Hotel Online  Special Report
The Current Value of
AAA Hotel Ratings

Harry Nobles & Cheryl Thompson Griggs,  February 2003

Is a hotelís AAA rating as valuable today as it was in the past?  Has that value been eroded by technology?   Your AAA rating may actually be more important than ever.  In the post-9-11 era most properties have faced tougher competition not just to succeed, but to survive.  Hotels have dealt with this challenge in a variety of ways.  
Some reassessed, refocused, and increased their sales efforts.  Others offered lower rates.  Still others offered additional services and special inducements while striving to maintain pre-9-11 rates and retain market share. Many have employed a combination of 
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these and other strategies with varying degrees of success.  

Many hotels, including several of our clients, believe that a high AAA and MOBIL rating can enhance their overall appeal and may give them an additional  competitive edge.  To this end they have committed to maintaining their current rating or even earning another diamond or star.  This goal may be achieved by improved guest service, enhanced physical facilities, or a combination of the two.

Obviously a high rating alone is no assurance of success, but it can be one more positive marketing tool.  The marketing value of  AAA and MOBIL ratings is assured as long as the publicís trust in them continues.  All indications are that this trust is still strong and will remain so.  

Technology already influences how travelers access and use rating information. While the number of Internet inquiries and booking rise steadily, AAA members still use more than 20 million TourBooks annually.  One might accurately predict a decrease in the number of TourBook users, but offset by a corresponding increase in Internet users.  The format and mode change; the final result does not.  

As long as the public has trust in ratings, the ratings will have value.  In the current period of uncertainty and keen competition, that value may have increased.

Harry Nobles & Cheryl Thompson Griggs


Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting
POC:  Harry Nobles
Phone:  757-564-3761
Fax:        757-564-0076


  • Former head of AAA Lodging/Dining Ratings Program. 
  • An independent consultant serving the hospitality industry. 
  • A Special Training Consultant to the Educational Institute, American Hotel/Motel Association
Also See: Stars and Diamonds; Some Similarities and Some Differences / January 2003
AAA's Delay: Good or Bad? / July 2002
Timing Is Everything, Or Is It? / July 2002 
Boutique Hotels: Have They Gone Too Far / May 2002
People Really Do Make the Difference / Jan 2002
What Is a Boutique Hotel? / Dec 2001
The Non-negotiable Traits of Leaders / Oct 2001 
How Important is Service? / Sept 2001
Front Desk Service Mistakes / Aug 2001
Food & Beverage Mistakes & How to Correct Them / July 2001
Bell Staff Mistakes & How to Correct Them / July 2001 
Attitude vs Aptitude / June 2001
Female Business Travelers' Expectations / June 2001
Is Outsourcing Your Training a Viable Alternative? / June 2001
Unique Identity + Consistent Service = Success / May 2001
AAA Standards vs  Guests' Expectations / May 2001
Are Your Guests Better Informed Than Your Staff? / April 2001
Are U.S. Hotels Rated Differently From Other North American Hotels? / April 2001
The Design Theme - AAA / Mobil Ratings Connection / March 2001
Attitude Can Make the Difference / January 2001
How Should Casino-Hotels be Rated? / Dec 2000
Does AAA Rate Resorts Fairly? / Nov 2000
Is Your Property Suffering From Design Deficiency? / Nov 2000 
The Future of AAA Ratings / September 2000
What Is Your Optimum AAA Rating / August 2000
If You Disagree With Your AAA RatingÖ../ June 2000
Are AAA Ratings Always Accurate and Objective / May 2000
Creating Atmosphere / Jan 2000
What is "Atmosphere"? / December 1999
Maintaining Your AAA Rating / Nov 1999
Earning a AAA Rating vs Maintaining a AAA Rating: Which Is More Difficult?  / Oct 1999
Can Outstanding Service Offset Hotel Physical Deficiencies in the Rating Systems? / Harry Nobles / June 1999 
Consistency: The Hallmark of a Fine Hotel / September 1999
Who Should Train Your Employees  / Aug 2000 
Mobil Travel Guide Announces 1998 Mobil Four-and Five-Star Award Winners / Jan 1998 
Key to Success: Training + Follow-Up / June 2000
The Legend of the Pineapple / Harry Nobles / Feb 1999 
To Harry Nobles Hospitality Consulting Index Page

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