Cape Town - In an effort to increase the number of graded Tourism establishments in the province the Department of Tourism has recently entered into an agreement with Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) to grade establishments in the North West Province.
The purpose of this programme is essentially to encourage more accommodation establishments and venues to get graded and stay graded under the star grading system of the TGCSA.
Those Tourism establishments selected to participate in this programme will be graded by TGCSA at no cost to them, as the Department will bear such costs. Thus far the department has already graded and funded the grading of about 80 establishments in the Villages, Townships and Small Dorpies across the province at a cost R450 000 during the 2016/17 financial year.
The Department will also spend the same amount for new grading and renewals in this financial year. According to Tourism Department MEC Desbo Mohono the department has carefully considered which Tourism establishments must be graded, and the focus was mainly on those establishments from VTSD areas that meet minimum grading requirements as set out by TGCSA to be eligible to be graded.
“This is part of our contribution as government to ensure that our product owners are developed and are aware about the worth of their business. We are going to continue to assist them until we are sure that their establishments are on the right standards, which will create a good experience for tourists. In the North West Province we have a significant number of businesses or establishments that are unfortunately not graded hence the gesture,” said Mohono.
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MEC Mohono said that “Grading your bed and breakfast or guest house might not seem important, especially if you own a small establishment, but it's actually vital for long-term success. Tourists and business travellers alike are more likely to stay at a graded establishment than in one without a grading, as they can then be assured of predictable and guaranteed levels of quality,” as she concluded.
Product owners across the province welcomed the move by the department and are more determined to continue working closely with the department in future. The municipalities through the Local Economic Development and Tourism offices have also welcomed and reaffirmed their partnerships with the department.