The ranking will be performed under the supervision of an international company, to be decided following a tender. Though Israel previously held hotel rankings, it was cancelled in 1992, since it was performed by representatives of the Tourism Ministry, and was considered partial and unfair.
Eleven European countries are currently using the star rating system. Israel will be the 12th.
The Tourism Ministry's Director-General, Noaz Bar-Nir, told the Knesset Finance Committee, which approved the new regulations, that the new rating system is more balanced and fair, allowing guests and tourists to compare hotel prices and value.
Certificate issued to 5 star hotels
The new ranking is voluntary rather than mandatory and hotels that use their own rating system will be able to continue to do so, as long as they clarify they are using a different rating system than that used by the Tourism Ministry.
Any hotel that would wish to use the star rating system will be scrutinized under 270 criteria, examining structure, facilities, room quality and more. Using a point system, each criterion is rated – 17 points for a pool, 15 for an elevator, 1 point for a shoe-shining kit – and the total number of points determines the hotel star-rating.
Once a hotel has applied for ranking, the rating process must end within 45 days. The Tourism Ministry will finance the costs of the initial examination, but any additional examination – to rectify the rating – will be at the expense of the hotel.
The Israel Hotel Association accompanied the process and approved the regulations, after adapting the point system to Israeli climate conditions, kosher guidelines, Shabbat observation and hotel security. The European association approved the adapted Israeli model.
The rating will be reexamined every three years, or to the request of the hotel, if the hotel desires to be inspected for higher rating.
The Tourism Ministry will publish each hotel's ranking on the ministry website.
Chairman of the Knesset Finance Committee MK Carmel Shama-Hacohen (Likud) said after the approval of the regulations that rating Israeli hotels can protect consumers and help them get their money's worth.