Swaziland is embarking on a grading programme for accommodation establishments.

The procedure involves compulsory registration of all hospitality establishments with the Ministry of Tourism and Environmental Affairs, followed by a voluntary application for grading. Registration is administered by government and grading will be administered by the Swaziland Tourism Authority through a grading committee.

To hasten the process, the government has also provided an online registration option in line with the e-Government programme. Payments can also be made electronically.

From one to five stars will be awarded, depending on how establishments fare against the grading criteria scoring guide. Assessors will visit the establishments and score them against set international standards. The results will then be taken to the grading committee, which will decide the star rating.

Grading will be sensitive to the varying nature of accommodations in the country, from B&Bs to guesthouses, lodges to inns, and motels to hotels and relevant criteria will be employed for the respective categories.

The grading exercise comes at a time when the country is looking to align services and products with international standards and will help guarantee the sustainability of tourism practices and set strategic priorities, as graded establishments receive booking preference.

All accommodation in Swaziland is being encouraged to engage with the grading process and so benefit from the results.