first_imgAustralia’s hotels will be judged and rated different from 1 July this year, with the new star rating scheme focusing on cleanliness, facilities and quality. Speaking at No Vacancy this week, AAA Tourism chief executive Peter Blackwell said the new scheme reflects consumer needs and requirements. After both qualitative and quantitative research the group found that up to 80 percent of people thought star ratings were useful and were consciously or unconsciously using them as the third step after choosing a location and researching hotels, to cut down on where they do not want to stay. While the old points system allowed hoteliers to reach five star via the number of points they earned, the new percentage system is stricter and encourages cleanliness to be top priority. During the research AAA Tourism found that “over 90 percent of requirements was cleanliness”, Mr Blackwell explained. Then “they want to see quality, it isn’t just good to have TV they want to what quality of TV, it isn’t just good to have carpet but how good is it”. Mr Blackwell stressed hotels that only reach 75 percent in cleanliness will not achieve a star rating at all. “If you are only very good at cleanliness you cannot be five star,” he said. While hotels aiming to be crowned five star, would also need to reach the minimum of 93 percent in quality of the facility. Among other important changes to the scheme, Mr Blackwell said the star rating has removed its minimum requirements. However, “consumers still have them [requirements], they expect stuff when they stay at a hotel”. “When they are staying at a five star hotel they expect valet parking … [and] if you don’t have it, you don’t get points for it. “How well you want to be, is based on the service you provide.” Although Mr Blackwell would not elaborate, he did hint at using consumer reviews and ratings as a way to determine stars in the future. The company’s head concluded that in order for this approach to follow through, consumers would need to prove they had visited and stayed in the hotel. Source = e-Travel Blackboard: N.Jlast_img read more