Quality Assurance for Tour Operators

Quality Certification for Tour Operators

For a tour operator to become certified according to the “Quality in Travel” standards the following criteria apply:

  • registered business and licensed according to local regulations for a minimum of three years
  • operation in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations
  • comprehensive insurance according to the local requirements and law, sufficient to protect clients, from a reputable insurance company
  • Automatically provide customers with trip protection insurance
  • communication of expertise, experience, qualifications and services of the company, employees and partners to the public
  • The tour operator handles a minimum of 20 packages and a minimum of 500 travellers per year
  • The staff engaged must be sufficient, in number and qualification, to meet the size of the jobs that are offered and undertaken. The management should have at least 3 years of experience in
  • permanent non-residential office and clear declaration of the means of contact (phone, email, website form) and of office hours for enquiries etc. There should be also a public declaration of the time frame for answering queries (normally not more than 24 hours on workdays)
  • a good quality and updated website with all sufficient information and offers, email account/s with a private domain, after certification the “Quality in Travel” logo featuring prominently on the website
  • procedure for agreements (contracts) with travel agents or clients (paper or electronically accepted methods) stating, at a minimum, the services to be provided, fees and billing procedures, the term and termination aspects of the contracts and the procedures in the event of a complaint
  • prepared responsibility for the quality of products and services of the subcontractors and regular checks on the maintenance of these quality data
  • the tour operator must prove that it is a financially sound company (Statement of its main bank, or bank references for a year)
  • if applying for the first time, the tour operator must provide a minimum of three recent client references
  • acknowledgement of proposal requests and complaints within 24 hours and provision of an individual answer/proposal that meets the client’s demands and requirements within 72 hours
  • The tour operator should introduce or have introduced some form of quality management in which it should:
    • define criteria of quality
    • monitor these criteria, e.g. by customer feedback, and keep a written record on it
    • maintain an effective complaint management system with clear responsibilities
    • persistently care for the improvements of products and services
    • give your personnel the chance to learn about quality improvement
    • clarify responsibilities for quality management and response to customer opinions
  • If the tour operator has a valid certification according to ISO 9001, all points that are approved there, need not to be certified for QiT again.