Are you launching a new hospitality business? Maybe you’ve dreamed of setting up your own holiday property for a while and are finally taking the leap.

With UK tourism predicted to return to pre-pandemic levels in 2024 and 2025, now could be a good time to make your dream a reality.

However, as with any business venture, it’s important that you are aware of potential risks which can impact revenue and performance. To navigate the list of things to do in order to complete a full risk assessment for your small tourism business, read on.

Identify the risks

Start the risk-management process by carrying out a thorough risk assessment. This will help you to identify potential health and safety hazards that could affect your guests and staff. For instance, you’ll need to make sure there are no loose carpets on which someone could slip and check that the property in which your business is based is safe.

For instance, if you’re thinking of setting up a bed and breakfast or planning on renting out an apartment as a holiday let, check that there are no signs of damp or mould.

You’ll also need to make sure that the property isn’t susceptible to other issues, like damage from extreme weather. Here, you’d need to weatherproof the property and might also consider ensuring that all your relevant insurance policies are up to date. Some business owners consider more specific industry-related policies such as bed and breakfast insurance, and a transitional point such as this can be a good opportunity to reevaluate your requirements.

Risk mitigation strategies

Once you’ve established what the risks and potential health and safety hazards are, you can then focus on introducing solutions. These could include guidelines and instructions to help staff and guests in the event of an emergency.

Fire-evacuation plans are essential in any public building or property that’s to let. Ensure that instructions are clearly set out and that these are easily accessible for anyone who stays at your property. Other additions include a first-aid kit and procedure, as well as a process to handle any guest complaints or safety incidents.

Continuity and contingency planning

Another way to mitigate risk is to introduce a business continuity plan to ensure that your business can continue operating in the face of disruptions. This should include plans for dealing with power outages, supply chain disruptions or other unforeseen events.

Training and communication

Make sure your staff are fully trained in risk management. It’s essential that they know how to handle any customer complaints that arise from any health-and-safety incidents. Additionally, encourage staff to be open and communicate regularly if they notice any issues that could pose a health-and-safety risk.

Whatever type of hospitality business you’re setting up, put risk management at the top of the to do list.