DEHOGA (the acronym stands for Deutscher Hotel- und Gaststättenverband) is an organization that since its foundation in 1949 has represented the economical, social and professional interests of the entire HORECA industry – ranging from luxury hotels to snackbars and canteens – in Germany.
With about 63,000 – voluntary – members DEHOGA can avail itself of the intensive support in terms of finance, knowledge and contacts of a large share of this major industry that comprises 224,000 companies with an annual overall turn-over of 69,6 billion euros and a workforce of 1,8 million. On the regional level the member associations of the DEHOGA are responsible for the representation of the interests of the hotels and restaurants in Germany. Specialized units of the DEHOGA are in charge of public relations, taxes, legal matters, European affairs, copyright questions, ecological management, vocational training, labour market, market research and statistics.
From a more global point of view DEHOGA is subdivided into 17 regional associations which again have their own organizational infrastructure reaching down to the local level. There are two professional associations within the DEHOGA – the International Hotel Association (IHA) and the UNIPAS (union of the tenants of restaurants alongside motorways) – as well as the five specialized divisions of the DEHOGA – system catering trade, community catering trade, catering trade inside railway stations, catering and the German association of discotheques.
Due to our slogan “More security and transparency for tourists”, the German Hotel and Restaurant Association (DEHOGA) established in 1996 an official hotel classification system in Germany that has been demanded by consumer associations for several years. In the meantime, more than 8,000 establishments have asked for an assessment on a voluntary base according to the uniform nation-wide criteria of the ""German Hotel Classification"".
Guests are given an expressive and reliable short message about quality standards of hotels within a star symbol scheme. The classification is open to all licensed types of accommodation facilities. The hotel classification is an incentive aimed at raising quality standards and improving the chances for independent medium-size hotels to be booked via computer reservation systems. The assessment is based exclusively on objective criteria. Nevertheless, aspects of the general conditions of the building, the furniture and the basics of accomodation facilities are included.
Under the patronage of HOTREC, Hotels, Restaurants & Café in Europe, the hotels associations of Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, Hungary, Netherlands, Sweden and Switzerland have created the Hotelstars Union in 2009. Today Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Luxembourg are members also. Their partnership is providing a harmonised hotel classification with common criteria and procedures in the participating countries. The Hotelstars Union enhances the reputation and quality of the hotel industry in the participating countries by creating transparency and security for the guests.