South Africa’s new grading standards were implemented by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) in April this year, including the introduction of its new Accolades programme, which makes it easier for operators to package wedding venues.
Seventeen Accolades can be awarded over and above the traditional star grading of establishments so that properties are further differentiated in their areas of focus and excellence, says TGCSA’s Chief Quality Assurance Officer, Darryl Erasmus.
“For each of these Accolades there are a set of basic criteria that the property needs to adhere to. In the case of a wedding venue, establishments would be required to offer a honeymoon suite; they need to offer either a chapel or a dedicated area or facility where the ceremony can take place, and an area ideal for use for a reception. They also need to offer the services of a wedding co-ordinator.”
Erasmus says this will help operators to zone in on exactly what their niche-market clients are looking for and should ease the process of selection when recommending awarded-establishments.
“With the inception of the Accolades, we can now alert potential travellers to specific facilities and aid their selection of accommodation establishments and venues.”
Erasmus says the TGCSA has awarded between 700 and 800 establishments with different Accolades.
“In 2020, we anticipate embarking on an aggressive integrated marketing campaign in the consumer space to encourage travellers to use these Accolades as part of the decision-making when planning their travel.”