• Common International Hotels Classification System limitations.
The matter of developing a common international classification system for tourism accommodations is particularly difficult for at least the following reasons:
✓ Culture is different between destinations and the feeling of comfort is highly diversified.
✓ The large diversity of types of touristic premises for accommodation, a diversity that is constantly increasing, definitely influences the comfort conception for standards classification related to various visitors’ groups.
✓ A large diversity of classification systems that are themselves embedded in highly different cultural and economic contexts makes convergence of classification systems quite difficult.
✓ Construction methods and practices are different between various geographical areas.
✓ Different climate conditions between various destinations are a strong limit on convergence of existing classification systems.
Despite the above mentioned difficulties, there are some objective factors that are commonly accepted by most classification systems:
- Consumers’ information. This point is of great importance because, by definition, a hotel is far away from tourist’s home. Classification thus constitutes an indicator, a piece of information that gives confidence to the customer before, during and after his travel planning.
- Tour operators and travel agencies guide. There is a need for reference they can use when preparing their catalogues, when negotiating wholesale deals with a hotel chain, or when putting together a customized product. However, second party audits can be implemented in this case, but as a general issue, classification is an important guide on Hospitality Industry.
- Sales and marketing promotion tool. This would be useful, first of all, for the hotels, which by featuring how many stars they have will be able to promote their specific characteristics, and their additional services, based on the «certification platform» provided by their stars. It is also useful at the governmental level. It gets absolutely clear in this regard that practically all governments that are reforming their classification systems highlight their desire to bring the quality of their national tourism up to a higher level. In this way, the classification system itself can also become an element of promotion.
- Quality-measurement tool. The classification system providing the hotel profession with a coherent framework that makes it possible to evaluate in a consistent manner a sector that is characterized by the extreme diversity of accommodation units, the vast majority of which, in both number and volume, are managed by individual entrepreneurs or by enterprises with fewer than 10 employees.
- Public policies proclamation and implementation, such investment plans, regional planning details and regulations etc.
• The International Classification Framework
Today there are several examples of sub regional classification systems, for example in Europe, led by HOTREC, in South-East Asia within the framework of ASEAN, in East Africa, or in West Africa within the framework of ECOWAS with different graduated criteria and methodology.
On the other hand, Private systems are basically managed by private enterprises that grant labels or «awards» according to criteria that they themselves establish. This is the case in the United States, in Ireland, in several Latin American countries. These systems naturally have the advantages of flexibility and responsiveness.
• HSTAR Classification System approach
The international classification systems encompasses generally 5 classes, but some private systems have fewer and some others have more, up to 7 stars / qualification levels in the Middle East for example.
HSTAR classification system is fully compatible with existing International Classification Framework, as this approach is based on the specific requirements of every National or Privet Classification system, modified complementary.
The introduction of «half (1/2) STAR» for the three higher classes / qualification levels of every existing classification system, based on a specific evaluation of service delivered, with the use of Swiss Approval International specific Mystery Guest questionnaire, is the so called HSTAR classification model, introduced by Swiss Approval International.
• HSTAR Functional specifications and quality grading criteria
HSTAR classification scheme extension is provided to classification scope from five (5) or seven (7) classes / stars today at an international frame, in 8 or 10 to ensure the correspondence between expected and received quality services from consumers.
The HSTAR eight (8) or ten (10) new classes will emerge from the current five (5) or seven (7) main categories of classification, with additional diversification of stars PLUS for categories 3, 4 and 5 stars or 5,6,7.
Thus, HSTAR classification system of the main tourist accommodation in stars is derived as follows:
5 Stars / levels Classification Table:
HSTAR Classification System, adapted on every system adopted
7 Stars / levels Classification Table:
HSTAR Classification System, adapted on every system adopted
Technical characteristics of the enclosures remain unchanged, since they relate to the legislation.
Operational (Functional) features are rather common to all levels of existing classification systems, as involving basic infrastructure and minimum safety criteria laid down by legislation and construction techniques.
Graduated Infrastructure, in line with what is happening today will continue to categorize the main tourist accommodation in five basic categories of classification, however, showed an improvement in their quality and contain new and modern views classification.
The graduated Services Criteria, are related only to «PLUS» 3 *, 4 * & 5 * or 5 *, 6 * & 7 * Classification levels, and the introduction of PLUS levels, is proposed just to enable diversification in Quality empathy and consistence during service delivery to Hospitality Guests.
It is just the HSTAR PLUS in quality service sealed by Swiss Approval International!