Accommodation establishments encouraged to be graded

2016-09-14 06:00
Michael Mbuyah, the new Provincial Assessor for the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA).  Photo: ROSLYN BAATJIES

Michael Mbuyah, the new Provincial Assessor for the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA). Photo: ROSLYN BAATJIES

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THE benefits of the grading of tourist accommodation in the Eastern Cape was outlined last Wednesday by Michael Mbuyah, the new provincial assessor of the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA).

“People think that grading accommodation means giving it a star award, but it is so much more than that,” Mbuyah said.

“To grade accommodation means that a standard is set. It means that you add value to your business.”

Mbuyah said that the TGCSA is in service of the tourism industry and will ensure that the accommodation is graded, because it makes business sense.

“By becoming a member of the grading council, your accommodation is marketed to an international audience through the council’s website.

Additionally, the graded accommodations can use the logo of the grading council on their stationery. They also receive a certificate and plate, which indicates what star the accommodation was awarded,” Mbuyah said.

These accommodations are also listed on the South African Tourism website.

“What owners of tourist accommodations should keep in mind, is that government and state officials may not stay overnight in ungraded accommodation. The government is a big client and, if you are graded, you stand a chance of getting business from the government.”

He added that accredited assessors are linked to specific accommodations and that product owners in the hospitality industry can choose one that they are comfortable with.

An additional free service to graded institutions is free legal services, Mbuyah added.

Grading also makes excellent business sense. “A graded accommodation business gets so many more guests. It means that more job opportunities are created and the unemployment problem addressed.

“Guests who get value for their money in a graded place help to build consumer confidence. They will, at the next opportunity, stay at the same place,” Mbuyah explained.

The cost of grading depends on the number of rooms in a tourist accommodation.

The monthly membership fees vary from R2 057 to about R10 300, depending on the size of the accommodation.

  • The TGCSA was created in 2000 by Valli Moosa, former Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism.

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