By Abdul Kerimkhanov
The process of assigning stars to hotels is voluntary in Azerbaijan, and at the moment the issue of the mandatory order is not on the agenda, Head of Public Relations department of the State Agency for Tourism Kanan Guluzade said.
However, Guluzade noticed, despite the fact that the classification process of hotels is voluntary, the presence of stars will become a requirement of time.
He believes that fewer customers will come to hotels with no stars.
“When booking a hotel room, tourist pays attention to the presence of hotel stars,” Guluzade said.
The head of the department noted that in Azerbaijan today there are no mechanisms that lead to the assignment of stars to hotels. Therefore, the Association of Hotels of Azerbaijan was created, and this process will be carried out by this structure.
He noted that the State Agency for Tourism will not take part in the process of classifying hotels. The state agency will only provide its support.
"We want this system to be implemented by a public structure. The Association of Hotels of Azerbaijan will become a member of the European Association of Hotels," Guluzade said.
He went on to say that the classification will be conducted by European experts, the process will be completely transparent.
Earlier, Executive Director of the newly-established Azerbaijan Hotels Association Gunay Saglam said that a new national star rating system will be applied for hotels in Azerbaijan in September-December 2019, and in December hotels will be assigned stars.
A commission on the hotel classification system will be created in May 2019, and training on star classification will be organized for hotels in June-August.
After the implementation of new national hotel system in Azerbaijan, classification of hotels will be held every four years. An anonymous guest will visit a hotel two years after stars are assigned to it, after which it will be defined whether the hotel service corresponds to the assigned stars.
Hotel owners will be informed in advance about the classification criteria. When creating a new hotel classification system, the European experience was taken as a basis. Currently, there are about 500-600 hotels in Azerbaijan.
Abdul Kerimkhanov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @AbdulKerim94
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