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“B&W CERT” qualification criteria scheme.

Certification for Ensuring Public Health and Safety for the Tourism Industry and Mass Event Organisers (Concert Venues – Festivals, Stadiums, Tourist Clubs etc.)

Already in 2012, Swiss Approval developed the first standard for the management of visitors who might have health problems, entitled MEDICAL TOURISM FRIENDLY HOTEL – MTFH. In December 2014, the new international standard HSTAR I for Blue Service was developed specifically for the purpose of health safety certification in hospitality venues and mass event organisers, and is the intellectual property of SwissApproval.

In April 2020, Swiss Approval is publishing the new version of the standard, updated and updated to the new CONVID19 pandemic data on the Safety and Health of Visitors in Emergency Medical Care and Infection Prevention by Swiss Approval International.

Tourism is one of the most important sectors of the global economy. Hotels are the central arm of the sector and, as such, ensuring that the risks associated with the operation of hotel businesses are managed is an integral part of the success and growth of Tourism. The safety and health of tourists is undoubtedly the number one factor of trust and reliability for hospitality services.

Similarly, mass public events of wide participation also require excellent organization of the provision of specialized first aid, medical, and other services related to the provision of emergency health care, at a higher rate than may be required for a small population in the community.

The new requirements that are being shaped internationally due to both the CONVID pandemic19 in the tourism industry are radically different from those known today. The safety of visitors from the moment they walk through the door of a tourist accommodation has now taken on new dimensions, in terms of managing the visitor within the tourist accommodation, and ensuring as far as possible Public Health.

The radical reorganization of the operation of a hospitality unit, Hotel or Campsite, in the context of current conditions, is an imperative challenge, and Swiss Approval, through an International team of experts and scientists, offers the International market an excellent tool for the organization of Hotel services, which responds to this challenge.

The key requirements outlined in Swiss Approval’s new B&W CERT standard for the organization and management of hospitality services, among other more specific ones, are:

The creation of a new service department, the so-called B&W department, which will operate in parallel with the existing ones (Reception, Catering, Room Services, etc..) and will have as its exclusive object 2 main categories:

– Communicable diseases and epidemiological surveillance (White office). Organisation and implementation of hygiene, prevention, vigilance and epidemiological surveillance rules to avoid the possible transmission of an infectious disease such as COVID-19, or to limit its transmission, with regard to the guests of the hospitality unit.

– Non-communicable diseases and first aid (Blue Office). Ensure more effective emergency medical care and basic primary health care services for visitors to the accommodation facility who may experience problems.

The hotel will not be able to exceed an occupancy rate of more than 85% at any time, unless the guidelines of a Country’s National Authorities specify otherwise. 15% of the available rooms will be used for any quarantine of guests who have come into contact with confirmed cases. The number of compulsorily vacant rooms shall be calculated on the basis of an algorithm that takes into account the surface area of the common areas in relation to the number of visitors and the social distancing defined.

The “B&W CERT” certificate is a seal of confidence for any hotel/hospitality establishment/unit of accommodation in dealing with sudden situations regarding the health and safety of guests and visitors.

The “B&W CERT” certification is a global exclusivity of Swiss Approval, which objectively provides a “Safety Passport” to the hospitality sector in order to successfully penetrate the international tourism market.


“Blue Service for Excellence” HSTAR II Certification

Certification of Hotels for the quality and safety of Health and Safety Tourists and Sensitive Clients

The certification of hospitality services related to the management of Medical Tourists/Health and Wellness Tourists is one of the most modern and advanced certification programs of Swiss Approval International, which was launched in January 2015. This operational framework – standard for hotels, features comprehensive quality standards, international best practices and safety principles (based on the Medical Tourism Friendly Hotels, MTFH principles), which govern the “Blue Service for Excellence” of Hotels and Hospitality businesses.

This innovative global Standard aims to provide an efficient and high quality service to medical tourists and spa wellness guests in tourist facilities.

The HSTAR II “Blue Service for Excellence” certification is a global exclusive of Swiss Approval, providing a unique competitive advantage in the Health and Wellness Tourism market and a seal of confidence to hotel operators associated with the specialized sector of Medical Tourism.

The Swiss Approval -HSTAR II certificate increases the RELIABILITY and CONFIDENCE in hospitality services, which practically prove that:

  • -Effectively serve vulnerable people, the elderly, people with chronic conditions or systemic care needs or with simply heightened health concerns
  • -They responsibly and safely accommodate Medical Tourists, Wellness Services Clients and/or International Patients, on their premises.

HSTAR – Hotels Classification   

Since 2007, our experts have been inspecting and implementing the classification system for Hotels and Tourist Accommodation, on behalf of the State Authorities and based on the significant international experience gained in the classification of hospitality structures according to different systems, with the aim of global recognition and approval of the level of services provided by Hospitality businesses.

Swiss Approval has the expertise and the appropriate tools to evaluate the businesses through the HSTAR classification system, in relation to the actual performance of the hotel businesses in terms of service quality and customer satisfaction.

Swiss Approval’s classification and certification for hospitality establishments is compatible with existing National, International or Collective requirements of quality and classification systems, while at the same time providing a Seal of Compliance and Reliability for hotel and tourism establishments.


Sustainable Development and ‘Green Consciousness’ in the Tourism Industry

As the tourism industry continues to grow at a rapid pace, its multi-faceted relationship with the environment and its interaction with the host communities of tourism facilities is becoming increasingly apparent. Although public awareness is growing, there is a lack of understanding of what sustainable tourism actually means.

Certification Body Swiss Approval is introducing the New Approach Certification for the Tourism Industry, as formulated by the Global Sustainable Tourism Council (GSTC), in order to help clarify and address issues related to potential threats and impacts that tourism activities may cause to the environment, culture and residents of tourism destinations. Certification also helps to explore and encourage opportunities for actions with a positive impact on issues such as poverty reduction, preservation of cultural and natural heritage, strengthening social cohesion, etc.

Swiss Approval International is a member of the GSTC, actively demonstrating its commitment to the principles of sustainability and green growth in the tourism sector.

Travel is an imperative for any developed society and has the potential to create positive change in destination communities and populations. Tourism stimulates the local economy by creating jobs, stimulating local production and attracting consumers and volunteers of various activities.

However, this development can only be possible in the future through the support of Sustainable Tourism. As the tourism industry continues to ‘grow’, established development practices are beginning to create negative impacts on the environment and local communities. It is everyone’s responsibility to strengthen the promotion of sustainable tourism by providing the necessary resources and training for industry professionals to improve sustainable practices. In turn, this attitude will begin to create further demand for sustainable products and services that contribute to an alternative way of social and economic development.