CLASSIFICATION
 

Why a classification program?
The Act and Regulation
The CITQ's mandate
Establishment classes handled by the CITQ
Specific evaluation grids, prepared by consensus
How are establishments classified?
Classification certificate fees
Getting a certificate
Contesting your classification
Requesting an interim visit

 
Why a classification program?
There are two objectives to the program:
  • to protect travellers;
  • to help enhance the quality of accommodation offered.
The program has many benefits, i.e. :
  • travellers can count on a complete and reliable description of accommodation in Quebec;
  • establishment operators have a detailed reference to help them develop products adapted to their target markets, while ensuring healthy competition;
  • developers and policy makers have specific data on the supply of accommodation, so that they can come up with promotional strategies tailored to the available resources.
 
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The Act and Regulation
The Act respecting tourist accommodation establishments and its associated Regulation require that tourist accommodation operators in Quebec:
  • have an official classification certificate;

  • display the sign at the main entrance of the establishment or, in the case of a group of movables or immovables, in the location used to welcome or register tourists.
The classification certificate serves as authorization to operate an establishment and replaces the operating permit used before the Act was adopted. It is valid for 24 months (48 months for educational institutions).
 
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The CITQ's mandate
The Minister responsible for enforcing the Act respecting tourist accommodation establishments gave the CITQ the mandate of managing the classification program for eight classes of accommodation governed by this Act and its regulation.

Under the terms of this agreement, the CITQ agrees to:

  • draw up and update classification grids specific to each class for which it is responsible;

  • visit and classify all establishments for which it is responsible every two years, with the exception of educational institutions, which are classified every four years;

  • manage all the steps in obtaining and renewing classification certificates.
 
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Establishment classes handled by the CITQ
 
Hotel establishments
Establishments that offer accommodation in furnished rooms, suites or apartments that have kitchen facilities, including hotel services.
Classified on a scale of 0 to 5 stars
   
Tourist homes
Establishments that offer accommodation in furnished apartments, houses or cottages, including kitchen facilities.
Classified on a scale of 0 to 5 stars
   
Bed and breakfast establishments
Establishments that offer, for an all-inclusive price, accommodation in rooms in a private residence where the operator resides and rents a maximum of 5 rooms receiving a maximum of 15 persons, including breakfast served on the premises.
Classified on a scale of 0 to 5 suns
   
Resorts
Establishments that offer, for an all-inclusive price, accommodation, including food services or kitchen facilities, recreational or entertainment services, and recreational facilities and equipment.
Classified on a scale 0 to 5 stars
   
Youth hostels
Establishments that offer accommodation in rooms, or in beds in one or more dormitories, including food services or kitchen facilities and full-time supervision.
Classified on a scale of 0 to 5 stars
   
Educational institutions
Establishments that offer accommodation in an educational institution, governed by whichever Act, except if the accommodation units are rented to students of the institution only.
Classified on a scale of 0 to 5 stars
 
Hospitality villages
Establishments where participants offer lodging in their homes for up to six guests, along with breakfast, lunch or dinner and group activities.
Classified on a scale of 0 to 5 stars
   

Other accommodation establishments
Tourist accommodation establishments that belong to none of the other classes.
Classified on a scale of 0 to 5 stars

   
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Specific evaluation grids, prepared by consensus
Each class of establishment has its specific evaluation grid adapted to its own conditions. Each one was prepared by an advisory committee made up of operators, various tourism industry representatives and people from the travelling public. The internationally recognized criteria applied were agreed on by majority, then tested in establishments, re-evaluated, approved by the CITQ Board of Directors and finally by the Quebec Minister responsible for Tourism.

These criteria will be regularly reviewed and updated so as to take account of developments and changing conditions in the industry.
 
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How are establishments classified?
The classifier visits the establishment and, using hundreds of strict and objective criteria, rates:
  • the quality of physical facilities (bedroom, bathroom, common areas, outside, etc.);
  • its appearance;
  • its cleanliness.
The classifier also looks at:
  • services offered;
  • certain environmental considerations.
The classification is the weighted sum of the results for each section of the evaluation. Each section has a different impact on the overall result, and the classification level obtained in a given section can differ from that obtained in the overall result.

The quality of service delivery by the staff of the establishment is not evaluated by the CITQ. This part of the work – customer service – has more to do with a quality control program.

See the classification guides for the different classes for details on all the criteria applied by the CITQ’s classifiers.
 
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Getting a certificate
The Act respecting tourist accommodation establishments requires that operators of such establishments have a classification certificate that serves as authorization to operate the establishment. Certificates are valid for two years for most of the classes covered in the Act.

There are a number of steps in the process:

1. The operator completes the Opening an establishment form available at www.citq.info or calls a CITQ representative for assistance, at 450 679-3737 or 1 866 499-0550.

2. The operator takes out civil liability insurance of at least $2 million and a certificate confirming compliance with local urban planning by-laws must be issued.

3. The operator completes and returns to the CITQ all the forms and supporting documents necessary to open his file, and pays the annual classification fees.

4. After receiving and validating these forms and documents, the CITQ issues the new operator a temporary classification certificate, pending the classifier’s visit.

5. The classifier visits the operator’s establishment.

6. The CITQ sends the operator the classification results and the classification certificate (sign), which is valid for 24 months (48 months for educational institutions).

7. When the certificate expires, the CITQ sends the operator a new classification application, which he must sign and return, accompanied by proof of civil liability insurance coverage of at least $2 million. The CITQ will visit the establishment again and send the operator a new classification certificate (a new sign, if applicable).

You can also consult this brochure (Static PDF) for details on these steps.

 
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Classification certificate fees
Annual fees for 2014 consist of base fees of $233.53 plus $4.92 per accommodation unit. These rates don’t include taxes. Annual fees are payable upon receipt of the notice.

For resorts and youth hostels:

Annual fees for 2014 are $351.51. This rate doesn’t include taxes. The fees are payable upon receipt of the notice.

 
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Contesting your classification
You can contest your classification results. You have 30 days after receiving your classification results to notify the CITQ in writing of your intention to appeal your classification. The appeal procedure is available in the reserved section for operators.

 
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Requesting an interim visit
If you have carried out work that could affect your classification level and would like to be reclassified before the next mandatory classification visit, simply request an interim visit of your establishment. The procedure is in the reserved section for operators.

 
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