Beijing hotels stripped of their stars

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 December, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 December, 2011, 12:00am


More than 130 star-rated hotels in Beijing have been stripped of their stars after they failed a review of their service and quality standards conducted by the capital's tourism authority, the Beijing Tourism Development Committee.

The record number of downgrades - of a five-star hotel, 12 four-star hotels and 55 three-star hotels - followed a 10-month review of the services and infrastructure of 729 star-rated hotels in Beijing.

The review was conducted in accordance with revised guidelines for evaluating the star ratings of hotels issued by the National Tourism Administration last year.

The committee said it would shorten the routine reassessment cycle from five years to three.

Sun Weijia, deputy director of the tourism authority, attributed the downgrades to substandard infrastructure, poor service and hygiene standards, and lax adherence to safety standards.

Compromises on service and infrastructure standards by mainland star-rated hotels engaged in fierce price wars have thrown the rating system into question. That prompted the administration to tighten approvals for, and checks on, ratings, and it launched a nationwide crackdown five years ago.

Four star-rated hotels - including two three-star hotels in Quanzhou, Fujian - had their ratings downgraded by local tourism authorities in November last year for failing to meet service standards.

The review of star-rated hotels in Beijing this year led to the downgrading of 22 substandard star-rated hotels, while 47 hotels gave up their star ratings voluntarily because of ownership changes. The rest - including the five-star Beijing Marriott Hotel West - were removed from the star-rated hotel list for various reasons, such as suspensions, relocations, and ownership changes.

Simon Cooper, Marriott International's president and managing director for Asia-Pacific, said the Beijing Marriott Hotel West was no longer a member of the Marriott family, and that its downgrading came as no surprise, as it had failed to meet its high standards.

'It is not acceptable to Marriott International to have hotels in its system that do not meet our high brand standards, which is why it was removed from our system some time ago and now has nothing to do with Marriott International,' he said.

Hotels stripped of their stars could apply for reassessment next year if they improve their facilities and services, Xinhua said.