How it works

It's worth putting in the effort to live and breathe hospitality!

Position hospitality as a central issue in your hotel and optimise the processes that affect guest satisfaction.

Make your team aware of their own approach to the criteria that underpin service quality, such as availability, friendliness, appearance, credibility, communication skills, empathy, approachability, authenticity, and so on.

If your team lives and breathes hospitality, guests will feel at home in your hotel and recommend it.

Nominate your hotel for the International Guest Certified Hotel Award now and receive more recommendations from satisfied guests in the future!

How does the certification work?

To boost service quality in your hotel, and in turn, improve guest satisfaction, you first need to find a way to measure how satisfied guests are. If you're not able to measure guest satisfaction in your hotel, you won't be able to tell if guest satisfaction is developing positively or negatively in your hotel.

There are various scientific models for measuring guest satisfaction and service quality within the hotel industry, including SERVQUAL, HOLSERV and the LODGING QUALITY INDEX. Frederick F. Reichheld holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and is one of the top 25 consultants in the world, according to Consulting Magazine. If that weren't enough, he has also developed a highly intriguing indicator: the Net Promoter Score (NPS). Put simply, the NPS shows how willing a guest would be to recommend a hotel to other people.

Each of these models for measuring guest satisfaction has strengths and weaknesses, but most of the models are too complex for actual use in a hotel. That means that it would just be too expensive for most hoteliers to measure guest satisfaction using these models. The findings they obtained would likely be too academically focused for them to use, and not practical to implement.

The International Guest Certified Organisation for Hospitality Quality, or the IGC in short, has taken ideas from these models where it makes sense to do so. However, the IGC has optimised the processes as much as possible to develop its own system that is considerably more practical and easier to use. Nowadays, guests have high demands as far as service quality is concerned. But not everyone understands ‘quality’ to mean the same thing: some people confuse quality with luxury or durability. David A. Garvin is a professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School in Boston, where he has taught leadership, general management and operations management. According to his transcendental approach, quality is the same thing innate excellence, which anyone can see: ‘you recognise service quality when you experience it’. This enables service to be deemed ‘high-quality’ when the guest believes it reaches the highest standard, or, excellence.

On the basis of this, the IGC's system for measuring guest satisfaction and certifying hotels is based on guests’ actual observations. These guests’ observations are called ‘guest’s-eye-view’ perceptions by IGC.

Guests observing service quality in your hotel on behalf of the IGC receive their instructions from the IGC and are obliged to keep everything confidential. This means that they only pass their feedback on to the IGC. The IGC calls these guests ‘IGC Service Quality Ambassadors’.  

From being nominated to receiving an award, in just three steps



It's incredibly easy to be nominated for the International Guest Certified Hotel Award.

Just click on ‘NOMINATE A HOTEL NOW!’ and complete the nomination form. Upon nomination, IGC will levy a one-off registration fee of 799 euros, to cover administrative costs and system charges. You can pay this online via credit card, PayPal or transfer.

Your nomination will be processed within 48 hours. Once your nomination has been successfully processed, you will receive the nomination accreditation as a vector graphic. From this point on, you can use the International Guest Certified Hotel Award Nominated Accreditation for PR and advertising purposes, for example, on your hotel’s printed materials, social media channels, and website. This lets you show just how important your guests’ satisfaction is to you.

Make sure that your employees know about the nomination, too. This will make them more aware of the importance of ‘active hospitality’, motivating them as a team to boost service quality. This will improve guest satisfaction and lead to more positive guest reviews.  



The IGC organises guest’s-eye-view perceptions with the aim of providing you and your team with important, valuable feedback at regular intervals in terms of how service quality in your hotel is perceived by guests. You will receive feedback from these guest’s-eye-view perceptions once a quarter, in the form of an IGC Quarterly Report. As well as these reports, you’ll receive concrete recommendations to boost your team's service mentality and reliability. These reports and recommendations will be particularly useful to you in service quality meetings with your team. These IGC Quarterly Reports depict guest satisfaction better than sales figures: they are a way to monitor the success of operational measures as they provide important data for quality management. If that weren't enough, they are also a feedback tool at your disposal for developing service quality, as a result. Combat operational blindness with guests’ perceptions!

Every single IGC guest’s-eye-view perception provides a subjective perception of the level of service provided, as the IGC Service Quality Ambassador in question viewed it. This is the result of a cognitive comparison between how the service quality really stacks up in practice, and how the Ambassador imagines it should be. The guest's personal expectations depend on their personal needs, the hotel's promises, their previous expectations, word-of-mouth recommendations, how they feel on that day, etc. However, guest satisfaction can also be viewed as a feeling.

As a result, if you want to glean objective data from the IGC guest's-eye-view perception for quality management purposes, you need multiple IGC guest’s-eye-view perceptions per quarter that can be compared with each other. In short, if one service-related criterion within a hotel fails to meet the expectations of an IGC Service Quality Ambassador, this might well be a subjective perception that is based either on the feelings of the IGC Service Quality Ambassador in question, or on their unrealistically high expectations. However, if two or more IGC Service Quality Ambassadors are disappointed by the same service-related criterion to the same extent, it is certainly worth improving service in this area.

