Sri Lanka PM says star grading hotels outdated

ECONOMYNEXT- Giving hotels a government approved star rating is obsolete, as tourists prefer to rate accommodation based on how much they spent instead, Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said at the Hotel Show Colombo 2018.

“We are used to grading hotels, 3-star, 4-star, 5-star, but now the tourist who come, they like to grade on how much they spend on luxury,” Wickremesinghe said.

He said that tourists have different grading criteria for hotels, boutique hotels, homestays or hostels.

Online booking engines such as booking.com and Agoda follow such a system, allowing market forces to determine the quality of luxury, services and amenities provided by each type of accommodation type based on ratings and reviews given by tourists who had stayed in each property.

The Premier’s remarks came just days before the state’s industry regulator, the Sri Lanka Tourism Development Authority, awarded star classifications for hotels for 2018, and pushed for mandatory grading of hotels under the star system.

He said that when he stayed in Scotland, he hadn’t stayed at a 5-star hotel, as factors other than the hotel building had influenced his decision.

“I happened to take a break in Scotland. I went to the hotel room, it was 3.5-stars. Environment 4.5-stars. Food 5-stars.  That’s how the hotel is rated,” he said.

“I told someone in the industry, the problem we have is that we have some hotels which have 5-stars, the environment is 2.5-stars and the food is 3-stars. So we have to look at how we grade hotels,” he said. (COLOMBO, 27 July, 2018)
 

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