'Five Stars' to Remain De Facto Ranking for Most Israeli Hotels
A plan by the Tourism Ministry for an objective ranking of hotels in Israel has been scuttled, after none of the plans by local and international ratings organizations met Ministry conditions. The tender for ranking the hotels on criteria used in European hotels has thus been rescinded, and it is not known when it will be advanced again, Ministry officials said.
According to the Ministry, a subcommittee examined proposals from four ratings organizations who are active in the field. The Ministry said that it was “not possible to set in a clearcut manner which of the proposals matched the tender's criteria.” As a result, the Ministry said, it is “discussing ways to advance the matter.”
The criteria for ranking hotels were set and approved last August by the Knesset and by then Tourism Minister Stas Mizhesnekov. The minister said at the time that the government was planning to invest at least NIS 4 million in the project. Mizhesnekov said that instituting the project was “one of most important objectives of my work in the ministry.”
Under the program, hotels would be graded on services, amenities, customer experience, facilities, food, and so on – a total of 270 different criteria. The rankings would be reevaluated every three years. With objective rankings, it was hoped that there would be more competition, as customers would be able to better judge the value of a hotel stay. In addition, the rankings would make it easier for travel agents and organizations abroad to set up reasonably priced tours in Israel for their customers, as they would have better control over information of what hotels were tourist grade, luxury grade, and so on.
Currently, hotels are free to grade themselves in any way they want, with most Israeli hotels classifying themselves as "top flight" four or five star hotels.