Day 1 (AM) 9:00 – 9:30 Introduction/remarks: RETOSA, COMSEC, Participants 9:30 – 9:40 Workshop Objectives and Expected Outcomes 9:40 – 10:00 Project Progress 10:30 – 10:40 Objectives/Purpose of Harmonization Framework 10:40 – 11:00 Transition from Voluntary to Mandatory System 11:00 – 11:30 Open Plenary 11:30 – 12:00 Environmental and Social Responsibility 12:00– 12:15 Universal Access 12:15 – 12:45 Open Plenary
Day 1 (PM) 13:45 – 14:15 Assessor/Auditor/Inspector Training 14:15 – 14:45 Open Plenary 14:45 – 15:15 Consumer Feedback Mechanism 15:15 – 15:30 Open Plenary 16:45 - 16:15 Funding 16:15 - 16:45 Management Responsibilities of Retosa 16:45 – 17:00 Roles of National Organizations 17:00 – 17:30 Open Plenary
9:00 – 9:15 Recap of Previous Day’s Deliberations 9:15 – 10:45 Marketing of Harmonized System 10:45 – 11:00 Open Plenary 11:15 – 11:45 Benchmarking 11:45 – 12:00 Open Plenary 12:00 – 12:50 Proposed Guidelines and Standards 12:50 – 13:00 Guidelines for Group Work
Day 2 (PM) 14:00 – 15:00 Group Work 15:00 – 16:30 Groups Report Back 16:30 – 17:00 Action Plan 17:00 – 17:30 Way Forward Close of Workshop
A harmonized accommodationrating scheme is one in whichSADC accommodation facilities ofthe same type or category (e.g.,hotels, resorts, lodges, inns,campgrounds, etc.) areconventionally separated intoclasses [e.g. stars] or gradesaccording to their commonphysical service andenvironmental responsibility andUA characteristics as establishedat government, industry or otherprivate levels.
Framework purpose To provide a structure and a blueprint that both responds to issues affecting harmonization as well as Outlines a 3-year time frame (2012, 2013, 2014)and cost estimates to launch the RETOSA harmonized grading scheme in 2015
Framework Objectives Define management structure of harmonized system specific role of RETOSA and member nation stakeholders Identify of the requirements to ensure continued buy-in and support from the member nations Present an assessment of the opportunities for a mandatory versus a voluntary system Determine how the harmonized system can be used to promote southern Africa in the international marketplace and within the region Identify conditions for integrating responsible tourism and universal accessibility into the harmonized accommodation rating scheme
Framework Objectives Describe current professional auditor availability, longer-term needs and training requirements Propose a consumer feedback mechanism to ensure ongoing improvements of the scheme Present select international benchmarks that support the overall structure for national and regional harmonized grading schemes Identify funding sources and requirements to complete the harmonized scheme by 2015 Present an action plan that identifies the activities of RETOSA and the various member nation stakeholders
From Voluntary to Mandatory Definite preference for MANDATORY Current mix Current Voluntary Developing Mandatory and Voluntary Mandatory Staging progression from completely voluntary to mandatory within a realistic timeframe (3 years)
Phase 1: 2012-2013: Mostly Voluntary Systems New system Enables opportunity for government support (e.g. Mauritius) Adequate time for facility upgrades (Malawi, Mozambique) Phase 2: 2013 – 2014 Voluntary with a proviso Only graded facilities receive government support Phase 3: 2014-2015 All Mandatory Systems Feedback mechanism in place Government/RETOSA Marketing support
A Staged Approach• All business prepared to VOLUNTARY opt in or out. No with proviso • Assistance to restrictions implement standards• Government support to • No unaudited rating • Feedback Mechanism upgrade facilities in allowed in place advance of mandatory • No government support system • Government support for for unaudited facilities marketing • Assistance to improve facilities VOLUNTARY MANDATORY
