New SA Tourism grading council rules for niche stays to come into effect April 2019

2018-11-15 06:30
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New and revised grading standards for the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) have been approved by Minister of Tourism, Derek Hanekom and is now gazetted for implementation from 01 April 2019.

The new grading criteria include the introduction of two new categories in the form of “apartment hotels” and “small hotels” in which the luxury form (boutique hotels) would be encompassed.   

In addition to this, grading levels have been enhanced and will now also include a new 5-Star Premium grading level which is a recognition reserved for the pinnacle of luxury product in South Africa and will only be for those products that far exceed premium expectations with respect to quality standards and service excellence. 

The TGCSA has also introduced a new dimension to grading which allows for properties to capitalize on niche market differentiation. 

To date 5178 establishments are graded across the country, says TGCSA.

This new addition termed “accolades” includes insignia and criteria for niche markets such as child-friendly, pet-friendly, wedding venues, spa and wellness facilities and 4x4. 

Responsible Tourism also forms part of accolades offering, with the sole purpose of encouraging tourism businesses to operate more responsibly and limit the impact of their business on the environment.

The South African National Standards(SANS) 1162 formed the basis of the compilation of the criteria attached to the Responsible Tourism accolade. The Responsible Tourism accolade is a recognition mechanism and not an accreditation nor a certification.

“The approved enhancements to the grading system create greater value for our members and will further aid the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa in upholding and improving the competitive positioning of South Africa as a quality destination,” says Darryl Erasmus, Tourism Grading Council of South Africa’s Chief Quality Assurance Officer. 

To educate and bring understanding of the enhanced grading system and criteria, the TGCSA will be embarking on a national familiarization initiative campaign through a tourism trade roadshow during February and March of 2019. 

Exact dates will be communicated and advertised extensively in the near future.   Furthermore, the TGCSA owned platforms including the website are being updated to include downloadable versions of the criteria. A full list of accolades will be available on the website in the coming weeks.  

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