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Tourism Minister Dr. Uzi Landau: “I attach great importance to the hotel grading system as a step that will promote transparency and create a unified standard; we must aspire to a situation in which every hotel tariff reflects the standard of operation. We are at the starting line, in the future the statndard of service will also be investigated for the benefit of the guest and the industry itself.”

The Tourism Ministry announces the publication today (Thursday) of a new tender for selecting the service provider for rating hotels in Israel according to the Hotelstars system. This is in accordance with the commitment taken by the ministry at the Finance Committee meeting in the Knesset three weeks ago, following the cancelation of the earlier tender because no single proposal met the threshold criteria.  The tender, which was published in the media, is also available on the ministry website.

 

The difference in the threshold criteria between this tender and the last is in the removal of the requirement for experience in managing a hotel rating project of at least 100 hotels according to the Hotelstars system, and instead the tender requires the company and project manager to have experience in hotel rating and experience in at least one project using the Hotelstars system.

Three weeks ago, the Tourism Ministry Director-General Amir Halevi said in a discussion on hotel ranking in the Knesset Finance Committee that the ministry was determined to implement the hotel rankings scheme in Israel and that the ministry would complete its investigations and discussions related to updating the tender and changing the threshold conditions and would publish a new tender. Within a few months, a company would be chosen to start the hotel ranking at the beginning of 2014.

The ranking of hotels is included in the tourism services regulations that were approved by the Knesset Finance Committee and published on 3.1.2013. The regulations will come into effect on 3.9.2013 and rankings issued to hotels under the old regulations will expire in September 2014.

According to the regulations, the body that will implement the rankings and will be appointed by the minister, will have experience with ranking hotels according to the defined method, ie  the European Hotelstars system. The Tourism Ministry published a public tender to select the relevant body and four bids were submitted. Following discussions and investigations, a sub-committee of the Tenders Committee and thereafter the Tenders Committee itself ruled that none of the bids met with the threshold requirements and therefore the tender was canceled.

Further to the arrival in their new positions of the tourism minister, Dr. Uzi Landau and the D-G Amir Halevi, further internal discussions and investigations took place. The minister even held a round-table discussion led by and with the participation of the D-G and senior tourism ministry representatives. Also present were leading figures in the tourism industry as well as representatives from other consumer bodies, in order to listen to their opinion related to hotel ranking in general and the Hotelstars system in particular.

After the meeting, the Tourism Ministry representatives held an internal meeting in which the Tourism Minister decided to move forward with the tender using the Hotelstars system, which is accepted throughout Europe and familiar to European tourists who visit Israel.