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Ferguson launches TQUAL for Australian tourism

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Federal tourism minister Martin Ferguson launched a new national accreditation framework for Australian tourism businesses yesterday. The $5.5 million program was announced at the Australian Tourism Exchange in Sydney, the Southern hemisphere’s largest international travel trade show. The framework is designed to consolidate the haphazard use of independent accreditation systems around Australia to denote quality and professionalism in a tourism business. Queensland’s tourism minister Jan Jarratt says it’s good news for the industry. "Accreditation provides tourism operators with a simple and effective way to let customers know that their business has been officially recognised within the industry," she said. "The fact that it’s voluntary means businesses involved will strive to achieve and maintain this standard of excellence." The new quality brand will be called TQUAL, and accreditation will demand certain levels of reliability, quality and good customer service in a business. Jarratt said the TQUAL brand will be managed by Tourism Australia, which will develop and implement a national marketing strategy for the new system. Existing quality and accreditation brands can apply to Tourism Australia to co-brand with TQUAL to build consumer recognition of the mark. The federal government will fund the implementation of the new framework over four years.

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