The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) has launched a new grading system to ensure quality-assured accommodation and facilities that are accredited and graded by TGCSA to comply with international standards.
“South Africa takes service excellence very seriously. The gradual recovery of travel since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has instilled some renewed hope and is an opportune time for the tourism sector to build confidence. An effective grading system plays a major role in us achieving this,” said Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Acting Chief Quality Assurance Officer at South African Tourism.
According to her, this new grading system compares with the best in the market and is an upgrade from the previous system that TGCSA used.
“At a time when the South African economy has been hardest hit, boosting the tourism sector and creating opportunities for inclusive growth are crucial. To this end, the new grading system is run and maintained by OTB, which is a proudly South African black-owned IT solutions company that can hold its own in the company of many international solutions,” said Kotze-Nhlapo.
She said it had been appointed after a vigorous tender process. For the past ten years the grading system used by TGCSA was a UK-based company.
Total Quality in Tourism (TQiT) Grading System
The new Total Quality in Tourism (TQiT) Grading System offers the following:
- Built on modern technologies using .net and Microsoft database.
- This robust technology is open to integration with various platforms.
- The design is mobile first, which makes it work on any device, regardless of the screen size.
- The application is intuitive and easy to use.
- Future features will include a mobile app for Android and Apple’s iOS.
Step 1: Online application process
Log on – www.tourismgrading.co.za – to apply.
Once application has been pre-approved, the invoice must be settled timeously, preferably within 30 days to fast track the process.
Step2: Assessor’s responsibilities
The assessor will make an appointment to conduct the assessment, contact the client and confirm assessment date.
Benefits of grading
Grading ensures that South African tourism products, experiences and accommodation establishments deliver on our brand promise of welcoming our visitors and guests (domestic and international) back in a safe manner and by exceeding their expectations.
The benefits of being graded are far-reaching and include:
- Being part of team South Africa in positioning South Africa as a destination of choice, whether for leisure or business.
- A graded establishment is immediately seen as being part of a legitimate and credible organisation.
- Graded establishments may use the official TGCSA logo (star) in all their marketing material.
- All graded establishments get a free listing on the website www.tourismgrading.co.za.
- South African Tourism endorses and uses star-graded establishments on the official South African Tourism website www.southafrica.net.
- Grading assists businesses to position their products.
- Government departments are required to procure accommodation from graded establishments only.
- TGCSA actively markets star grading directly to consumers, tour operators and travel agents.