Tourism Ministry says the rating system will boost the quality of accommodation and attract more visitors to the Kingdom
THE government on Tuesday urged all of Cambodia's hotel owners to apply for a rating classification it says will improve the quality of services and attract more international travellers.
The rating system was first announced by a 2003 subdecree and awarded up to three stars based on the size and number of rooms, location, facilities, design, environmental impact, and food and service standards.
The system will now offer hotels the option of applying for up to five stars, based on the type of services they offer, Minister of Tourism Thong Khon told reporters Tuesday at a workshop on ecotourism.
"I believe that [hotel owners] will apply for classification because without it, they will lose customers."
Only 10 hotels currently hold classification rankings, but the ministry has taken steps to make the registration process as simple as possible, Thong Khon said.
To receive a ranking, hotels will need to submit an application that includes a description of the services they offer and the number of stars they want, Thong Khon said.
An internationally trained three-member evaluation task force from the ministry's Hotel Classification Committee then reviews the applicant and gives an aggregate score, which determines the number of stars assigned, he said.
"If a hotel gets a score of 800, the rating will be five stars. A lower score will receive a lower rating," he said.
Rankings will be valid for only two years, after which hotels must reapply, he said, adding that application costs run between US$300 and $500, depending on the number of stars assigned.
Philip Set Kao, general manager of the Borei Angkor Resort and Spa, said hotel grading was not the only way to attract business. "I think the classification of hotels is the right thing to do to make them more competitive. But I believe that many hotels will not do it because they have done well without it," he said.