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  • Through the dedication and hard work of Mr Valli Moosa, Minister of Environmental Affairs and Tourism at the time, the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) was established in the year 2000. Operating as a business unit of South African Tourism, the TGCSA is still the only recognised and globally credible quality assurance body for tourism products in South Africa, which is greatly relied upon on to this day. All this means is that when it comes to globally recognisable grading, we really are the one and only.

    We maintain this title by committing to our motto, which is “To establish a recognisable and credible globally benchmarked system of quality assurance for accommodation and MESE (Meetings, Exhibitions and Special Events) experiences, which can be fully relied upon by visitors when choosing an establishment.”

    You can be sure to spot our graded stars that proudly bear the colours of our national flag, almost everywhere in South Africa. Thousands of accommodation institutions and MESE establishments have earned their TGCSA Stars and have maintained high standards of quality in order to keep them. Granting stars where they rightly belong gives us great satisfaction.

    Of the nine main types of establishments that travellers can choose from – namely Hotels, Lodges, Bed & Breakfasts, Country Houses, Guest Houses, Self Catering Units, Caravan & Camping Parks, Backpackers & Hostelling facilities as well as Meetings, Exhibitions and Special Events (MESE) venues – those establishments that have been graded by one of our Accredited Grading Assessors will clearly display the TGCSA Star insignia. Simply put, if it bears our TGCSA star plaque and certificate, you can expect outstanding quality and service excellence.

    The quickest way to tell if an establishment is TGCSA approved or not, is to click on this website’s “Search Graded Establishments” tab and enter the full name of the Hotel, B&;B, Guest House etc. If it’s not listed here – it’s not (yet) a TGCSA approved establishment.

    As much as the TGCSA promotes Star Grading, it would truly benefit South Africa as a nation if everyone in the Travel and Tourism industry followed suit. In doing so, the highest level of quality assurance, the best possible value for money and an important focus on customer expectation will be enjoyed by all.

    South Africa is a beautiful tourist destination, so let’s give it all the worldwide recognition it deserves.

    Your independent quality assessment

    Besides those 5-cornered eye-catching symbols that are added to an institution’s name, TGCSA Star Grading is an official ranking that is recognised the world over. It is awarded once an independent quality assessment is completed and approved, which helps all travellers know what to expect upfront from an establishment like a Hotel, B&;B, Guest House etc.

    Local establishments are graded from 1 Star up to 5 Stars. With 1 Star being very basic in the facilities it offers and 5 Stars being a place with all the bells and whistles. But you need not be a triple-story plush hotel owner to be awarded a 5 Star Grading. When our Assessors perform a grading, they are mindful of the type of accommodation being graded. This means that it is possible for smaller B&;B’s to achieve 5 Star Grading’s too – provided they meet the relevant criteria.

    Simply put, our TGCSA Star Grading is based on your institution’s overall quality as well as the facilities expected from a particular Star Grading. So those 5 shining stars could be a lot closer than you think.

    Grading Criteria

    he TGCSA’s Grading Criteria has come a very long way since its introduction in 2002. These days it is far more thorough, follows stringent rules and has brought about world-class quality – even more reason for us as South Africans walk very tall. We have not just reviewed our grading standards, but we’ve also refreshed and fine-tuned our entire TGCSA operating system, which now runs so much smoother. To be completely honest, we’re rather chuffed with our new seamless, world-aligned process of managing quality assurance for tourism products.

    Much time and energy has gone into setting grading standards that best suit the Tourism industry. This helps us South Africans maintain our international competitiveness as a tourist destination. The tangible rewards of our efforts made, show that we too can be world leaders when it comes to quality assurance.

    Immense gratitude goes out to the thousands of our graded establishments as well as our valuable industry stakeholders which include Federated Hospitality Industry of South Africa (FEDHASA), The South African Tourism Services Association (SATSA), The Bed And Breakfast Association of South Africa (BABASA), The National Accommodation Association of South Africa (NAA-SA) and last but not least, our Accredited Grading Assessors whose professionalism and dedication bring it all together.

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