Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Hotel ratings to ensure better service

Kuala Lumpur, July 23 - Tourism Ministry announced tighter criteria to reclassify hotels and apartments rating in order to provide better quality service. Ratings for hotel apartments were also introduced.

The classifications for both star and orchid hotels follows the standard set by the United Nation World Tourism Organization (UNWTO); adjusted to local cultures.

"The tourism industry will always work towards upgrading the hotel services in Malaysia from time to time," said Tourism Minister Datuk Tengku Adnan Tengku Mansor at the press conference in Kuala Lumpur, yesterday.

Five criteria are added in the new rating scheme; providing WiFi access for all floors in a hotel building, tightening the marking system for hotel ratings, promoting warmer welcome practices a la Malaysia and requiring hotels to send feedback forms from hotel guests straight to the ministry.

Tengku Adnan said the main change is in the criteria for a hotel to be given a five-star rating.

"Five-star hotels would now have to provide 24-hour room service, ensure shops and restaurants in the hotel operated for a minimum of 18 hours (depending on approval of local authorities) and use only Malaysian-themed decorations," he said.

A minimum price of US$80 (RM275) for room charges per night must also be implemented, while at least five satellite TV programmes - sports, children, news and two movie channels - are also required.

Tengku Adnan said the steps were necessary to ensure hotels were given appropriate ratings. Orchid ratings are given to hotels, which do not qualify for the one to five-star rating requirements. All hotels will be rated based on their qualitative and aesthetic requirements, common areas, bedroom requirements, services, safety and hygiene standards, and staff.

In the Hotel Monitoring Team, there are 430 personnel involved; consists of personnel from the ministry, local authorities, several NGOs and government departments. Tengku Adnan said there was a need for more personnel, as there were 992 registered hotels in addition to more than 2,200 tourist accommodation premises nationwide.

source: VIRTUAL MALAYSIA - The Official Portal of Ministry of Tourism

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