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Biennial grading assessments

Information on important changes to the Visit Wales star grading schemes from 1 April 2011.

Visit Wales, like all organisations, is facing restrictions in terms of the budgets and resources available to us as we go forward. To continue serving the tourist industry and encouraging development and investment in quality, we will need to work more effectively and with less resource at our disposal over the coming years.

In response to this, we are introducing a system of biennial assessment for accommodation and attraction businesses renewing their full grading/Visitor attraction quality assurance service (VAQAS) scheme membership from 1 April 2011. Business that have applied or renewed before that date will receive their annual assessment as normal.

To facilitate this, businesses will pay an annual registration fee. This works out at approximately 20% less than what businesses currently pay each year for full star grading or VAQAS.

As a result of this change, businesses will receive a full assessment visit once in every two year period. We will continue to carry out overnight assessments for hotel and guesthouse style accommodation using the voucher system on the following basis.

Visit Wales overnight stay inspection frequencies

  • 1, 2 and 3 star hotels - Overnight every four years
  • 4 and 5 star hotels (and 3 star Gold Hotels) - Overnight every two years (i.e. every assessment will be an overnight)
  • 1, 2, 3 and 4 star Guest Accommodation including Inns and Restaurant with Rooms - Overnight every four years
  •  5 star Guest Accommodation including Inns and Restaurant with Rooms - Overnight every two years (i.e. every assessment will be an overnight)

These may be subject to change depending on individual circumstances. In view of the reduced frequency, all overnight assessments will be unannounced. Businesses may also choose to have more frequent visits for an additional cost.