DOT engaging in dialogues with NITAS on Star Rating system, says exec

October 19, 2015 9:23 am 

By Azer N. Parrocha

MANILA, Oct. 18 (PNA) — The Department of Tourism (DOT) has said it is already conducting dialogues with the Network of Independent Travel & Allied Services Philippines Inc. (NITAS) after the latter described the former’s Star Rating system as “unnecessary” grading system for tourism establishments.

DOT Undersecretary Benito Bengzon Jr. told reporters in an earlier interview that the department met with NITAS as well as hotel and resort owners to discuss the matter.

“What is important is there is communication and everybody is looking to arrive at a mutually beneficial agreement,” Bengzon said, adding that dialogues are ongoing.

“We continue to dialogue with them; we are here to listen,” he added.

Bengzon explained that the department believes that the Star Rating system will make the Philippine tourism industry more competitive.

“There is a system by which we are able to come up with a standards that will make us competitive…a set of standards that the international travelers will understand,” Bengzon said.

“When you go abroad, you look at an accreditation system for your peace of mind,” he added.

To recall, DOT earlier defended the Star Rating system from NITAS’ allegations that the department did not consult the right people to determine its criteria.

This was after NITAS president Robert Lim Joseph reportedly filed a case against DOT Secretary Ramon Jimenez Jr., Undersecretary Maria Victoria Jasmin, Accreditation Division head Jose Tolentino and DOT’s foreign consultants.

Jasmin, however, told reporters in an interview that there was no truth to NITAS's claims.

Launched in 2012, the Star Rating system is a five-star grading system which mainly focuses on inventory, availability, condition, and quality of a specific facility or service.

An establishment recognized in the DOT Star Rating system means that it has complied with internationally-recognized standards. (PNA)

SCS/ANP

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