As Tourism Month celebrations conclude, 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 comply with international standards. This means that accommodation establishments, hospitality and conference venues will be able to have a seamless process applying for grading.
“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,” says Amanda Kotze-Nhlapo, Acting Chief Quality Assurance Officer at South African Tourism.
This new grading system compares with the best in the market and is an upgrade from the previous system that TGCSA used for grading of establishments. At a time when the South African economy has been hardest hit, boosting the tourism sector and creating opportunities for inclusive growth is 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. They were appointed after a vigorous tender process. For the past ten years the grading system used by TGCSA was a UK-based company.
Grading ensures that South Africa tourism products, experiences and accommodation establishments deliver on our brand promise of welcoming our visitors and guest (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. This offers substantial consumer confidence
· 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 organisations in positioning 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
In order to facilitate the grading process, the new Total Quality in Tourism (TQiT) Grading System is:
· Built on modern technologies using .net and Microsoft database
· This robust technology is open to integration with various platforms
· 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
Getting graded is simple and seamless:
· Step 1: Online Application Process
· Log onto www.tourismgrading.co.za (Online Application)
· Once application has been pre-approved invoice must be settled timeously, preferably within 30 days to fast track the process
· Step2: Assessor’s Responsibilities
· Assessor will make an appointment to conduct the assessment
· Contact Client & Confirm Assessment Date
Over and above a high quality assurance and service excellence provided by grading, our industry has welcomed back the opportunity to usher our guests back with the biggest and brightest smiles making sure that they have a safe and memorable experience.