Travel Agent Tips: Understanding Hotel Brands & Ratings

Hotel Brands & Ratings: Quality Control In The World of Lodging

A number of factors determine client satisfaction with any product. One of these is consistency within a brand. In the lodging industry, a “brand” is a hotel chain where groups of properties share their name, operational standards, procedures, and reservation system.

Ideally, a hotel brand implies a high measure of familiarity and consistency — a reassuring impression of quality, strength, stability, reliability, and overall trustworthiness. By itself, a hotel brand’s image and reputation are assets to you — both in making recommendations to your clients and in booking space. Hotel brands also represent a readily accessible inventory of rooms with predictable standards. You can make reservations easily, obtain competitive prices, and be assured that you’ll receive the commissions you deserve.

Coming up, we will  take a look at lodging tiers. These include Luxury, Upscale and Mid-scale, as well as Full Service, Select Service, and other property lodging types. But first, let’s look at the various rating systems that can help you judge the quality of a hotel property.

The Star System

Everyone wants a Five–Star experience. But what does that really mean?

In most countries, there is no standard for “Five–Star.”

Because it’s so subjective, every hotel can call itself a “Five–Star,” every dining experience “superb.”

Many of your clients may think hotel ratings are standardized. You know better. However, to sort through hotel ratings your clients may cite, you should become intimately familiar with the independent rating systems that have evolved around the globe.

There’s a rich array of rating systems, but the best share a common trait: They make unbiased value judgments, providing insight on what lies behind the advertising claims. And because most of them are truly independent, these rating systems have high credibility.

Hotel Brands and Ratings in Different Countries

Certain countries maintain their own official ratings system, including Australia, Austria, Belgium, Britain, France, Greece, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Spain, and Switzerland. The United States and Canada currently have no such rating system.

Hotel brands guarantee a certain level of facilities and services, but there’s no correlation between the different national systems. A Four–Star hotel in Paris may be very different from a Four–Star hotel in Istanbul. Industry veterans warn that national rating systems usually emphasize easily measurable physical facilities (room dimensions, number of restaurants), but overlook harder–to–measure factors such as service. But even with their peculiarities, national ratings are a fairly good reflection of comparative quality within a country.
There are also a number of well–known ratings systems. Click here to Read More.

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