DOT to release new star ratings of PH hotels, resorts
MANILA, Philippines—In line with its bid to make the tourism industry globally competitive, the Department of Tourism will soon release the new star ratings of around 700 hotels and resorts across the country.
“We are adopting the star rating system, which is internationally acceptable and globally used. Tourists can easily understand star ratings system,” Maria Rica Bueno, director of the DOT’s Office Tourism Standards and Regulations in an interview.
The new star rating system for hotels and resorts has replaced the old classification system, which the DOT has been using since the 1990s. Under the previous system, accommodation providers were rated as Economy, Standard, First-Class, and Deluxe for hotels and A, AA, and AAA for resorts.
But Bueno said the old rating system has confused a lot of travelers, prompting them to shift to the “language more understood in the travel trade.”
Describing the new system in rating hotels and resorts as more stringent, Bueno said some 693 hotels and resorts in the country underwent assessment led by a team of 10 international assessors from the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia and a pool of local third party auditors.
The inspection of hotels and resorts, which began in December 2013 was completed in the middle of 2014.
Bueno said by the first week of December this year, the DOT would come up with advertisements on the new ratings of the hotels and resorts.
Before the release of the results, she said the respective management of hotels would be notified first to give way to appeals for reconsideration in the new ratings.
This assessment to be held every two years will be part of the enterprises’ requirements in the renewal of their accreditation of with the DOT.
With the new system, accommodation providers will be graded through a point-system, with a total of 1,000 points as maximum number of points that can be achieved.
Those getting the 251 to 400 points will receive a one star rating. These enterprises commonly appeal to budget-minded travelers, offering a limited range of facilities and services.
A two-star rating, on the other hand, will be awarded to enterprises that achieve 401 to 550 points, appealing to the tourists seeking more than the basics, expanded facilities and a higher level of comfort.
To be awarded a Three-star and four-star ratings, enterprises must achieve 551 to 700 points, and 701 to 850 points, respectively, as they offer a higher degree of hospitality and service, according to the DOT.
The highest rating, the Five Star, will be accorded to a hotel, resort or apartment hotel that will achieve 851 to 1,000 points. Five-star accommodation is characterized by its world-class facilities and meticulous service exceeding a guest’s expectations.
Bueno said the new ratings would help boost the marketing strategies of the DOT in promoting the Philippines as one of the best destinations and in reaching its target of 10 million tourist arrivals every year starting 2016.
“We are raising the bar of competitiveness in the industry according to global standards,” Bueno said
She added that more than the check-list type of assessing services, the DOT and the auditors would look into the quality of services and facilities offered more closely.
The new star rating for accommodation providers is part of the pilot project of the DOT with the technical assistance amounting to US$7.1 million coursed through the Asian Development Bank by the Government of Canada.
Dubbed Philippines Improving Competitiveness in Tourism (PICTourism), the project has been working to further enrich the competitiveness of the country’s tourism industry and provide local opportunities for employment, Bueno said.
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