Star Grading and the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa

Posted 05 Mar 2015

What is Star Grading

Star Grading is an official ranking that is recognised the world over. It is awarded once an independent quality assessment is completed and approved.  This helps all travellers know what to expect upfront from an establishment like a Hotel, B&B, Guest House etc.

Local establishments are graded from 1 Star up to 5 Stars.  1 Star is a very basic establishment and offers limited facilities.  A 5 Stars establishment has all the bells and whistles.   When TGCSA assessors perform a grading, they are mindful of the type of accommodation being graded. This allows smaller B&B’s to achieve 5 Star Grading’s too – provided they meet the relevant criteria.

There are 9 main types of establishments that travellers can choose from – namely Hotels, Lodges, Bed & Breakfasts, Country Houses, Guest Houses, Self-Catering Units, Caravan & Camping Parks, Backpackers & Hostelling facilities as well as Meetings, Exhibitions and Special Events (MESE) venues.  Once an establishment has been graded, it will clearly display the TGCSA Star insignia.

Tourism Grading Council of South Africa

The Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) was established in 2000.  TGCSA is the only recognised and globally credible quality assurance body for tourism products in South Africa.   To find out more about the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa, visit their website:

TGCSA integrates with TripAdvisor

The star grading of South African establishments will now be displayed on TripAdvisor.    The agreement will see the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA) integrate its content with the online platform.  As a result establishments with a valid TGCSA star grading will have their grading displayed on the TripAdvisor website. The star grading can be viewed by right clicking on the stars next to the property's name.

TGCSA’s aim is to promotes Star Grading.  They believe it will truly benefit South Africa if everyone in the Travel and Tourism industry followed suit.

Do you pay attention to the star grading of a property when booking your holidays?   What do you think, travel agents and GTA student can do to promote quality assurance in South Africa?