Tourism on transfer of Tourism Grading Support Programme

Cost of grading reduced as support programme transfers to the department

Tourism establishments can save up to 90% on the cost of grading from February 2017, which has been made possible through the integration of the Tourism Grading Support Programme under the broader Tourism Incentive Programme of the Department of Tourism into the systems and processes of the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA). This will alleviate some of the cost burden on small enterprises and ensure a single point for enterprises to access all the benefits of being start graded.

This decision came as a result of discussions between the department and the TGCSA to increase the programme benefits and to simplify the application process. Initially launched in 2015 the objective of the Tourism Grading Support Programme was to encourage more accommodation establishments and venues to get graded and stay graded under the star grading system of the TGCSA.

The pilot phase offered graded establishments rebates of between 30% and 60% on assessment fees retroactively. The programme has however now been integrated into the improved online application process of the TGCSA ( with an increased benefit through upfront discounts of up to 90% on assessment fees.

“The Department is confident that the simplified process, together with greater benefits offered, will encourage significantly greater numbers of enterprises to get graded and conform to recognised quality standards, which in turn contributes to the overall destination competitiveness of South Africa”, said Mr Victor Tharage, Director-General of the Department of Tourism.

The improvement and transfer of the programme, which went live on 10 February 2017 will both assist in reducing the cost of grading and streamline the grading processes.

“We welcome this important implementation role entrusted on by the department, which will further help remove barriers chiefly, cost that may be preventing particularly smaller businesses from becoming graded”, said Sisa Ntshona, CEO of South African Tourism.

Source: Government of South Africa