UNWTO Technical Assistance on Hotel Classification on the Rise in Africa
The strong growth of Africa as a tourism destination, combined with many governments of UNWTO African Member States placing tourism as a priority in their national development agenda, has led to a significant increase in requests for UNWTO technical assistance in quality standards - particularly the development and implementation of hotel classification schemes.
A well-structured and smoothly operated hotel classification scheme is very beneficial to a tourism destination in that it creates a true culture of quality among the accommodation industry; increases the competitiveness of the hotel industry in line with international practices; and can be used as a tool for marketing and promotion of the destination.
UNWTO technical assistance in hotel classification focuses on three areas:
• Formulating the hotel classification criteria according to international best practices;
• Training of national assessors to conduct inspections; and
• Implementing the hotel classification system.
UNWTO is implementing several projects on hotel classification in Africa: Morocco (with UNDP funding) and Ethiopia (with World Bank funding). In May 2016, UNWTO launched another hotel classification project in the Seychelles – funded entirely by the Ministry of Tourism and Culture, and, an agreement is currently being signed with UNDP to fund an hotel classification project in the Republic of Congo, scheduled to commence later this year. Finally, also in May 2016, at the request of the Government of Tunisia, through the Ministry of Tourism and Handicrafts, UNWTO conducted a needs assessment mission to guide the Government on improvements to be made to their hotel classification system.