From the start of 2018, Visit Jersey will be encouraging local accommodation providers to adopt the internationally recognised AA accreditation programme. This will result in Visit Jersey no longer supporting the Jersey Quality Assured (JQA) scheme.
The AA has been associated with inspecting hotels, guest accommodation and restaurants for more than 100 years and is the only pan-British assessment organisation. It also has a range of market leading lifestyle guides which are accessible to members.
As a result, from 2019 onwards visitors to Jersey, and users of the Jersey.com website will be able to compare accommodation in a consistent and accurate way when planning their island break.
Why has Visit Jersey chosen to work with the AA?
It is important that when potential visitors to Jersey are researching and planning their island break that the information they find is relevant and helpful. With a single internationally recognised grading scheme in place it will help visitors make informed decisions.
For the accommodation providers that rely on grading schemes, the AA is well-recognised. It also enables premises that are graded by the AA to be included in their various guide books as well as featured on the AA.com website.
For those consumers who rely on grading, the AA scheme is the best known and most commonly used. Now more than ever there is an increasing emphasis on the need by consumers to have reliable, accurate, quality information about accommodation establishments. This also means that the customer recognises a trusted brand when using jersey.com.
Can I continue with the Jersey Quality Assured scheme?
Visit Jersey will not prevent any organisation from continuing to use the JQA scheme. However, going forward Visit Jersey will no longer design nor produce wall plaques and certificates. The JQA star rating will no longer be visible on your free Jersey.com listing page from the start of 2019.
What should I do if I currently have a JQA plaque?
All outdated Jersey Tourism and JQA plaques should be removed from the premises as Visit Jersey will no longer endorse the JQA scheme from 2019. Should an accommodation provider decide to move forward with the AA as a new member, new plaques will be awarded free of charge by the AA themselves.
What are the added benefits of working with the AA?
There are many benefits to working with the AA.
- All members are entitled to a full page on the AA.com website with links to their own web page, direct booking and up to five landscape images.
- The AA use STR data to enhance hotel inspection reports giving independent hotels an idea of where they sit in the global market place.
- Members are included in their B&B or Hotel Guides (published annually in September) with the opportunity to add additional advertising.
- Members also become eligible for the AA’s prestigious annual Hospitality Awards, which celebrates the best of the best in the industry.
- Unlimited use of the UK’s most trusted brand in all promotional material is also included.
- There is the added opportunity to attend free workshops throughout the year where you can network with peers within the industry, meet the inspectorate team and benefit from the expert knowledge of some of the AA’s partners.
If I don’t want to join the AA scheme what else can I do?
There are a number of ways to manage your online presence, and how potential visitors access information about the services that you offer.
Many world-famous OTAs have had their own approach to the grading system. Most create their own unique offering and marketing. This marketing approach clearly describes the experiences that hotels deliver.
User generated content forums such as TripAdvisor, Google, Booking.com and Expedia enable you to reply to visitor comments and give helpful and insightful feedback. Researching these forums has now become an important part of a visitor’s booking process and enables you to influence their decision.
Research findings from 2015 indicated that those looking online for accommodation pay attention to photos of the establishment, and ideally would like to see a photo of the outside of the property, of a guest room and of a public area. Additionally, indicating the proximity of the accommodation to local places to eat and drink and tourist attractions is valued by potential guests.
How much does AA accreditation cost?
Below is a breakdown of the current annual cost of AA membership. In association with Visit Jersey, the AA have kindly offered a 10% discount for new members.