2ABOUT THE HOTELSTARS UNION 15 members:Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland180 million inhabitantsclassified hotels until 2014Fully operational (Full members): Austria, Czech Republic, Estonia, Germany, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Sweden, SwitzerlandPreparation for implementation (Implementing members): Belgium, Denmark, Greece, Luxembourg and Netherlands
3MEMBERSHIP HOTREC-membership = pre-requisite only nation-wide membership, no regionscurrent official observers: France, Italy,official requests from countries worldwideRequests received from e.g. from Israel, Canada
4GOVERNANCE AND STRUCTURE Managing Board (two members per country), SecretariatOne country – one voteUnanimous decisionsCommon criteria (>99%)270 harmonized criteria21 HOTREC-principlesMarketing, brand, IThigh quality standardsunder the patronage of HOTRECCommon criteria to 99%, as there is some flexibility due to cultural, geographical differences (e.g. need for air condition in rooms, etc.)Superior: 1*, 1* superior, 2*, 2* superior, …., 5*, 5* superior – superior category: reaching the points but not the mandatory criteria for next categoryManaging Board taking the decisionsSecretariat managing the daily work of HSU, rotating between the Member countriesHOTREC providing the political patronage over the system and promotes it to European institutionsOpen to all HOTREC member countries to join
5HISTORY 1994 Opposition to any harmonised system Historical, cultural and geographical reasonschange of position, adoption of common principlesRecognition of need for a harmonised systemAvoid top-down approach – do it ourselvesWork towards satisfying these needs of consumers, Tour operators and Travel Agents as well as of the European institutions2007 Corporation of Austria – Germany – SwitzerlandDec Hotelstars Union under the patronage of HOTREC with 7 founding membersThe cooperation started in 2007 between Austria, Germany and Switzerland was expended in 2009 to some other countries, making possible the launch of Hotelstars Union with 7 countries committing for implementation.
7DEVELOPMENT OF HOTEL CLASSIFICATION Jan New hotel classification system: first implentation2011 HSU-enlargement: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg2012 HSU-enlargement: Malta first South European country joining the common star classification2013 HSU-enlargement: Belgium, Denmark, Greece2014 Update of criteria catalogue forGradual implementation: some countries are implementing sooner, some later, depending of the readiness of the market and also the readiness of the authorities, whenever they need to be involved.
8A RECOGNISED CLASSIFICATION SYSTEM European institutions recognise the huge work HOTREC and its members have undertaken to harmonise hotel classification in EuropeHOTREC Members provide full support to this industry driven approachTogether with the direct involvement of the guests and consumers across Europe a classification system can be developed to satisfy real market needsEuropean Institutions:e.g. Introduction of the system by HOTREC in the European Parliament;EP own initiative report in 2011Positive and encouraging statements of European Commissioners
9HOW IT WORKS? FUNCTIONING AND RULES Different types of systems in Hotelstars Union:Mandatory (e.g. Lithuania)Voluntary (e.g. Germany)Privately run (e.g. Sweden, Switzerland)State run (e.g. Malta, Belgium, Luxembourg)Hotelstars Union classification system replaced the existing national systemAll different types of classification systems around Europe under one hat:In some countries it is mandatory for hotels to be classifiedIn some countries it is voluntary for hotels to be classifiedIn some countries the classification is run by a private entity (e.g. a hotel association)In some countries the classification is run by a public entity (and often put in national law).In the Hotelstars Union countries, the HSU system / criteria replaced the previous national systems
10SOME OF THE 21 COMMON PRINCIPLES Compliance with legal requirementsCleanliness and proper maintenanceTOs and TAs to be encouraged to use official classificationNumber of stars from 1 to 5Regular and onsite controlsPossibility for hotels to appeal against classification decisionThe 21 principles are one of the basis for the operation of the Hotelstars Union in the different countries. The principles are available on the HOTREC website in the position of HOTREC on hotel classification.
11Official stars vs. non-official stars Meaning of stars: what to expect in the hotelWhich infrastructure and servicesAn objective and verified evaluation of the offerTransparent comparability of the offer across Europe under the Hotelstars UnionA brand especially for smaller hotelsOfficial objective hardware evaluation + verified subjective reviews – best solutionDifferent meaning of starsNot known which facilities and services to expectMix of objective and subjective elements in oneCriteria not transparentNot always matching the official star category - confusionNon – official stars given by (Online) Tour operators, Travel Agents
12CRITERIA Mix of mandatory and voluntary criteria Avoiding mandatory architecture criteriaCriteria in relation to:Rooms,Services offered,Gastronomy,Event facilities,Quality management (complaint handling, guest reviews, etc.)Mix of mandatory and voluntary criteria: Allows for setting minimum requirements for each category and gives flexibility to the hotels to “specialize” themselves putting focus on some specific servicesAvoiding mandatory architectural criteria: Impossible to harmonise across Europe the size of the rooms. No minimum requirement for minimum room size, but strong incentive for bigger rooms. The bigger the room, the more points received.
