Hotel classification moves into second gear

Qatar’s new Sharq Village & Spa Resort

THE first phase of the Qatar’s new hotel classification system was been rolled out earlier this year, and the second phase has begun.

The Qatar Tourism and Exhibitions Authority (QTEA), which made the classification, awarded classification certificates and bronze classification signboards to all hotels and tourist apartments in Qatar in July.
In a second phase this year, the programme will concentrate on service aspects and enable hoteliers to upgrade their bronze rating to a silver or gold classification to indicate outstanding service quality.
QTEA and GATO International Tourism Organization for Development & Investment, presented a new classification this May and hoteliers were asked to conduct a self-evaluation of their properties.
The full inspections of almost 80 properties began in early June, conducted by mixed teams from the QTEA and GATO. The first – compulsory – phase of the exercise focused on quantitative factors such as number and size of rooms, the facilities and services provided, and the general maintenance of the buildings.
The classification system has set certain minimum requirements for new properties – on which construction has begun or will begin after the introduction of the system and which QTEA accepts could not be enforced against existing properties.
Following the inspections, detailed classification reports were produced. The hoteliers may appeal against the classification as a whole, or against individual ‘deficit’ notifications.

By Gina Coleman