All authorities responsible for national accommodation rating will enter into a three-phase program, Advance each national program to mandatory status by 2015 or sooner RETOSA responsible for coaching and ensuring that all member states respect the proposed timeline Technical assistance (architect, interior designers, engineering services) provided to accommodation suppliers to meet requirements
Environmental and Social Responsibility Sustainability, poverty alleviation, fair trade practices and environmentally friendly tourism’ = Responsible Tourism Source of standards: Global Sustainable Tourism Criteria (GSTC), The Botswana Green and Ecotourism Certification standards Principles of Responsible Tourism as defined by the SABS Standards Division in Pretoria Fair-trade in Tourism South Africa
Environmental and Social Responsibility Environmental Policy and Visitor Code of Conduct Energy conservation plan; CO2 emissions reduction (20% by 2015) Water Conservation and water recycling plan : low flow restrictors, leakage reduction, drip irrigation Waste Management and Reduction (recycling, recycled materials, composting, concentrates) Regular Environmental Audits (water, fuel and electricity, purchasing, community relations)
Environmental and Social Responsibility Ensure that local community residents benefit from tourism training, jobs and support for small businesses Maintain and encourage natural, economic, social cultural and diversity and demonstrate sensitive behavior and respect for local culture Support for local arts and handcraft (exhibition and sales) Financial and in-kind support for community-based and environmental project
Environmental and Social Responsibility Responsible Purchasing policy: bulk buying, reduced packaging, local purchases (SME’s) Reduction of hazardous products: (cleaners, VOC’s, phosphates) Fair and livable wages for all employees Gender and intergenerational equity Marketing: Honest, internet based, recycled papers, green markets;
Environmental and Social Responsibility Create a Green Team and select ‘eco-champion’ Environmental management training and guest awareness program Support/promote local tours offered by local guides Environmental Emergency Response Plan
Universal Accessibility 900 million persons worldwide with disabilities Want to and have a right to enjoy travel experiences Visit popular and more remote locations USA: 20% of the population (55 million) UK: Worth £2.2 billion/year in 2010 NZ/Australia: 18 % of the population
Universal Accessibility a) Physical access: require use of wheelchairs or walking aids provision of handrails, ramps, lifts and lowered counters. (b) Sensory access: people with hearing or sight impairments, necessitating, tactile markings, signs, labels, hearing augmentation-listening systems and audio cues for lifts and lights. (c) Communication access: difficulty with vision, speech, and hearing impairments or persons from other cultures.
Universal AccessibilityAccommodation facilities and restaurants ill equipped to meet the needs of those tourists with restricted ability. lack of suitable accommodations limits them to the more expensive up-scale hotels. upscale safari lodges or coastal resorts may offer no accessibility standards. Few facilities offer accessible rooms with wide entrances or low switches, hand dryers, towel racks and beds. Few hotels have elevators to all floors, access to reception, pool or bar areas, clear signage, visual alarms, and complete access through the entire building. Many urban hotels provide special parking areas but: distant from the main hotel entrances, No accessible travel corridor to entrance
Universal AccessibilityTransportation Travel in southern Africa requires several modes of transportation including small aircraft, minivans, 4x4s, boats and automobiles. Accommodation providers not directly responsible for all vehicular transportation they are nevertheless required to consider how their clients with disabilities will access their facilities.
