By Birhanu Fikade
The hugely awaited star-rating program – led by a team of assessors from the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) – has been revealed leaving Hilton Addis with three stars while Sheraton Addis, Radisson Blu, Capital Hotel and Spa and Elilly International Hotel received five-star status.
During a press conference held at the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, James Mac Gregor, UNWTO team leader defended that the hotels were assessed based on international standards set by the World Bank Group. According to Gregor, the five star rated hotels were able to attain some 80 percent out of the 2,249 points. Hence, out of the 68 hotels assessed, 13 have obtained four stars, 25 have been categorized as three-star hotels. Hilton Addis is part of this group. Another 19 fell under two stars and seven have been rated one star hotels.
The total number of hotels expected to be fit for the crowing process were some 98. However, 27 have been unable to be assessed failing to receive compulsory safety, hygiene and sanitary certifications from responsible agencies or because they are unable to comply with the requirements. In addition to that, 28 out of the 68 have been unable to be in the star status; they have ended up with “zero stars” as Gregor put it.
According to Gregor, hotels like Sheraton were found to be unable to meet the criteria for deluxe status. He argued that to join the deluxe group Sheraton needed to score 90 percent or so, which it did not.
“Stained, poor, messy kitchens” are some of the expressions Gregor used to speak about the hotels in the capital. “Most of them are ill managed,” he said, referring to the point where relatives of property owners were assigned to run most of them.