13Structure of the steps in the system There are not only 1-5 * categories, but each category has a Superior category as well. This is rewarding high additional efforts to enhance the offer in a given category, without entering into a higher category.The rules for classification in the categories on the example of 1*:E.g. for a 1* category 44 mandatory criteria need to be met and a total of 90 points have to be earned from those 44 mandatory criteria and from the points of some additional optional criteriaFor 1* Superior, the number of points of 170, required for a 2 star category, are reached with mandatory and optional criteria, but not all 53 mandatory criteria for the 2 star category are met.
14• All rooms with shower/ toilet in the room • Daily room cleaning • Expanded breakfast • A public telephone/ fax service available • Beverages available • Non-smoking area in the breakfast-room • Soap or body wash • All rooms have colour -TV • Deposit possibility• Breakfast buffet • Bath towels • Bath essences or shower gel • Seats according to number of beds • Reading light next to the bed • Cashless payment • Hygienic articles available • Linen shelves• Reception opened 12 hours; 24 hours within call • Luggage service • Beverages offered in rooms • Telephone in the room, internet access • Restaurant • Systematic complaint handling • Bilingual employees • Hair dryer, additional pillow on demandReception opened 24 hours, multilingual staff, concierge • 24 hours meals and drinks with room service • Suites • Internet-PC in the room, qualified IT-support service • Reception hall, hotel bar • Mystery guesting • Personalized guest welcome with flowers and/or sweets in the room • Laundry and ironing services within 12 hours, shoe polish service • Turndown service in the evening • Luggage service• Reception opened 18 hours; 24 hours within call • Minibar or 24 hours room service • Bath robe and slippers on demand • Cosmetic mirror • Systematic client inquiry • Comfortable arm chair / couch • Laundry and ironing services • Hotel lobby, restaurant, hotel bar • Sewing service • “À la carte”-restaurantThese are some of the examples for the minimum requirements for each category of hotels
15A COMMON IDENTITY / SIGNS In 2012 there was agreement to create common signs to be used by hoteliers. This same layout is being applied gradually in all Hotelstars Union hotels.Other marketing activities and efforts: - ImportantEncouraging OTAs to use the official number of stars thanks to a daily exchange of the HSU database of hotels and star categories with OTAs. E.g. Expedia is doing this under the description of the hotels.
16REVISION OF THE HOTEL CLASSIFICATION The original criteria were set for 5 years, 2010 – Therefore, the revision process needed to be started in 2013 to have the revised criteria implemented from 2015 onwards.
18Market research 2013 new Approach It was decided by Hotelstars Union members to conduct a direct online survey with European citizens exploring their needs towards hotel classification.Let’s ask them directly
19REVISED CRITERIA APPLICABLE FROM 2015 five-years-term (now valid from )Revision process for new criteria 2015 started in 2013With the help of Swiss University St. GallenOpen online survey among European citizensStudy based on this survey
20PROCESS Revision process focused on following aspects: Better sleeping comfort;Better online visibility provided by hotel websites;Better telecommunication opportunities also in lower category hotels;Better food and beverages availability in all types of hotels;Keeping with the pace of timeTest classifications in several countriesNew criteria to be implemented contiuosly from 1 January 2015The study identified some key aspects to be reviewed and changed during the revision processSleeping comfort: Enhanced criteria with regard to matrasses, including for example more points for regular renewal of matrassesBetter online visibility: website required for all classified hotels, more points for direct booking facility on hotels’ own websiteBetter telecommunication opportunities: mandatory internet access in the hotel (public area) from 2* onwards, internet access in the room from 3* onwards – before it was from 3 and 4 stars onwards, respectivelyBetter food and beverage availability: Now some sort of food (snacks, etc.) to be available in all hotelsKeeping with the pace of time: New criteria: charging station for electrical vehicles as optional criteria
21MAKE YOUR OWN TESTA free testing tool is available onCheck out how many stars you would get under the Hotelstars Union system!Testing tool available on the homepage in the left bottom part.
22BENEFITS FOR CUSTOMERS Guiding stars for guests in the universe of offersPossibility to know which infrastructure and services to be expected from a hotelAn objective and verified evaluation of the offerComparability of the offer across Europe under the Hotelstars UnionA brand especially for smaller hotels
23For any further detailed questions, please contact the Hotelstars Union Secretariat: Klára HájkováAHR ČRRevoluční 13, Prague 1