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Take note of new grading plaques in SA

Feb 14 2017 16:35

Johannesburg - Effective from January 2017, the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) is changing the look and feel of its plaques reflecting the grading level of establishments.  

The TGCSA is introducing a new, high-quality perspex plaque after listening to industry feedback about the widespread theft of the metal plaques and their tendency to weather badly, according to TGCSA chief quality assurance officer Darryl Erasmus.

He said the new plaque is stylish and durable and adapts well to the various architectural designs of graded establishments. It will be issued at no extra cost to members.

READ: Travellers must beware of false grading claims

It will also display the number of stars achieved by the establishment in full colour. This change was made in response to industry concerns that the black stars were not legible to travellers, while the dominant TGCSA logo often created the perception that the establishment had only been awarded a one-star grading.

As with the previous design, the plaque reflects a serial number and a distinct message that the plaque is the property of the TGCSA. This means the TGCSA is legally entitled to remove any plaque displayed on establishments that are no longer graded.

READ: Tourism Grading Council of SA optimistic about growth

The new plaque will further state that the TGCSA is a business unit of SA Tourism. This will affirm the connection between SA Tourism as a destination marketing organisation and its business unit, the TGCSA, as the custodian of SA's only official quality assurance system for tourism establishments, the Star Grading System.

These improvements have been made to further entrench the value of being graded with the TGCSA, Erasmus said.

“We continue to encourage all travellers to check and confirm the star grading of their preferred accommodation establishment on the TGCSA website before finalising their booking arrangements,” he advised.

The TGCSA began issuing the new perspex plaques to registered establishments in December 2016 and will be phasing them in during the course of 2017.

Consumers may provide feedback on the quality of their experiences at graded establishments by emailing feedback@tourismgrading.co.za, or check if an establishment is graded.

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