This is why it is necessary to have multiple IGC guest’s-eye-view perceptions for every quarter: it enables the IGC to provide you with crucial, objective data on guest feedback on a regular basis, in the form of IGC Quarterly Reports, that you can use for quality management.
Depending on the size of the hotel in question, the exact number of guest's-eye-view perceptions can vary between 3 and 6 per quarter.

Here's an overview:

0 to 25 beds - 3 guest's-eye-view perceptions
26 to 89 beds - 4 guest's-eye-view perceptions
90 to 200 beds - 5 guest's-eye-view perceptions
201 or more - 6 guest's-eye-view perceptions  

A voucher for one IGC guest’s-eye-view perception should cover 7 nights’ accommodation for two people in a double room, including breakfast. You are free to choose the period in which the IGC guest's-eye-view perceptions take place in your hotel. Ideally, choose a period when your hotel is not particularly busy, so that you can fill beds that would otherwise be empty. The stays undertaken by Service Quality Ambassadors will not generate additional income for you, as you provide the accommodation vouchers to the IGC free of charge. However, additional revenue can be generated if the Ambassadors consume food and drink outside the scope of the accommodation voucher, or if they book other chargeable services.

IGC guest’s-eye-view perceptions encompass two kinds of questions that are included in the feedback and the IGC Quarterly Report.

Guest satisfaction questions

Guest satisfaction is greatly dependent on criteria or feelings that are hard to pin down, and even harder to measure. IGC draws on the Net Promoter Score to measure these hard-to-measure criteria using questions it has developed itself.

These questions cover a range of topics, such as how willing a person would be to recommend the hotel to family or friends, or even to visit it again themselves, on a scale of 1 to 10.

The IGC Guest Satisfaction Score is generated for each question using a simple calculation. The number of critics, passives, and recommenders among the IGC Service Quality Ambassadors is calculated in percent. The IGC Guest Satisfaction Score is generated using the following formula:

Recommenders (in % of all asked) - critics (in % of all asked) = IGC Guest Satisfaction Score
Passives are not included in the calculation.
This means that the IGC Guest Satisfaction Score can range from + 100 to - 100.

Here's an example calculation. Out of 20 IGC Service Quality Ambassadors, if 10 state that they would give a score of 9 and 10 out of ten to describe how likely they'd be to recommend the hotel (recommenders), 5 IGC Service Quality Ambassadors between 7 and 8 (passives) and 5 between 1 and 6 (critics), the calculation for the IGC Guest Satisfaction Score for this question would be as follows:

50 recommenders (in % of total surveyed) - 25 critics (in % of total surveyed) = 25 IGC Guest Satisfaction Score 

Satisfying everyone is just impossible, so it’s simply unrealistic to expect a IGC Guest Satisfaction Score of +100. That would mean that 100% of IGC Service Quality Ambassadors are prepared to recommend your hotel or stay there again themselves.

A realistic, attainable goal would be a positive IGC Guest Satisfaction Score, or a score with a ‘+’ in front of the number (such as ‘+1’), which would also be a positive result.

The overall IGC Guest Satisfaction Score for each quarter is calculated from the average of the IGC Guest Satisfaction Scores for all the guest satisfaction questions.

If two consecutive IGC Quarterly Reports reveal that you and your team have met or exceeded your guests’ expectations across 80% of all service quality criteria, and your overall IGC Guest Satisfaction Score for this quarter is positive, then you’ll have met the conditions for receiving the International Guest Certified Hotel Certified Accreditation. Your status will change from ‘NOMINATED’ to ‘CERTIFIED’. 

You will receive a certificate and the International Guest Certified Hotel Accreditation as vector graphics. From this point on, you can use the International Guest Certified Hotel Accreditation for PR and advertising purposes, e.g. on your hotel's printed materials, social media channels, and website. This lets you show that your hotel lives and breathes hospitality, and that your hotel has been certified as an International Guest Certified Hotel. This increases the trust that guests, travel agents and the press place in the service quality offered by your hotel.



Once your hotel has been certified with the International Guest Certified Hotel Accreditation, if the IGC Quarterly reports show that your hotel has remained the same or even improved over the course of two further quarters, this demonstrates that your hotel is home to high levels of service quality and hospitality. It also reveals that you are winning over your guests time and again.

Your status will change from ‘CERTIFIED’ to ‘Awarded’, and you will receive a certificate and the International Guest Certified Hotel Awarded Accreditation as a vector graphic. Furthermore, your hotel will receive the International Guest Certified Hotel Award.

You can share that you've received the International Guest Certified Hotel Award via your own adverts and press channels, or you can select a suitable IGC promotion packet for your hotel to use.

We look forward to your nomination!  

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