Portuguese hotels to drop star rating

Three, four and five-star hotels may no longer require classification under Portugal’s star rating system.

The news was confirmed by Secretary of State for Tourism Adolfo Mesquita Nunes in an interview with Expresso newspaper.

“We are working with the (hotel) sector and are in the final stages of completing the new rules,” he stated.

Mesquita Nunes says the renovated system, due to begin within weeks, will allow hoteliers to be “innovative and competitive”, and be measured by their “success on the market” instead of by how many stars their establishment has.

The idea has not been well-received by Portuguese Hoteliers Association AHP.

“We don’t see any interest in this,” said AHP president Luís Veiga. “The system we had was good. We don’t even know if anybody will want to lose their star rating.”

“Putting all hotels, from one-star to five-star establishments, in the same category would be chaotic,” he added, stressing the star system has gained “credibility among tourists and tour operators” and should not be scrapped.

Thus AHP hoteliers are in talks with the government and hope to force last-minute changes to Mesquita Nunes’ scheme.

But AHRESP, another group in the sector, is less antagonistic and claims the plan is not so much about eliminating a star system as encouraging hotels to meet minimum requirements.

More details are expected to emerge soon, adds Expresso, adding that the star system’s demise is scheduled for September.