ECOWAS to standardise tourism accommodation
ECOWAS to standardise tourism accommodation

Tourism accommodation: ECOWAS experts work on standardisation

The Private Sector Directorate of the ECOWAS Commission is organising a three – day technical meeting for tourism experts in the region from 3rd – 5th April 2023.


The experts are expected to amend and validate the new regulatory texts for tourist accommodation establishments within ECOWAS region.

The ECOWAS Commission, as part of the implementation of its Revised Treaty, developed a Regional Tourism Policy accompanied by an ECOTOUR 19-29 Action Plan, with the collabora-tion of the Member States.

The analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the ECOWAS destination has thus highlighted the weakness of the regulatory system and the low level of tourism services as a major handicap for the development of this sector whose potential could serve as a driving force for our economies. 

To this end, the ECOTOUR 19-29, was developed in its programme n°5, which dictates the development of the regulatory framework, hotels classification criteria and control systems.

While sourcing inspiration from international standards applied to tourist accommodation infrastructures around the world, the ECOWAS Member States wish, in a harmonised and innovative way, to define a new regulation by:

-    Affirming national cultural and architectural identities.
-    Considering the environment and the climate.
-    Creating labels and certificate that will be specific to the West African Region.

The updating of the regulations responds to the major issues facing the West African region, namely:

-    Unfair competition of hotellike.
-    New forms of tourist accommodation such as ecolodges, guest houses, etc.
-    Security context which imposes the reinforcement of security and safety devices in the accommodation premises. 
-    Need for harmonized procedures for hotels classification.
-    Inexistence of a control mechanism at regional level.

The drafting process was divided into 5 phases that started in 2019. Phases 1 & 2 have come to an end with the provision of a preliminary draft of texts, amended and validated at Expert level by the Member States, which was followed by phases 3 and 4, with a focus on the following points:

-    Development of the Tourist accommodation establishments classification scoring table for each category.
-    Elaboration of the harmonized grid of control and allocation of grades by categories 
-    Proposal of ECOWAS labels and signage for the different categories
-    Proposal for a regional mechanism for dissemination and enforcement of regulations.
-    Proposal of digitalization of the regional TAE ranking. 

By adopting the regulations of tourist accommodation establishments in Lomé, ECOWAS destination will now have a harmonised, standardised, qualitative and competitive accommodation offer composed of: 
-    Hotels
-    Ecolodges
-    Motels 
-    Apart’hotels
-    Hostels
-    Guest houses
-    Cruise-boat
-    Camping/caravan
-    Holiday village & Inn 


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