High quality service and facilities are crucial to making the Philippines the ‘must-visit’ destination in South East Asia. When choosing accommodation, guests look for superb experiences, whatever their budget, and their expectations are continually rising. The best international hotel and resorts quality assurance and accreditation systems recognize this and provide easy-to-use, completely reliable guidance to all types, styles and sizes of hotels and resorts. But the best systems offer more. They provide support to accommodation businesses to ensure that they meet and exceed the high standards expected by domestic and international guests. In PICTourism we are working with the Department of Tourism (DOT) to build and implement a fully objective, trustworthy and internationally-understood accreditation system to guide our visitors to the best accommodation the Philippines has to offer. In doing so we will help develop quality and grow business in the Philippines.
The New System
The most advanced national hotel accreditation systems around the world play a vital role in assessing quality and service standards to provide guidance and reassurance for the traveling public. Their assessors carry out detailed and rigorous inspections of all aspects of the experience provided by hotels and resorts. This is the basis of the new DOT National Accommodation Standards.
Essential for domestic travelers, trustworthy standards are equally important when attracting new international visitors. Tour operators and travel agencies also depend on reliable hotel accreditation when creating packages or guiding individual customers.
One of our priorities is to ensure that the National Accommodation Standards fulfill their role in increasing the competitiveness of tourism in the Philippines in the international market place. The standards will motivate and support accommodation providers in continually improving the quality of hospitality, services and facilities for their visitors in line with visitor needs and expectations. This will result increased repeat business leading to higher recommendation levels by word of mouth and online.
The National Accommodation Standards
For Hotels, Resorts and Apartment Hotels a 1 to 5 Star rating system has been introduced. To obtain higher Stars, progressively higher standards of service, buildings, public areas, restaurants, bedrooms and bathrooms must be experienced by DOT assessors. Business practices such as environmental management systems are taken into account. Cleanliness is crucial across all areas, including in areas that guests don’t see, such as kitchens and other back-of-house areas. In all these areas assessors look at the quality of the facilities and amenities provided and how well these are maintained.
Successful accreditation systems constantly evolve and develop to provide the guidance guests seek. With DOT we have now created and piloted new additional standards designed to assess, in detail, the quality of service and efficiency, as well as the food offered in hotels and resorts. These will be fully introduced following consultation with hotel owners, operators and managers.
Reviewing and strengthening the new National Accommodation Standards. With a team of 10 International Accommodation Assessors we worked with DOT's team of assessors and independent auditors to test and review the newly introduced standards. Over 140 hotels and resorts were assessed during this major pilot in May and June 2014. We also tested the potential for placing much greater emphasis on the delivery of Service, Efficiency, Hospitality, Friendliness and Food (SEHFF) during assessments and the effect that this may have on a Star rating.
We are reviewing governance and oversight for the accreditation system, including processes for internal quality assurance, industry appeals and visitor complaints about accredited properties.
The cost-basis of the accreditation system is being reviewed and a costing and pricing model developed.
Capacity development assistance is being provided to develop a large pool of independent, industry-based assessors.
We are assisting in the continuing implementation and development of the new and enhanced standards, identifying clear and measurable steps.
★ Fair and acceptable quality. These enterprises appeal to budget minded travelers.
★★ Good quality. Higher levels of comfort and good hospitality.
★★★ Very good quality. More spacious, greater comfort and higher quality facilities.
★★★★ Excellent quality. Refined and stylish with responsive service, upscale in all areas.
★★★★★ Outstanding, world class. Luxurious and sophisticated, with meticulous service exceeding expectations.