Universal Accessibilityc) Customer Services and Training services providers frequently uncomfortable in direct contact with persons with disabilities because they don’t know what is required from them. Furthermore there is a range of disabilities, which may have different implications. many customers with limited abilities in fact require no additional assistance. employees in direct contact with clients, reception desk, housekeeping and support staff frequently encounter limited ability clients and therefore require training
Universal AccessibilityRequirements Meet national codes and regulations Parking and aisles: Adequate number, space, access aisle to entrance, surface, ramps, curbs At least 1 accessible entrance door Width, clearance, degree of opening Accessible Interior corridors and stairs (tread width) Accessible floor surface
Universal Accessibility Seating areas: Adequate number, access corridor, identification marker Corridors: width, width for passing, turning space Self-service units Sleeping rooms: number, location in the facility Access within the room, space around the bed, closet space Bathroom: toilet, shower
Assessor/Auditor/Inspector Training Auditing and inspection capacity one of the most serious obstacles Few auditors in each member nation: Bring in auditors from other nations Share auditors Require auditors with a specific understanding of the accommodation sector
Assessor/Auditor/Inspector Training Auditor qualifications the auditing process auditing for the accommodation sector quality assurance, responsible tourism, universal accessibility familiarity with the accommodation certification process and procedures must be certified [at least five years experience]
Assessor/Auditor/Inspector Training Auditor Training Require approximately 130 auditors by 2014 Require strategy and mechanism to ensure responsive to the needs Collaboration between RETOSA and member nations Training responsibilities” RETOSA: preparation of training guidelines, train the trainer workshop, providing technical assistance Member nations; training trainers and training auditors
Assessor/Auditor/Inspector Training Training program requirements/modules understanding accommodation rating systems responding to legal and regulatory requirements knowledge of international rating systems Techniques on how to plan, perform and report an audit how to interview clients understanding the weighting system identification of non-conformity’s These requirements must also be harmonized across the region Preparation of auditing manual Harmonized training program
Assessor/Auditor/Inspector Training REQUIRED ACTION RETOSA to consolidate current auditor training activities and is ensure consistency and credibility across member nations. Develop a database of qualified auditors for distribution by early 2012. Work closely with member nations to coordinate all auditor activities and training programs. Prepare auditor training guidelines and an auditing guidelines manual Provide technical assistance for member states launching their training programs
Consumer Feedback Mechanism Standard Feedback mechanisms Direct solicitation immediately following the lodging experience Providing web-based opportunities for consumer generated content in terms of opinions and remarks. Establish integrated feedback mechanism at all levels of the tourism value chain including: RETOSA National ministries of tourism + tourism authorities Hotel and restaurant associations Accommodation providers
Consumer Feedback Mechanism Create a ‘visitor/consumer feedback’ link on each accommodation providers website to be integrated into the overall standards Annual assessment of consumer feedback used to shape the national and regional accommodation rating systems
Consumer Feedback MechanismThe consumer feedback questionnaire Provide 2 levels of information: Information including grievances and commendations on the visitors travel experience within the country and at accommodation Opinions on how the accommodation responded to perceived rating Assess visitors perception of the relationship between the star rating and the actual level of service, experience and facilities, Quality of furniture and equipment: Restaurant quality and other amenities, Attractiveness, comfort and services of guestrooms and bathrooms, recreation activities, site attractiveness and surrounding location
Consumer Feedback Mechanism Specific efforts: Responsible Tourism + UA Travel trade feedback mechanism Direct electronic mail out to the individual companies and specific employee responsible for product development and/or marketing Distribution of feedback questionnaires following a familiarization trip or media tour Distribution of feedback questionnaires during travel trade Shows Solicitation of a response and opinions during direct sale efforts Constant interaction with the Southern Africa travel trade, as it concerns the enhancement of accommodation product.
Consumer Feedback MechanismREQUIRED ACTION RETOSA will establish regional consumer and travel trade feedback mechanism + assist member states in setting up their own feedback mechanism. National government agencies work with accommodation associations and providers to ensure standard consumer and travel trade feedback mechanisms are in place. As each national rating system is launched RETOSA will assure that the appropriate feedback mechanisms in place to ensure consumer/travel trade input in to the operations of the rating system.
Funding Sources and Mechanisms GOAL: to be self sufficient mechanism Project funding requirements: Type of projects requiring vary according to the criteria of the various international donors and foundations. Project funding requirements; 3 categories including; Training and awareness Marketing and promotions Preparation of workshops, manuals and documentation RETOSA Maintain ongoing overall management of the scheme Deliver regular project activities such as training, target marketing, manuals, accreditation activities etc
Funding Sources and MechanismsFunding Sources: International donors [e.g. USAID, GTZ, DFID, CIDA, EuropeAid, etc.], Environmental and/or economic development NGOs International agencies such as UNDP, IUCN and UNEP National and international development banks American Express Foundation, Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, or the ComMark Trust.
Funding Sources and Mechanisms Training and awareness Marketing and promotions Preparation of workshops, manuals and documentation Training workshops Train-the-trainer programs to introduce the harmonized standards to each member nation Regional auditor training program to ensure common auditing standards Technical training workshops, particularly for responsible tourism initiatives such as waste management, energy conservation, water conservation, purchasing practices etc.
