The Tourism Bureau on Wednesday introduced an accreditation program for hotels in Taiwan, which it said will help travelers identify safe, sanitary and legitimately registered places of accommodation.

Starting Nov. 1, such places will be recognizable by means of a distinctive government-issued stamp that can be displayed on the premises, on the websites and promotional material of the facilities, and on booking sites, Tourism Bureau deputy director-general Chang Shi-chung (張錫聰) said at a press conference in Taipei.

The stamp shows two circles, with a red roof over a white bed in the black inner circle, and the words “Taiwan Stay, Tourism Bureau.MOTC” in the yellow outer circle.

The design represents legality and a safe place to stay, as determined by the Tourism Bureau and other relevant government authorities, according to Chang.

When the accreditation program begins in November, the stamp will be issued to registered hotels and bed and breakfast facilities, bearing their identification number and category of accommodation, he said.

The accreditation program will be launched alongside the Tourism Bureau’s newly upgraded website “Taiwanstay,” which will allow travelers to not only check but also book accommodation, Tang Wen-chi (湯文琦), director of Hotel and Lodging Division of the Tourism Bureau, told CNA.

All the hotels and bed and breakfasts currently listed on the Taiwanstay website are registered and compliant with safety standards, therefore, they are eligible for accreditation, she said.

The accreditation is not compulsory, but accommodation enterprises wishing to obtain it must apply to the Tourism Bureau, she said.

The bureau will issue the stamp based on factors such as whether the facility is properly registered and has the required sanitary and safety permits, Tang said.

“It will be helpful because travelers searching on any website for a place to stay will be able to easily identify legally registered and safe places in Taiwan,” she said.

Any attempts to illegally display the stamp will result in court action, Tang said.