Review of Star-grading System and Accommodation and Restaurant Sector in Côte d’Ivoire

The Government of Côte d’Ivoire approached the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) to provide technical assistance in assessing their overall star grading programme as well as the status of their accommodation and restaurant sector.

The UNWTO mission met with officials of the Ministry of Tourism and Handicraft and Tourisme Côte d’Ivoire and observed the exceptional level of commitment on the part of the stakeholders to product improvement and a high-quality grading system. To achieve this goal of product improvement and the launching of an international grading programme, it was considered essential to create an entirely new system in direct cooperation with the private sector. All stakeholders agreed that the new grading programme should go beyond the typical “quality assurance” standards and include those concerned with responsible tourism and environmental protection and universal accessibility providing access to those with special needs. The proposed grading system will include a comprehensive set of well-defined standards and will have well-trained assessors, a professional management structure, a totally independent awards committee and all graded properties will receive special recognition on a new website that will also enable visitors to provide feedback on their visit. The grading office, to be situated within the Ministry, will also work closely with the private sector to improve the overall visitor experience. Above all, the system will be completely transparent with at least three levels of verification and approval before the recommendation goes to the Minister for final certification.

The new grading programme is planned to be launched in mid to late 2015.