EU has for years called for a coordinated hotel classification among the member countries. In 2009 Hotelstars Union was formed by European countries industry associations to begin harmonization of national criteria systems.
The Swedish hospitality industry association Visita is responsible for the hotel classification in Sweden. The inspections are performed by the Swedish Classification AB (Sveklass AB), a wholly owned subsidiary of Visita.
During 2015, 16 countries did participate in the common classification. At present, Sweden, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Holland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Belgium, Denmark, Greece and Liechtenstein as well as the Finnish region of Åland are members of Hotel Stars Union.
The hotels are assessed for 270 criteria and can receive from one up to five stars. Hotels who receive many extra points in each star category, can be awarded Superior.
Visitas Classification Committee is responsible for decisions on exemptions and interpretations of the criteria. Chairman of the Classification Commitee is Patrik Hanberger, CEO Clarion Hotel Örebro. Managing Director of Svensk Klassificering AB is Stefan Lundin.