Ethiopia: Long-Awaited Hotel Grading Begins for 600 Hotels in Ethiopia
<![CDATA[By Snetsehay Assefa* International consultants, local experts partnering with Ministry of Culture & Tourism [caption id="attachment_16120" align="alignleft" width="285"] Photo: Tami Hultman/AllAfrica
Addis Ababa (file photo).[/caption] The Ministry of Culture & Tourism (MoCT), together with consultants from United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) has started grading and accreditation of 200 hotels in Addis Ababa and 400 hotels in the rest of the country starting mid-January, 2015. The Technical committee from Ministry of Culture & Tourism (MoCT) prepared the document that is going to be used for the grading of the hotels. Before the grading system is approved by Ethiopian Standard Agency, which is the national standard body, different stakeholders such as Ethiopian Hotel Association, hotel owners, and Hotel and Tourism Institutions had deliberated on the document. On December 28, 2014, MoCT had signed a consultancy agreement with United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) for the implementation of the hotel grading and accreditation. The project, financed by the World Bank (WB), costs 492,414 dollars. To carry out the implementation, nine UNWTO staff members arrived in Addis starting from mid-January, 2015 accompanied by 30 Ethiopian experts for the job. The grading result of hotels will be announced on September, 2015. Hotels, to be eligible for grading should have at least 10 rooms, fulfill all the legal regulation requirements for health, safety and security fire, environmental requirements for waste management and have certified documentary evidence of compliance, according to the Hotel-Rating Requirements & Classification document. Availability of skilled, qualified and certified staff are also required for all stars. The document listed various specifications under 12 evaluation categories that range from exterior building, parking, gardening, safety and security, housekeeping and maintenance to kitchen. And the specification goes in detail and examines decoration, lighting, electronic appliances, flooring, escalators, ceiling, space etc. The grading will be awarded based on the score given on these evaluations. Hotels that scores more than 80pc will be awarded five stars, if it scores 70, 60, 50 or 30 it will be awarded four, three, two or one star respectively, stated the document. The five stars convey exceptional standard while the four conveys excellent, three, two and one convey very good, good and acceptable standard respectively.