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The super five-star Hotel system in China

Next year, hotels may be reevaluated in accordance with new criteria, and higher grade…

Next year, hotels may be reevaluated in accordance with new criteria, and higher grade Platinum Five-star, a super five-star hotel grade, would be added, Zhang Rungang, an official from the Quality & Standardization Division of the China National Tourism Administration said on December 13.

Zhang revealed the news at a workshop on the innovation and capital operation of China`s hotel system, which was held in Nanjing, capital of east China`s Jiangsu Province.

A new version of Star-rating Standard for Tourist Hotels is being revised and will probably be enacted next year, Zhang said.

The new criteria will lower physical equipment requirements for medium to low grade hotels, but heighten requirements for top-grade hotels for both physical equipment and management, as well as service areas.

It is said that the Platinum five-star hotel grade would be much higher than the present five-star standard. For example, this kind of hotel should have a banqueting hall capable of having over 500 guests at a time; all rooms should be larger than 36 square meters; every executive floor should provide 24-hour chambermaid services, Zhang Rungang said.

Because only a few hotels on the mainland have attained a very high standard, it`s necessary to set up an authorization system in order for them to be admitted, Zhang told why the move was being made.

The sign plate for the new Platinum five-star hotel will be decorated with five pentagons in a platinum color. It is the first time that platinum has been used to mark a hotel grade since China carried out the first definition and evaluation version on hotels in 1988. Now China has a total of 8,800 star hotels.

Before most hotels, once graded with a star, didn`t have to remove their plates unless there was an accident. Today, there are some old star hotels with old equipment and furniture, and bad service that just wouldn`t match star standards any longer. The current Star-rating Standard for Tourist Hotels didn`t set a period of validity for evaluation of the grade, which makes the old system a `de facto` lifelong star hotel evaluation system.

The new version that will change this prescribes the period of validity as five years. The period of validity will likely be dated on the star grade sign when each hotel was evaluated and granted. Five years later, the hotel must apply to tourist authorities to be reevaluated if they wish to use the star hotel plate.

Theodore Koumelis
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