In April this year, the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa announced that it would be enhancing its grading standards. Part of the new grading standards included a 5-star premium grading status, earmarked for graded establishments that offer luxury in both product quality and service standards.

Recently, three new establishments have made the cut – The Silo Hotel in Cape Town, Lion Sands Ivory Lodge in Mpumalanga and Birkenhead House in Hermanus. They join the Greater Kruger’s Royal Malewane Lodge, which was awarded in April, and the first property to hold the 5-star premium grading. The new grading level was introduced to align with international trends, which saw similar grading bodies around the world recognising and differentiating the properties that offer a unique level of product quality, extensive guest amenities and world class luxury standards.

“South Africa prides itself for being a tourism destination that has a variety of products catering for various traveler needs and affordability. Much time and energy has gone into setting grading standards that have the travelers needs at the centre. This helps maintain South Africa’s global competitiveness as a tourist destination,” says Darryl Erasmus, Chief Quality Assurance Officer at the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa.

“The TGCSA’s Grading Criteria has come a very long way since its introduction in 2002. Following the most recent revision of our criteria, implemented on 1 April 2019, the new grading system is far more thorough, more consistent and follows stringent quantitative and qualitative core requirement and quality standards. We have not just reviewed our grading standards, but we’ve also refreshed and fine-tuned our entire TGCSA operating processes,” Erasmus concludes.

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Joanne Dickson