World Practices Hotel Classification

Table of Content

Previous research has given prominence to European and American grading systems and less attention to other important tourist destinations of the world. Therefore, this paper aims to extend the range Of investigated classification schemes to Asian countries as emerging tourist markets and to elucidate the differences between classification in Europe and Asia. Many studies have been reported about classification schemes in general, but less research has been engaged with comparing the different frameworks in detail.

This work addresses this gap by comparing the structures and characteristics of these systems and giving concrete examples about Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, China and Japan. The results of a classification criteria analysis show the correspondence of these systems, assisting a better understanding of grading schemes in general. Thereby, this study is intended to support both academic and practical fields.

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Finally, future research directions and limitations are identified. Key words: hotel classification, star rating classification criteria, comparative analysis Introduction As the focus of hospitality has moved from consumer protection to consumer information in recent years (United Nations World Tourism Organization [UNTO], 2004), standardization together with competitive marketing of hotel services have emerged to develop national hotel classification systems.

According to DEGAS the German Hotel and Restaurant Association, hotel classification was created to be meaningful both for the customer and for the hotel business and to contribute to transparency and safety of hotel offers (Deutsche Hotel undo Augusta “timberland [DEGAS], 2005) in a way that would help customers to determine what sort of conditions they can expect for the price they are paying. Further, from the hoteliers’ point of view, it is a sort of advertising, in the way hotels can position themselves on the market.

It has to be noted, however, that E-mail: cserkati@harmo. Complex. Eng. Hookups. AC. JP SINS 1094-1665 print,’less 1741-6507 online/08/040379 -20 # 2008 ASia Pacific Tourism Association DOI: 10. 1080/1 0941660802420960 380 Catalina User and Gamma Chichi comparing and contrasting them to management expectations and perceptions (Calla, 1998; Calla & Levee, 1997; Kim & Oakmont, 2006). Some have focused on special market segments, such as business travelers (Doodling, 2002) or young government officers (Paraguayan, Siphon, Hungered, & Chirrups, 2007).

Further, customer expectations, importance of quality grading and total quality management (TTS) as a significant factor of hotel selection have been investigated (Calla, 1995; Camion, 1 996; ‘ Fernando & Bedim, 2004). Gang, Oakmont, ‘ and Donovan (2004) analyze further the effect of service quality and show how the type of accommodation influences customer behavioral intentions. Other studies examine the influence of hotel classification on room price and Revenue Per Available Room (Reappear), often in parallel with the location of the hotel (Jimenez & Marvel, 2004; Jacob & Marvel, 2004).

While many studies have examined grading schemes in general, others have focused on a single country hotel classification system (Salts & Marvel, 004) and only a few have been engaged with comparing the different frameworks in detail (Minute International Group, 2004; Wilson & Marvel, 2004). Vine (1981), who gives a selection of European countries with national classification systems, concentrates rather on the growth of grading schemes and points out their advantages and disadvantages, leaving a space Of detailed analysis of the elements of those systems.

In this vein, the purpose of this paper is to investigate hotel classification schemes and examine how these systems can be compared with each other. It is also important to look at some concerns. Many researchers consider hotel classification to be an inexact science (Vine, 1981). This could be accurate in a way, as none of the statutory classification schemes is these systems provided by the government or, in some cases, such as Switzerland, by a volunteer organization, concentrate rather on physical facility attributes and number of services, and only a few of them refer to the assessment of quality (Martin, n. . ). This is one basic misunderstanding that often leads to disappointment among tourists, who tend to think about hotel classifications as if they reflect the quality of the hotel (Holloway, 1994). There is also often some confusion about classification, grading, categorization, assessment and ranking, which are frequently utilized without due consideration of their meaning. In some cases the media communicate the above-mentioned words in an incorrect way, in other cases the literature itself uses the expressions interchangeably.

For clarity, a brief explanation is provided below about the two most commonly used terms, based on Holloway (1 994): . Classification distinguishes hotels according to certain physical features (amenities, facilities, service and cost), e. G. The number of moms with a private bathroom.. Grading identifies hotels based on certain verifiable objective features of the service offered, e. G. Whether 24-hour service is provided.

