THE Department of Tourism's (DoT) programme to eventually convert all hotel ratings to a five-star system has been rolled out at 694 of the country's 6,873 accommodations so far.
Cesar Cruz, president of the Philippine Tour Operators Association, said the DoT initiative would align the Philippines’ hotels more closely to regional standards in time for ASEAN economic integration in 2015.
“Undergoing review under the new process would give a chance for three-star properties to snag a four-star rating,” he noted of the new system’s flexibility.
“Likewise, five-star properties who have seen loss of a facility would still have a chance of maintaining their five-star rating, based on the new categories being used.”
Image Travel Corp’s vice president marketing, Emy Malate, commented that no matter what the system employed, travel consultants would use their own knowledge to explain the product to clients.
“We also have our own system of establishing (if the accommodation) is four- or five-star, although we are guided by DoT’s classification system,” she said.
Of the 694 hotels reviewed so far, 144 were surveyed by international assessors under the joint Asian Development Bank-Canadian international Development Assistance programme covering four pilot areas namely, Cebu, Palawan, Bohol, and Davao (TTG Asia e-Daily, April 12, 2013).
The rest, in other parts of the country, were rated by DoT-hired accommodation consultants according to the existing accommodation system, with the end goal of further upgrading those ratings to the five-star system.