Grading Criteria

The TGCSA's Grading Criteria has come a very long way since its introduction in 2002. Following the most recent revision, implemented 01 April 2019, of our criteria the Grading System is far more thorough, more consistent and follows stringent quantitative and qualitative core requirement and quality standards.  We have not just reviewed our grading standards, but we’ve also refreshed and fine-tuned our entire TGCSA operating system, which now runs so much smoother.

The latest Grading System has introduced some exciting enhancements:

Aligned to international best practice, our Star Grading Levels of 1 to 5 Stars have been augmented with the introduction of a 5 Star “Premium” level.  This aspirational level, reserved for the most luxurious products offerings in South Africa, allows for the recognition of exceptional 5-star properties

We have also taken global best practice and industry needs into account and introduced 3 new categories to cater for Small Hotels, Boutique Hotels and Apartment Hotels.

One final big amendment is the remaining of the category previously known as Meetings, Exhibitions and Special Events Centres (MESE). This category has been renamed VENUES and some exciting new sub-catagorisation has been added.

For your convenience, we have made available the TGCSA Grading Criteria and Core Requirements below.

Download Grading Criteria booklet

Much time and energy has gone into setting grading standards that best suit the Tourism industry. This helps us South Africans maintain our international competitiveness as a tourist destination. The tangible rewards of our efforts made, show that we too can be world leaders when it comes to quality assurance.

Immense gratitude goes out to the thousands of our graded establishments, our valuable industry stakeholders as well as our Accredited Grading Assessors whose professionalism and dedication bring it all together.


In addition to our Grading Core Requirement and Grading Standards, the TGCSA has launched a recognition mechanism geared towards recognizing niche market services and facilities at the many Graded Establishments around the country.  These will be known as Accolades!

The introduction of Accolades to provide recognition for achievements/ distinguishing features is new value for both product and consumers.  Under this system the establishment would need to meet typically a minimum number of requirements to achieve an accolade or “badge” of recognition.

Seventeen (17) accolade categories have been added and represent niche markets and services such as: Wedding Venue, Cycling Tourism, Birding, Family Friendly and so on.

For your convenience, we have made available the TGCSA Accolades and Requirements below.

Download Accolades Icons PDF

Download Responsible Tourism Accolade Core Requirements PDF

Download TGCSA Grading Criteria Booklet PDF 

Download the Insiders Guide to Super Service PDF