When talking about establishments like hotels and b&bs, referring to their star rating is rather common – but how many of us really know what it all means?
How do hotels get graded and what does each of the star ratings entail? Also, does the same set of criteria apply to guesthouses or backpackers, as does to a boutique hotel?
What does it take for a B&B to be considered for grading, i.e. what are the minimum requirements to be graded?
A “Bed and Breakfast” is a more informal accommodation with limited service that is provided in a family (private) home and the owner/manager lives in the house or on the property. Breakfast must be served. Bathroom facilities must be en-suite and/or private. If not, exclusive use of bathroom facilities per room is ensured. In general, the guest shares the public areas with the host family.
The Minimum Requirements for a Bed and Breakfast Star Grading are as follows:
– The host/representative must live in the house or on the property.
– Breakfast must be included in the tariff.
– Daily servicing of the rooms must be included in the tariff.
– Bathroom facilities must be en-suite. If not, exclusive use of bathroom facilities per room is mandatory.
– Servicing of rooms 7 days a week (this includes linen/towel change, removal of rubbish and cleaning).
Has the grading system changed over the past 20 or 30 years to keep up with changing technology? (especially FREE WiFi) is an important consideration to many travellers these days to stay in touch, check emails etc… does a having WiFi available to guests push up its star rating?
In 2008, the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) in partnership with industry stakeholders embarked on a journey to review the Grading Criteria and Minimum Requirements as a result of various anomalies that had entered the grading system. This review included key areas of the Criteria and Minimum Requirements.
We made a commitment then that the Grading Criteria and Minimum Requirements would be reviewed every 3 years to ensure that they are in line with international standards of quality as well as relevant to international and local traveller needs.
The current grading criteria that were also benchmarked against the UK, New Zealand as well as the Australian Quality Assurance system are globally competitive and very comprehensive.
They embrace technology, sustainability and for the first time ever, universal accessibility, which is grading criteria that take into consideration travellers with either mobility, visual or sight impairments.