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Industry: Accommodation       

Swaziland is embarking on a grading programme for its accommodation and has started the ball rolling with a recent industry workshop.

(TRAVPR.COM) UK - July 25th, 2017 - Swaziland is embarking on a grading programme for its accommodation and has started the ball rolling with a recent industry workshop.

The grading of accommodation establishments in the country is a much-needed step to crossing the bridge to a more competitive and efficient tourism industry. The procedure involves compulsory registration of all hospitality establishments in the country with the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, followed by voluntary application for grading. In other words, registration of all accommodation establishments is compulsory and is administered by government, while grading will be voluntary and administered by Swaziland Tourism Authority (STA) through a grading committee. To hasten the process, the government has also provided an online registration option in line with the e-Government programme. Payments can also be made electronically.

Stars ranging from one to five stars will be awarded to establishments depending on how they fair against the grading criteria rubric. In carrying out the assessments, assessors will visit the establishments and score them against set international standards. The results would then be taken to the grading committee which will then decide the star-rating of these establishments. To ensure consistency and transparency, special software will be used that will enable the verification of decisions.

Grading will be sensitive to the varying nature of accommodations in the country: from B&Bs to guesthouses, lodges to inns, and motels to hotels; hence relevant criterion would be duly employed for the respective categories i.e. ‘fit for purpose’ rule shall apply.

The grading exercise comes at a time when the country is looking to align services and products to international standards. Experts agree that a graded establishment is more likely to captivate the market than an ungraded one, as the grade tends to give a picture of what a visitor should expect. The grading of establishments in Swaziland will ensure the integrity of the national tourism sector, guarantee the sustainability of tourism practices and set strategic priorities. Graded establishments enjoy booking preference when international tour operators or holiday planners make their itineraries.

All accommodation in Swaziland is being encouraged to engage with the grading process and so benefit from the results. Rather than looking to expose inefficiency, the intention is to promote excellence and competitiveness.


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Name: Kelly White
Company: Swaziland Tourism
Phone: 0115 9727250
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