Guest’s needs and expectations crucial input for a well-functioning classification system
Vienna. Hotelstars Union (HSU) welcomes the recently presented studies “Online Guest Reviews and Hotel Classification Systems” and “Hotel Classification Systems: Recurrence of criteria in 4 and 5 star hotels” of the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO). The first study deals with an integrational approach of online reviews and hotel classification. “The official hotel classification provides transparency and orientation for the guest and hotelier. The consideration of consumer’s needs and expectations are crucial for a well-functioning system. Therefore, HSU modernised its classification criteria catalogue according to the result of an international guest survey”, says Andrea Kopócsy, this year’s HSU-chairwoman.
Kopocsy: “Online guest reviews give a major feedback on the consumer’s experiences. However, the HSU wants to highlight that review sites must filter and publish only qualified reviews to retain honesty and credibility”. HSU especially refers to point 17 of HOTREC‘s Benchmarks of Fair Practices in Online Distribution, namely “Guest reviews must be prevented from manipulation, misuse and fraud“.
The second UNWTO-assessment - different classification systems and procedures may confuse consumers - does not apply to the HSU-members anymore. These countries’ objective has been a harmonised classification scheme with one logo and harmonised signs which has been reached successfully. With other words: HSU and its “bottom up”-approach is already an appropriate answer to the UNWTO-proposals. More than 20,000 hotels are already classified according to the HSU-Stars. This system provides not only orientation for a market with about 180 million potential hotel guests; it also means an excellent tool for planning, operation and quality assessments for hoteliers.
Under the patronage of HOTREC – Hospitality Europe - the hotels associations of Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland have created the Hotelstars Union. In the meantime Belgium, Denmark, Estonia, Greece, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg and Malta joined the star family. Their product is a harmonised criteria catalogue for hotel classification, to provide the guest and hotelier more transparency and security. For detailed information please visit www.hotelstars.eu.