SW Associates, LLC: Sustainable Development through Tourism

Bahrain – Hotel Quality and Classification System

New Hotel Quality and Classification System for Bahrain

What: SW Associates and SRI International were contracted to develop a new hotel classification and quality system for Bahrain, including the reclassification of every hotel in the country.

The Team first collected as much information as possible about the then-existing hotel classification system, the existing and prospective accommodations situation, and tourism trends within the country.  The team analyzed current documentation, interviewed selected Government officials and industry representatives, and visited a representative sample of properties.

We then conducted a thorough analysis of hotel classification systems in other countries and compared the results to our analysis of the current Bahraini system. After the Team gathered information on the existing system and other systems, we conducted an analysis that focused on fully understanding the current status, trends and issues with tourist accommodations in Bahrain. The team developed an efficient, practical approach for Bahrain that described in detail possible structural characteristics such as a recommended level of public-private sector cooperation, infrastructure criteria and service quality criteria. The criteria were based on a proposed typology and proposed classification standards. These standards distinguished between hotels and service apartments.

We then developed a new system with input from the local hotel industry and then conducted inspections of 97 hotels in the country.

Some of the key categories in which the properties were scored included:

  • Guest accommodations factors (bedrooms and bathrooms)
  • Overall building characteristics
  • Food and beverage facilities
  • Guest leisure and professional services (health club facilities, pools, gardens, and business and conference facilities)
  • The availability of miscellaneous services such as express check-out and bed turndown
  • Fire and safety measures
  • Quality of hotel furniture and cleanliness of public premises
  • Amenities above the minimal standards
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