Fri, Sep 07, 2012 - Page 3 News List

Government promotes hotel upgrade program

By Mo Yan-chih  /  Staff reporter

An inspector from the Taipei City Department of Information and Tourism (DIT) checks yesterday whether the amount of natural light in a hotel room in New Taipei City conforms to regulations. The DIT has issued guidelines for hotels wishing to upgrade.

Photo: Lin Hsiang-mei, Taipei Times

In its latest effort to promote city tourism, the Taipei City Government launched a hotel upgrade program in July to offer free evaluations on the facilities and service quality of hotels and help them obtain recognition from the star-rating system.

Hoteliers can receive a professional evaluation on hotel performance from a consulting team comprised of 90 experts. The team would evaluate the hotel’s management, construction, interior design and fire-control facilities, and give advice to help hotel owners improve the overall quality of the hotel, according to Taipei City’s Department of Tourism and Information.

Chao Hsin-ping (趙心屏), commissioner of the department, said of the 175 hotels rated with at least one star, 32 are located in Taipei City.

The department encourages more hotels to take advantage of the program to upgrade their quality and raise their competitiveness.

“With the credibility of the star-rating system, the star-rated hotels will attract more tourists, and we hope the program can upgrade the overall quality of local hotels so that they meet international standards,” she said.

In an on-site evaluation at the Taipei International Hotel on Nanking E Road yesterday, consulting team representative Chen Hung-wen (陳鴻文) said that for hotels to obtain at least three-star ratings, they should be equipped with disadvantaged-friendly facilities, such as elevators with braille buttons.

Basic criteria for a star hotel also include standard-sized beds, trash cans with lids and mini-bars with a variety of snacks and alcoholic drinks in rooms.

“We’ve seen that more and more hotels are willing to improve their quality and attract more customers. The Cosmos Hotel near the Taipei Main Station has replaced the beds in rooms to meet the standard in order to be rated as a five-star hotel,” he said.

The star-rating system was introduced by the Tourism Bureau in 2010 to promote local tourism by creating a rating system that would allow Taiwan to keep up with international standards.

Hotels are evaluated by the Taiwan Assessment and Evaluation Association, an independent institution entrusted by the bureau with reviewing facilities and service quality at hotels. The highest score a hotel can obtain is 1,000, with 600 in facilities and 400 in service.

To receive a five-star rating, a hotelier must obtain a score of at least 751. The rating lasts for three years.

Chao said many hotels in Taipei City are family-owned businesses, and the hotel upgrade program will help them improve their services and facilities while boosting the city’s tourism environment.

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