People, Travel

ICHHTO to Overhaul Hotel Ratings Criteria

ICHHTO to Overhaul Hotel Ratings CriteriaICHHTO to Overhaul Hotel Ratings Criteria

Iran’s Cultural Heritage, Handicrafts and Tourism Organization plans to review criteria based on which hotels are judged and awarded star ratings to help improve their quality of services.

According to the director of the Monitoring and Assessment of Tourism Services Office at ICHHTO, the present assessment guidelines are dominated by technical and architectural standards, with criteria pertaining to service quality receiving little attention.

“It is as though hotels are rated from an architect’s point of view rather than a tourist’s”, Vali Teymouri was also quoted as saying by Mehr News Agency.

Teymouri added that about 70% of the items in the assessment checklists concern building standards.

The official further said technical factors should be considered prior to construction and once hotels become operational, other features must be put under consideration.

Teymouri noted that hotels are built and operated based on guidelines devised more than 60 years ago and “it’s high time we adopted a new approach and updated the rules.”

Pointing to a recent trip to France, the official said he collected a copy of their updated guidelines for ranking hotel services for 2016, which is valid for the next five years.

“Their guidelines can serve as a template for us,” he said, adding that ICHHTO will also use models proposed by the World Tourism Organization.

The organization has envisioned three main areas for devising the rules, namely equipment and facilities, service quality, and sustainable development and affordability.

Sustainable development consists of features such as the use of renewable resources and eco-friendly policies. Affordability, which supplements sustainable development, centers on how low-income strata can afford to use lodging services.

Teymouri said the new criteria will have to be reviewed by both private and public stakeholders as well as academic experts.

“If the process goes on as planned, the statute should be ready in a month,” he said.