How Australia’s AAA Star Rating system fell from grace after once upon a time being the measure of authority when it came to accommodation standards and expectations.The AAA Star Rating System was established back in the 1950’s when the Australian Auto Clubs began assessing accommodation on behalf of its members. Over time it grew to become the recognised symbol for quality accommodation standards. In recent years there has been much debate about the future relevance of the star ratings system following the rapid onslaught of property visibility and guest opinion in the online world. Once considered the holy grail of “Hotel Ranking” with over 15,000 Australian hotels subscribed to the program, just this week (early March 2017), it has been announced that Star Ratings Australia will be closing it’s doors due to un-sustainability of the business model. While this tells a story in and of itself, let’s take a look at some of the reasons behind it. WHY the Star Rating system DID work
- It was a structured system covering 200+ criteria for measuring accommodation
- Quality and inclusions
- Condition of guest facilities
- It leveled the playing field and gave the guest a more reliable measuring stick to compare properties
- Compliance was driven by a ‘Big Brother’ style approach meaning if you met certain standards you were allowed to display the star rating awarded.
- The important thing to note is the ‘Consumer Trust‘ was built through this compliance arrangement.
- Compliance became tedious and increased in cost (not dramatically but enough). It created more work on already busy hospitality employees and managers to remain compliant, or worse still if looking to increase star ratings!
- In the modern Tourism and Hospitality game, 85% of all travel research is now conducted online
- Self Rating has become increasingly prevalent in the digital age of hotel marketing.
- As a part of this shift to online search, online review websites such as TripAdvisor have risen in popularity.
- Up to date and real insight from real guests who have stayed as little ago as yesterday.
- Deeper insight related to experience rather than physical attributes.
- Staff appraisal and critique.
- Traffic congestion issue and if a property is difficult to find.
- Location, History, Sentiment, Feel,
- Understand the where the power lies.
- It’s with the Guest, but don’t worry, if you are good at won’t you do, you’re set for success.
- Be True to who you are.
- When it comes to not only star ratings, but every claim you make about your hotel, be sure to be authentic and real about the product which you are.
- Online Reputation is critical.
- Ensure you are respond to guest reviews (the good, the bad and the ugly). Your comments are an advertisement for your next guest.
- Be ready for the next wave of change.
- What else seems unsettled in your industry? How can we anticipate the next big shift and ensure we are ahead of the game?
If any of this sounds familiar and you have some concerns about the performance of your Hotel or Motel, then let’s get together and discuss what you can do to improve.
We provide accommodation business performance coaching services via
- Online Training & Self Paced Courses
- Personal Coaching and Guidance, or
- Done For You implementation Services.
If you’d like to know more give us a call or drop us a line.
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“We help accommodation businesses get booked online, grow their occupancy and increase their revenue by up to 50% in 63 days without technology overwhelm”
Hotel Rescue is on a mission...to optimise profits for accommodation businesses.
From increasing occupancy, driving online visibility and conversions to implementing profitable pricing, we work with Hotels, Motels, B&B's and Serviced Apartments to make this happen.
Hotel Rescue follows a unique nine step framework to help operators maximise the potential of their business. In a rapidly changing environment that often leaves owners and managers perplexed and wondering how to get the most out of their opportunity.
We achieve amazing results through education and training without technology overwhelm or interfering in the day to day running of their property.