Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism and Culture will introduce a new hotel classification and rating system from 1st June, which the industry players believe is fairer and more worthwhile than the existing star-rating system.
The new classification will have categories of city hotels, highland hotels, island/beach/lake/river resorts, innovative hotels and boutique hotels.
Shaharuddin M Saaid, executive director, Malaysian Association of Hotel Owners, said that the old rating system, basing its requirements on city hotels, is putting island and hill resorts at a disadvantage.
Shaharuddin said: “Based on the old system, a hotel needed an executive floor and lounge to be rated five stars. This was alright for a city hotel which received business travellers, but not necessarily for island and hill resorts where guests were holidaymakers.”
To acquire four stars and above, hotels also needed to have a swimming pool, although the criteria were not as important in beachfront hotels or hill resorts.
The Frangipani Langkawi Resort & Spa’s managing director, Anthony Wong, said: “In the past, hotels must have two restaurants to be classified as a four-star property. We only had one and were classified as three-star under the local rating, although TripAdvisor and travel agents rated us as a four-star. We didn’t see a need to have more than one restaurant as there were many restaurants outside our hotel, giving visitors plenty of choices.”