Funding Sources and Mechanisms b) Marketing and promotions 5-year marketing strategy that integrates stakeholder participation at the regional, national and supplier level, Electronic marketing campaign to international tour operators and wholesalers and receptive tour operators in member nations, Ongoing communications with the travel trade from those facilities that have been certified within the harmonized scheme, Regional market research on client receptivity to and satisfaction with the harmonize accommodation rating scheme.
Funding Sources and Mechanisms Manuals and Guidelines Best practices for implementing quality assurance, responsible tourism and UA standards Auditor assessment procedures Customer feedback mechanism procedures
Funding Sources and MechanismsREQUIRED ACTION RETOSA leads in identifying potential funding sources at the regional and national level. Information shared with member nations to also support their standards. Selection criteria, by funding sources to documented RETOSA responsible for managing the timely preparation of manuals and delivery of regional level workshops. RETOSA: lead agency in the preparation and implementation of the marketing strategy
Management Responsibilities of RETOSA Implementation of the scheme will be the responsibility of RETOSA. Central to all activities that strengthen, assist, and monitor and market a harmonized grading scheme. Responsive structure that provides maximum assistance to and coordination amongst the various member nations
Management Responsibilities of RETOSARETOSA as an accrediting body Ensure that standards are being met and auditing processes are being respected Adequately and consistently funded Ensure that all graded properties are in compliance with harmonized standards Adheres to the strictest rules for auditing transparency Uses only qualified professional auditors
Management Responsibilities of RETOSA Reviews and update the quality assurance rating standards every two years Ensure information is accurate and can assist customers and tour operators in making a fair assessment of the property Maintains a consistent set of standards that meet the basic requirements of a harmonized system The system is managed by personnel with experience in accommodation rating system
Management Responsibilities of RETOSA RETOSA Grading Coordinator Part-time Technical or Cooordinator Working Committee Assistant Accommodation Member Nation External Support Suppliers and Sector Grading Officers Services Associations
Management Responsibilities of RETOSA RETOSA Grading Coordinator Both a manager + administrator the numerous activities designated to member nations and other stakeholders Manage the day-to-day activities of establishing harmonized rating system Ensure activities and deadlines in the action plan and timeline are respected Responsibility for design and implementation of communication plan associated with the rating system Coordinate and communicate regularly with all grading officers in each of the member nations
Management Responsibilities of RETOSA Prepare grant proposals and coordinate activities with international donors, agencies and NGOs Provide the RETOSA executive director and Board with regular updates Prepare briefing notes and updates for the executive director and board members when they travel to member nations and tourism related events Report on the advancement of the harmonized rating system to the RETOSA executive director Manage all external activities and funding sources
Management Responsibilities of RETOSA Part-time coordinator assistant Preparing a regular newsletter for widespread distribution amongst the various stakeholders in the RETOSA database Coordinating grading related activities amongst the various national grading agencies and tourism and accommodation associations Responding to requests from member states for information and coordinating the delivery of technical assistance, preparation of manuals and training programs Coordinate training workshops
Roles of National Organizations Grading offices within the Ministry of tourism or Tourism Authority National and tourism and/or accommodation associations Accommodation providers and partners within the supply chain Communities that host visitors to the accommodation facility External resource services and contractors
Roles of National Organizations Grading officers Share experience with the design and management of quality assurance rating systems Provide professional input and feedback current on improvements in grading processes and standards Undertake consumer-based research on the attitudes towards accommodation rating systems Assess the impacts of the Responsible tourism and UA standards
Roles of National Organizations National tourism and/or accommodation associations Encourage their membership to actively pursue being graded and joining the harmonized rating system Provide regular assessment of each of the proposed quality assurance rating standards including the weighting system Assess national customer response to the rating system Accommodation providers External resource services (trainers, consultants, etc) Communities
Roles of National Organizations REQUIRED ACTION The RETOSA board immediately solicit funding for Grading Coordinator and Part-time Grading Coordinator Assistant by no later than February 2012. Current RETORSA staff will contact all potential national rating system officers, and identify opportunities where they can contribute directly to supporting RETOSA initiatives. RETOSA staff will establish working relationships with all stakeholders to solicit their support. RETOSA and national grading officers will identify communities, that can assist in promoting graded facilities.
Thank you for your greateffort these past few days James MACGREGOR firstname.lastname@example.org "
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