These expressions, however, still do not cover a subjective evaluation system, thus do not refer to quality assessment, but clarifying their meanings can help in understanding better what the different symbols (stars, diamonds, etc. ) on hotel entrances relate to. In this study, classification and grading were applied as synonyms in order to monitor both physical attributes and services. Previous researches have been mainly engaged with total classification as part of the consumer choice for accommodation, World practices Of Hotel Classification Systems watertight, and it is very hard to pin down an ideal system.

That also explains why an internationally harmonize classification has not been developed up to now. Travelers from different countries in the world have different personal requirements and conceptions and an international standard would only create false expectations that could not be fulfilled (Enmeshing, 2006). Only if the advantages of a uniform system outweighed the disadvantages would it be worth the effort to have such a system. Those attempts that were leading up to the process of harmonistic of hotel classification systems on international levels were also unsuccessful.

The International Standards Organization and the World Trade Organization met in 1 998 to discuss jointly harmonize hospitality standards. The delegation got only so far as to recommend that as a first step standards be set in the key areas of housekeeping, front office, and food and beverage, and in the end nothing was implemented (Maternity’s, 2003). On the other hand, according to Calla (1 994), both tourists and the hospitality business could benefit from he provision of a set of monitored and reliable minimum standards.

This is a significant argument for this study as it builds on the hypothesis that, although often seen as irrelevant and not possible to harmonize on the international level, hotel classification systems as such are still important and they represent valuated information. The importance of a harmonize system can be argued further from other aspects. The impenetrable jungle of hotel classifications all over the world causes difficulties not only for the traveler but also for the hotelier, for the government and for the tourism and hospitality researcher as well.

Although all these parties have to face time- consuming searches for different hotel classifications and language barriers, each of them is struggling with 381 particular problems. Tourists usually do not know that there is no unified system in the world for hotel classifications. Their perceptions often do not match with what they receive for the sake of insufficient and ineffective communication. Hotel managers complain about unfair competition caused by the different systems (Lethe, 2004).

Tourism bodies have a never-ending dispute over a unified hotel classification system (Hotels, Restaurants & Cafes n Europe [HOTTEST, 2004) at a European and international level. Countries without a classification system do not have a reliable base and they require a lot of time and research effort to develop their own system. This paper agrees with the fact that variations between countries’ standards naturally exist and that it is not a simple task to harmonize classifications at an international level. It does not aspire to standardize hotel classifications either.

However, it assumes that comparing the different frameworks in detail can reveal important information for the hospitality sector. The authors believe that certain standards can be determined in every classification system as common criteria, and other elements that are found not to be common could characterize the given classification system and be considered as country- specific criteria. Identifying common and counterinsurgency criteria could contribute to realizing that classification systems are different across the world and, further, to understanding by what means they are distinct from each other.

Such detailed comparison of hotel classifications could serve both academic and practical fields in various ways. Researchers could extend their investigation area and discover new bases for benchmark studies. Hospitality educators could train and instruct their students with a more profound knowledge. Through helping them to recognize 382 Catalina User and Gamma Chichi To achieve that, a survey of major hotel classification systems is conducted followed by a structural analysis.

As a next step, this work presents a detailed criteria analysis of selected countries’ classification schemes: Switzerland, Germany, Hungary, China and Japan. In this paper, the main characteristics of these systems are identified, and the lactation’s criteria are arranged for operational and analytical purposes and analyzed according to their content. Finally, future research directions and limitations are identified. Differences in hotel classifications, scholars could foster international understanding.

Further, the current status that confronts tourists with a world of diverse hotel classifications could be improved by an analysis of classification criteria and a summary of the characteristics of each country. This paper suggests that the results of this case study would assist tourists to reverent misconceptions in advance and avoid disappointments after arrival. Tourists could benefit from this in such a way that they could make easier decisions for hotel selection and find accommodation more suitable to their needs.

This would satisfy customer expectations on a higher level and also yield time and financial merits. As far as the hospitality industry and the hoteliers are concerned, examining grading schemes in the world could improve interpretation of global similarities and differences. This could contribute to the process of developing fair competition measures and achieving a desired market position. Based on such comparative analysis, a recommendation for hotel classification could also be offered, assisting countries that aim to develop a new hotel classification system or reform the existing scheme.

