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NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

ACCOMMODATION GUIDE (article first published : 2004-07-10)

Produced by the Tourism Grading Council of South Africa (TGCSA), its Accommodation Guide 2004 is set to make life a whole heap easier for regular travellers within South Africa as well as visitors and tourists to the country.

Its comprehensive listing covers everything from unpretentious country cottages to major international hotels. Maps are included as well as a distance chart.

The front cover reads: “For centuries, explorers have used the stars to plot navigational paths to discover new land.” The Council has produced this inaugural guide of star-graded tourist resorts and destinations in South Africa to allow travellers to “navigate through the stars” of some 2000 establishments.

The grading ranges from one- to five-star and spans the full spectrum of accommodation types, namely: Hotel; Backpacker & Hostels; Bed & Breakfast (B&B); Caravan Park & Camping; Country House; Guest House; Lodge, and Self-Catering.

Design and layout is good and the provinces are colour-coded for ease of identification. While, admittedly, I only concentrated on the KZN section, I think it would be useful to cross-reference from the listings to those venues featured in the Profiled Establishments section which includes photographs and a short write-up.

The guide does require a certain level of understanding of the geography of South Africa. I picked up a couple of discrepancies that might be confusing. Thekweni House appears under Glenashley in the listings but in the Profiled Establishments under Durban. New visitors to the city may not be aware that Glenashley is part of greater Durban. Sewula Gorge Lodge is placed under Estcourt in the listings but under Durban in the Profiled Establishments. However, I understand that a reprint is imminent and hopefully these inaccuracies will have been attended to.

All the establishments featured in the Guide have been individually graded by the TGCSA. Each property is assessed at least once a year and a grading is only valid for a 12-month period. This means that travellers can have peace of mind in knowing what type of star gradings they are in for when stopping at an establishment.

The Accommodation Guide 2004 – Navigation through the Stars is available from selected bookstores countrywide or contact Imago Advertising on 0861 000 TGC (842) or e-mail tgc@imago.co.za

The reprint is expected to be out in a month or so at a cost of R120. – Caroline Smart




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