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Guests drive quality levels

24 August 2006

I agree with almost everything Jeff Riley (Caterer, 17 August, page 14) says about the inadequacies of the common standards grading scheme.

There are valid reasons for the existence of star ratings, and I know many hoteliers who place a high value on them. But guests do not have common needs or expectations - they make their judgements on a variety of clues as to a hotel's suitability.

I do worry also that the Government's desire to enforce greater compliance with its own accreditation schemes will add to costs without achieving very much. Grading schemes don't drive quality standards, but demanding customers and effective managers.

Is the free market working so badly we need the state to play a bigger role in our industry?

Peter Hancock
Chief executive, Pride of Britain Hotels

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