§ Mr. Gregory
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland where are the short-term and long-term policies, respectively, of the hotel classification scheme of the Scottish Tourist Board.
§ Mr. Lang
I understand from the board that the immediate objectives for the scheme have been achieved. The voluntary scheme, applying to all accommodation sectors and incorporating verified classification and grading, was successfully launched in 1985. A positive response has been received from accommodation operators and the results of the first inspections have been incorporated in the 1987 season brochures. The board's longer term policy is to ensure that the customer has a guaranteed official assessment of the range of facilities and services provided (classification) and the quality of services provided (grading). In this way, the customer will be well placed to determine if he is getting value for money compared with competitor destinations which operate similar schemes. The scheme also aims to help increase the stock of good quality accommodation in Scotland by providing an incentive to operators to improve their product.