – and validate – the recommended standards”.

Concrete proposals will be submitted initially to the French government and subsequently to relevant European governments, ministries and committees, and the result of the project will be “an operational guide made available to all stakeholders in the hospitality industry, enabling them to rigorously apply the health and safety recommendation of authorities (WHO, Health Ministry etc), both in guest services spaces and in back office and catering spaces”.

The move comes as the hospitality and aviation industries scramble to introduce policies to enable the return to travel once global restrictions are eased.

Marriott launches new internal platform to promote hotel cleanliness

Jacques Pommeraud, CEO of Bureau Veritas Africa and France said that “With this label, today we have the ability to meet the new expectations of our society in terms of health and safety”, while Franck Gervais, CEO of Europe Accor, commented:

“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.”,