Security, Top Factor in Indian Hotel Star Rating

Security is becoming a strong factor in determining star rating for India hotels. The Times of India quoted by USA Today announced hotels in India might lose their star rating unless they implemented strict security measures demanded by the government. A debate on the hotel security topic started a few days after India marked the second anniversary of the deadly Nov. 26, 2008, terror attacks in Mumbai.

The terrible event targeted several hotels such as the Oberoi and Taj Mahal Palace, the terrorists killing nearly 200 people. To ensure security during the anniversary events, the authorities placed luxury hotels on high alert.

The new demands were issued by India’s tourism ministry and require hotels with three or more stars to install specific equipment for securing their premises.

“Though the rule technically came into effect in the wake of the 26/11 attack, we decided to give some time to the hotels to make the security arrangements,” Srivats Sanjay, an executive with India Tourism said. “In practice, the rule is applicable from September 2010…Safety of guests should figure on the priority list of hotels that wish to retain their star classification as security is of prime importance.”

This government imposed change in India’s star rating system marks the second time this year when the ratings formula is being questioned and reviewed. China has already changed its hotel star ratings system last summer after it was discovered that the five-star Hilton in Chongqing was running a brothel in its independently run karaoke bar. The Chinese agency awarding the stars visits hotels more often and incorporates anonymous customer opinions before determining a final star status.

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