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A rating decision is based on:
- The conditions noted by the assessors at the time of the assessment.
- The overall evaluation of the facilities, based on a combined assessment of the quality of the physical product (hotel building, furniture etc).
- The quality of service as well as the extent to which services are performed and presented.
- Customer feedback received by Botswana Tourism.
During an assessment, the grading assessor assesses a number of areas in the accommodation establishment, including the exterior surroundings, public service areas, bedrooms, bathrooms and dinning/restaurant facilities. In each of these areas the following is evaluated: ambience and atmosphere, housekeeping, spaciousness and overall impression, accessories, equipment, furniture, fittings and fixtures, décor and flooring, temperature control ,lighting, linen, parking, grounds and gardens, appearance of buildings, service levels, presentation of food and drinks, variety and appearance of menus, efficiency of checking in/out, porterage, staff appearance and tourist information.
Botswana Tourism Organisation has employed a team of 11 trained grading assessors who have undergone internationally recognised training in the principles and etiquette of grading. Assessors hold certificates valid for two years upon which they have to go for further training. Refresher courses are conducted intermittently.
Quality Assurance Committee
The recommendation of the Grading team is ratified by the Quality Assurance Committee. The committee is appointed in terms of the provisions of the Botswana Tourism Organisation Act of 2009 for a period of two years, eligible for re-appointment. The committee has the power to suspend, revoke, cancel, and refuse to issue or renew grading certificates.
All members of the committee possess special expertise in the field of tourism. The current members of the committee are as follows:
- Ms. Thilorthamay Naicker (Chairperson of the Committee and also Member of the Botswana Tourism Board);
- Mr. Lawrence P. Khupe (Member of the Botswana Tourism Board);
- Ms. Tebogo V. Modisagape (Val Interiors);
- Mrs Tshepo Ithuteng (Lecturer, Gaborone Technical College);
- Mr. Ted Soutter (HATAB)
- Mr. O. Cedric Lopang (Manager, Engineering Standards, Botswana Bureau of Standards)
- Mr Thabo B. Dithebe (Chief Executive Officer, Botswana Tourism Organisation).
Once the process of grading is completed, all Graded facilities are expected to display in their premises the Botswana Tourism Organisation’s plaque and the star rating as awarded. They are also expected to display the certificate issued to them by the Botswana Tourism inside their establishments.
In order to ensure adherence to standards and the grade awarded to any facility, periodic checks and monitoring measures are undertaken from time to time. Customer feedback systems have been introduced to also get feedback from the guests. The feedback goes by email directly to our feedback system. The Organisation will make a follow-up with the establishment within a month and notify the complainant of the action taken.
The establishment is then given a turn around time period to improve on the situation/service. Mystery guests, unannounced visits are undertaken to assess the situation.
If the investigation report reveals that the establishment fails to maintain standard, the report is taken to the Quality Assurance Committee who may downgrade the establishment.
The second phase of the grading exercise started in August 2008. This included re-assessments, assessments of new establishments and renewals. Renewal is done after every two years.
Reassessments are done on request by operators following major renovations/refurbishment or after rectifying some of the major observations made by the grading assessors and reviewed by the committee or following change of ownership of an establishment.
The Organisation continues to issue grading certificates and plaques to the establishments that pay grading fees after being awarded star ratings by the Quality Assurance Committee.
All facilities aggrieved by the decision of the Botswana Tourism may appeal to the Minister of Environment, Wildlife and Tourism within 30 days of that decision.