Implementation of the brand-new Regulation on the classification of Tourist Accommodation Establishments within the ECOWAS region. Digitization of hotel classification within ECOWAS.
"A major step forward for ECOWAS as a destination" says Mr. Mame Mbaye Kan NIANG Minister of Tourism and Recreation of SENEGAL on the opening ceremony.
From 21 to 24 November 2023, Member States, at the invitation of the ECOWAS Commission, met to define the technical specifications of a digital platform dedicated to the classification of Tourist Accommodation Establishments. In his welcome address, Dr. Anthony Luka ELUMELU, Director in charge of the private sector, on behalf of Mrs. Massandjé TOURE-LITSE, Commissioner in charge of Economic Affairs and Agriculture, welcomed all the delegations, whose presence testifies to the commitment to the development of the tourism industry in our region. Dr. ELUMELU then conveyed the Commissioner's message to the participants. In his address, he mentioned that the creation of a digital platform for Tourist
Accommodation Establishments is an innovative measure aimed at enhancing the value of the ECOWAS DMC fleet. It will serve as an information hub by making it easier for international and regional tourists to access accommodation options in the region.
Mr. Mame Mbaye Kan NYANG, Minister of Tourism and Leisure of Senegal, in his opening remarks, commended the diligence of the ECOWAS Commission, through Mrs. Massandjé Toure-Litse, Commissioner for Economic Affairs and Agriculture. He said that this brilliant initiative by ECOWAS to digitize the classification of hotel establishments comes in a context where Senegal, through the Ministry of Tourism and Leisure, is designing and implementing major projects relating to the dematerialization of procedures and the finalization of the tourism code which considers the new
ECOWAS rules and classification grid.
The genesis of this initiative dates to July 2023, marked by the adoption of Regulation C.REG.2/07/23 by the ECOWAS Council of Ministers, upon the recommendations of the Ministers of Tourism of ECOWAS Member States. This Regulation establishes regulatory criteria for the classification of Tourist Accommodation Establishments (TAEs) within the ECOWAS community.
Regulation C.REG.2/07/23 also enshrines the establishment of the ECOWAS Tourist Accommodation Regulator (ETAR), enabling the ECOWAS Commission to play a crucial role in the entire process of regulation and control of the hotel industry in each Member State. This active involvement ensures that established standards and regulations are effectively implemented and consistently maintained, resulting in higher quality and safety performance across facilities in the region.
The operationalization of the ECOWAS Tourism Accommodation Regulator (ETAR) is complemented by a powerful operational tool: a robust digital platform dedicated to the ranking of accommodation establishments throughout the ECOWAS region. The anticipated benefits of the digital platform include:
• Reduction of costs and time for public tourism administrations in charge of hotel classification
• Bringing tourism administration closer to developers, eliminating the need for extensive travel
to fulfil their obligations to tourism administration.
• The promotion of jobs specific to the hotel industry.
• The availability of real-time statistical data on the hotel supply throughout ECOWAS as well as
on tourist arrivals.
• Transparency and fairness in the rankings.
• The enhancement of establishments in accordance with ECOWAS regulations.
• Strengthening the competitiveness of the ECOWAS destination.
At the end of the plenary and workshop discussions, the Meeting formulated the expected
functionalities of the platform, which are broken down into 5 digital spaces that can be implemented in
a scalable way:
- Classification of EHTs (Administrations, Hotel Promoters and Regulator Accounts)
- ECOWAS destination website (Marketing, promotion of establishments in compliance with
- ECOTOUR Training- (capacity building space, downloadable trainings, course materials etc.)
- Events/Bookshop/ Statistics (Document bank, statistics, calendar of upcoming tourist events
throughout the Region)
- ECOWAS Visitors' Area (Space reserved for evaluation scores on hotel establishments by users,
visitors to ECOWAS destination)
The next steps will be dedicated to the private sector and the synergy of actions at the regional level for
the deployment of the digital platform.
This programme is an integral part of the ECOTOUR 19-29 ten-year action plan which has been
developed to strengthen the capacity of the tourism industry to generate jobs and redistribute wealth
in an inclusive way down to the level of local communities.
The mission is technically led by Mrs. Stella Christiane DRABO, Tourism Programme Officer, under the
direction of Dr. Antony Luka ELUMELU, Director of Private Sector at the ECOWAS Commission.