How to get that extra star from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa

How to get that extra star from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa.
How to get that extra star from the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa.

In the tourism business ratings are everything. It’s how customers choose where to stay, how corporate businesses decide where to host their conferences and how suppliers select which establishments to align with. The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa is the official gatekeeper of tourism ratings in the country. They have an extensive list of criteria that they consider when they grade a business. If you’ve ever wondered how to get that extra star, you’re in luck. We’ve compiled a beginner’s guide to 5-star ratings.

General service

The general service of your business should cover the following bases for you to qualify for a 5-star grade:

● Your staff should have adequate hospitality training so that they are friendly, welcoming and articulate at all times.
● All guests must be met on arrival, welcomed and shown to their room.
● Everything the guest needs to know should be communicated clearly upfront, including mealtimes, safety procedures and emergency plans.
● Personnel ought to wear name tags and be available to guests.

Building exterior

The exterior of your business makes the first impression and here’s how to make a lasting one:

● Impeccably maintained grounds with extreme attention to detail. This includes landscaping, driveways and architectural features.
● A general atmosphere that promotes leisure; stylishness in the exterior design is encouraged.
● Sufficient well-situated and well-lit parking for all guests with appropriate signage.
● A 24-hour security presence and a clearly-marked emergency assembly point is also beneficial.


Bedrooms contribute a lot towards your rating. Tick these boxes and you’ll be off to a good start:

● Spacious rooms with en-suite bathrooms and unique furniture, finishings and décor.
● Beds with excellent mattresses and freshly laundered bedding.
● Two sheets, a duvet and a duvet cover must be supplied per guest with extras available on request.
● Rooms should be well-ventilated and fitted with heating and cooling systems.
● Windows must be dressed with blinds or curtains that provide full block-out when closed.
● A remote-controlled TV with a variety of channels must be placed in full view of the bed.
● There should be an electronic safe provided, a hairdryer in the bathroom, adequate hanging and luggage space as well as a bedside lamp for each sleeping position and more than enough power points.


Bathrooms are just as important as the bedrooms. Get yours right with the following tips:

● As mentioned above, bathrooms should be en-suite.
● Include a toilet, basin, bath and shower in every bathroom. Ensure that bathrooms are well-lit and ventilated.
● Restock the soap, shower cap, shampoo, conditioner, shower gel and body lotions on a daily basis.
● Supply a fresh set of bath towels as well as a bathrobe every morning.

Shared areas

Your guests require recreational areas during their stay. Here’s how to give them the best:

● Shared areas must have outstanding interior design, art and architectural features.
● Enough seating for all of your guests should be provided. A bar is advantageous.
● If you haven’t provided TVs in the bedrooms, there should be one in the shared area with a variety of channels.
● Centrally controlled heating and cooling systems are beneficial.
● All passages and staircases leading to and from the shared areas should be well-lit.

Dining areas

Hotels, bed and breakfasts and boutique hotels cannot afford to neglect their dining areas. This is how to get them right:

● Set pre-arranged meal times that are communicated to guests when they arrive.
● Provide comfortable seating, keep noise levels to a minimum and foster a calm ambience at all times.
● Your menus have to be easy to navigate and visually appealing.
● Lastly, food must be prepared to high standards and the dietary restrictions of your guests should be considered and catered for.

Another thing that could earn you that fifth star is having an amenity such as an ATM in your business. Download our ATM Solutions brochure below to peruse our installation options.

And of course you need to consider what suits your potential customer when it comes to paying the bill, so make sure you have a credit card machine. Download our POS brochure to view the different POS options on offer.