Every five to six years, the criteria for hotel classification are revised in order to develop and modernise them in line with the needs of guests and market requirements. "After more than 18 month of intensive work, we have now successfully completed the current revision process of the criteria catalogue. It was a challenges process in which the positions of all 17 member countries had to be reconciled. In many countries, hotel classification is linked to tradition and history, so it is often not easy to break new ground," explains the HSU President Jens Zimmer Christensen thanking all participating countries for their constructive work.
The new classification catalogue is reduced from 270 to 247 criteria and is now even more flexible and transparent. The revision has not only opened up the system to modern hotel concepts but also facilitates the path of ubiquitous digitalisation into the hotels. Whether in form of modern communication technology at the reception and in the room, entertainment electronics for the guest or IT-supported self-check-in and check-out options. The aspect of sustainability has also played a major role in the revision process. Thus, the new catalogue encourages classified hotels to join and utilise sustainability labels and certificates and also to offer their guests an opt-out for daily room cleaning and bed linen change, to install charging stations for electric vehicles or to use less plastic packaging in the bathroom.
Due to the COVID 19 crisis, special obligations regarding cleaning and hygiene measures may apply in the HSU member countries. Cleanliness and hygiene have always been an essential part of the HSU star rating system and are a prerequisite and basic requirement from the first category onwards. Of course, compliance with legal regulations and/or national provisions always takes precedence over the classification criteria and may override certain HSU criteria until further notice.
At HSU level, agreement has been reached between all 17 HSU member countries on the new criteria and the corresponding points system. In some member countries, however, the competent bodies still have to formally adopt the catalogue of criteria at national level. Therefore, the country-specific catalogues, which due to national circumstances may show small deviations from the HSU catalogue, will be published in the course of the next few weeks. In general, the member states now have time to implement the catalogue by 1 January 2021 at the latest.
“The Hotelstars Union is a success story that we need to further strengthen and promote as the European brand for reliable hotel classification in a market with 180 million inhabitants. Because the HSU not only underpins the service quality of Europe as a travel destination. Above all, it strengthens our small family businesses in their performance and international competition, which is more important than ever in these challenging times," concludes the HSU President.
Hotelstars Union (HSU)
Under the patronage of HOTREC – Hospitality Europe - the hotels associations of Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Sweden and Switzerland form the Hotelstars Union, that established in 2009. The Hotelstars Union is based on a common criteria catalogue for hotel classification to provide the guests and hoteliers with transparency and security.