Taylor's FSLM Journals
Aligning the Stars: Quality Assurance in Tonga’s Tourism Accommodation Sector

@ Asia-Pacific Journal of Innovation in Hospitality and Tourism

Online ISSN: 2710-6519

Nicholas Towner, Semisi Taumoepeau & Geoff Penrose 


Quality standards are an integral part of achieving a world-class competitive tourism industry in Tonga. Developing an accreditation framework for the accommodation business is part of a range of interventions designed to improve the outcomes for tourism in Tonga. The current minimum standards do not prepare or incentivise the accommodation business to improve, and whilst they are a useful building block, it is now timely to develop a more integrated and sustained approach to reflect and improve the quality of accommodation. After a number of individual meetings and wider stakeholder consultations with industry, the consensus made was to develop a star rating system (ranging from 1 to 5 stars). Stakeholders also highlighted that the proposed Tonga Accommodation Star Rating System should apply to all accommodation facilities once they are licensed under the Tourist Act. The introduction of this system will support the development needs of the tourism industry, whilst also providing visitors with appropriate expectations about the level of service and facility they will receive. This strategy was adopted not only to ensure integrity, and also because it can be easily understood and administered to other Pacific nations. 

Keywords: Tonga, star rating system, accommodation, quality assurance, tourism