Cambodian hotel owners have, for the last six years, been required by law to submit documents in support of their application for a government run ‘star’ rating system. Naturally, the stars don’t come free and so, seeing it for the rort that it is, just 33 Cambodian hotels have bothered to register.
But the government is threatening to get tough with fines and the cancellation of operating licenses promised for those that don't comply.
Some will think that a rating system is a good idea. After all, how are tourists expected to decide where best to lay their dollars and their heads if there isn’t some sort of rating standard? But it would be naïve to think that any government system would have integrity; corruption is sure to play a big part in the number of stars a hotel gets.
So once the system is forced on the hotel owners and large sums of cash have been extracted, expect all sorts of rating anomalies; the hotel with a ‘Five Star’ government rating could just as easily be a ‘No Star’ flea pit with a leaky roof and a view of the sewer.