Jordan launches new hotel classification system
Jordan launched its new hotel classification system today at an event held under the patronage of H.E. Maha Al Khatib, Minister of Tourism and Antiquities.
The new hotel classification system was developed by the Ministry of Tourism and Antiquities (MoTA) and the USAID/Jordan Tourism Development Project II in coordination with the public and private sectors.
“This is an exciting time for Jordan’s hotels; the new classification system will be implemented in partnership with the private sector and will help significantly raise the bar at hotels across Jordan,” said H.E. Maha Khatib.
She added the system was key to improving Jordan’s competitive as a tourism destination as accommodation was a vital part of the visitor experience.
“Today tourists expect more and advancements in technology are setting new standards for tourism products,” said USAID Jordan mission director Jay Knott.
“This new hotel classification system will ensure that Jordan can compete on an international level and that the tourism experience meets and even exceeds visitor expectations.”
The new classification system focuses on services rather than facilities. It is split into basic standards, which are mandatory, and optional standards.
Hotels must meet all basic standards within their star category in order to ensure the basic needs of their guests regarding safety, hygiene and comfort are met.
The optional standards use a points system whereby hotels must obtain a minimum number of points to get the definite star classification.
The optional standards allow hotels to customize their service based on their target market. For example, a business hotel can accumulate the points they need by providing high-speed internet connections, secretarial services, and a business center, while a leisure hotel can accumulate the same number of points by offering spa facilities, a swimming pool, tennis court, etc.
It is also fully automated through an integrated ICT system that the ministry hopes will give MoTA, classification assessors, hotel operators and guests easy access to comprehensive information about hotels and their classification as well as facilitating a faster, more efficient and effective classification process.
Assessors from MoTA, JHA and the Aqaba Special Economic Zone Authority (ASEZA) have been undergoing intensive training over the past few months to learn about the new standards and how they are used, as well as how to use the automated inspection system that has been developed for the new classification system.
During today’s event, 10 assessors who successfully completed the training, were certified and are ready to begin working their ways through Jordan’s hotels over the year.
MoTA has already begun to apply the new standards for new hotels and to date three hotels have already been classified according to the new system.
As existing hotels are assessed throughout 2010, they will be given the results of their classification assessment, along with a grace period in which to address areas that need to be developed or upgraded to meet the new standards.
By January 2011 all hotels in Jordan will be re-classified under the new system. The new system will be continuously revised and upgraded in response to new trends in the tourism industry.