Australian hotels to face tougher standard for star ratings

By David Flynn, March 30 2011
Australian hotels to face tougher standard for star ratings

The popular ‘star’ system used to rate Australian hotels by industry group AAA Tourism is being revamped to focus on three core categories of cleanliness, facilities and quality/ condition.

The new scheme, which will come into effect as of July 1, ditches the ‘minimum requirements’ for adding stars to a hotel rating and instead adopts a percentage score for each of the three core areas. This will be weighted towards the final star rating.

“It’s a big difference ... you can’t just get more points by adding more furniture or putting in a Jacuzzi” explains AAA Tourism chief executive Peter Blackwell.

“The higher percentage you earn on each category sets your star rating. If you are only very good in terms of cleanliness, you cannot be five-star.”

Properties that fail to hit the 75% or ‘good’ rating for cleanliness will not be star-rated at all. “And if you are only ‘very good’ at cleanliness you cannot be five star” Blackwell says.

However, “consumers still have (requirements), they expect stuff when they stay at a hotel. When they are staying at a five star hotel they expect valet parking. If you don’t have it, you don’t get points for it.”

Hotels will have to exceed 93 percent in the overall score to be crowned as five star properties.

Hotels will of course still be able to self-rate, of course, and the star system is firmly established around the world despite the fact that there is no standard international classification – indeed, there are now six-star and even seven-star hotels.

AAA Tourism is also hoping to tap into consumer reviews and ratings, although Blackwell admits that people submitting these ratings would have to prove they had stayed in the hotel.


David Flynn is the Editor-in-Chief of Executive Traveller and a bit of a travel tragic with a weakness for good coffee, shopping and lychee martinis.

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