Demand soars for German hotel accreditation scheme

UK corporate buyers planning events in Germany are to benefit from the growing number of hotels with a new Conference Hotel Certificate accreditation. Set up in response to corporate demand for more consistency across the country’s venues, 70 hotels across Germany have applied for auditing since January. The idea was first mooted last July by three industry associations including Business Travel Association of Germany, which has more than 350 corporate travel buyer members including IBM, BMW and Siemens. So far, 28 hotels across Germany have been fully accredited, including Hanover’s Radisson SAS and Berlin’s Crowne Plaza. A further 140 hotels are currently under audit and could have the certificate within the next six months. To earn the certificate, valid for one year at £1,155, hotels have to undergo inspection and fulfil a list of criteria across seven categories, such as logistics and service levels. “Hotels haven’t always been professional in the way they present their facilities to clients,” said Beiersdorf AG senior event manager Halger Leisewitz. “There was a time when information may have reached us full of mistakes and we didn’t have the time to check or reconfirm before the event. The certificate puts hotels at the same professional level as the companies they’re working with.” Leisewitz believes that the UK would also merit from a similar scheme. “The range of hotel standards is so wide,” he said. “You can encounter five-star hotels that lack the size or facilities to hold an event.” Universal CIT senior project manager Chantal van Bragt added: “Along with internal databases, consortiums and ISO standards, this is another element of quality assurance that we’d look at when planning conferences in Germany.”

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