It has also to be noted that most of the above-mentioned previous studies gave prominence to European and American grading world. Therefore, this paper aims to extend the range of investigated classification schemes to Asian countries as emerging tourist markets and survey typical hotel classification systems with a focus on European and Asian entries. Moreover, this work intends to fill a gap in the literature by comparing structures and characteristics of these systems and Ana lazing their classification criteria in detail, I. E. Determine common criteria and detect country-specific criteria.

Survey of Hotel Classification Systems Classifications of hotels in different countries typically come from government or governmental sources, independent ratings agencies, or sometimes the hotel operators themselves (Maternity’s, 2003). The various classification systems reflect the diversity Of hospitality services and refer to he different cultures and geographical situations. However, these systems have something in common: grading is given out according to technical parameters based on what the hotel offers, and not based on the quality of the services.

For charm, views, the feel of the place or the friendliness of the staff one has to turn to other sources; in most cases to guides of individual organizations (e. G. The Michelin Guide). This paper focuses on official hotel classification systems designed and controlled by government sources or professional associations. How these classification schemes vary and what main characteristics they have are outlined briefly below. Ninety countries have an official hotel classification system in the world, where Europe takes the first place with 37 countries (42%), followed by Asia and Africa covering less than one-third of the world total each.

World Practices of Hotel Classification Systems The American continent seems to be the less classified; where 10 countries represent South America (including Latin America and the Caribbean) and Canada indicates North America (HOTTER, 2004; UNTO, 2004). It has to be noted that the existing ND welkin grading schemes in the LISA (AAA and Mobile) are considered as non-official systems; they are guides of individual organizations, however they enrich the palette of hotel classifications.

Further investigation reveals that Europe is almost 100% classified, which can be generated from the fact that the first classification systems for accommodation were developed in Europe (HOTTER, 2004) and thus it can be considered as the cradle of hotel classification. Countries without a classification system, such as Finland and Norway, intend to introduce a grading scheme, closely following Swede’s example. In Europe, classification is mandatory in almost every country. Fifty per cent of the classification is conducted by the authorities and the other 50% covers hotel and automobile associations as well as experts.

The star system is the most common symbol for grading, except for the UK and Cyprus, where diamonds and letters are used in combination with stars, respectively. The other side of the globe reflects such a diverse picture, as classification systems vary in Europe. For example, hotels in Korea are classified into categories as third, second, first, Deluxe and Super Deluxe hotel. Chinese hotels have a five-star system plus a platinum level for the highest quality. Top-grade hotels in China can satisfy the level of international luxury hotels; however, lower grades will not meet all the requirements that their European counterparts do.

China is putting much effort into hotel development to satisfy the needs of international visitors. In order to keep its rank among the top tourism destinations in 383 the world (UNTO, n. D. ) and, further, hosting the Games of the XIX Olympian in 2008 in Beijing China has contributed to accelerating improvements in hotel facilities and quality. Despite hotel classifications, in Asia room fee is still the most accurate indicator of quality. Moreover, language knowledge of personnel is more critical than in Europe, however in high-class hotels having English-speaking staff is a must.

Asian primary destinations have hotels with relatively sophisticated personnel, where applying and utilizing the latest technology is a requirement as well. According to the above-mentioned cases, the harmonistic of the various systems seems to be a hard task to accomplish. In addition, it can be questioned whether tourists expect standardized conditions everywhere they ravel. Many of them traveling around the world have different expectations according to their destinations, interests and purpose of their trip, as well as their ages.

The question has been addressed in the agenda of several international organizations: at a European level by HOTTER; and at the international level by the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the World Tourism Organization (UNTO). However, after all, the complexity and diversity of grading systems and the stout resistance of countries inhibited concrete measures (HOTTER, 2005; isn’t,ROR, 2004). Methodology This study aims to compare different hotel classifications, approaching the question by analyzing their general characteristics and structures.

The goal of the structural analysis is to discover the complexity of each system and detect classification layers. The basic 384 Catalina User and Gamma Chichi This methodology focuses on comparing hotel classification criteria of each country and investigates how similar these criteria are compared with each other. The criteria can be described by a set, C I, defined by CIA 1/4 {coil layer of each classification system is represented by the individual criteria hat are investigated further, demonstrating the originality of this study.

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World Practices Hotel Classification. (2018, Feb 19). Retrieved from

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