Hotel prices should drop if the Knesset Economic Committee approves a new rating criteria for hotels in Israel, the Tourism Ministry said on Sunday.Tourism Minister Stas Meseznikov said Sunday that his ministry is “making a historic consumer move; after 20 years we are bringing transparency back to the hotel industry and promoting competition.”The ministry believes that the new rating system will create stiffer competition between hotels, reducing accommodation prices and improving quality.Up until 1992, all hotels were required to take part in the ministryrun rating system. The ministry has repeatedly said that reinstating a national ranking system is a priority for improving the quality of services in Israel’s hospitality industry.The vote will create a single standard hotel rating for Israeli hotels, run by the Tourism Ministry. The ministry, which is investing NIS 4 million in the rating system, said taking part in the rating system will be voluntary, and each hotel taking part will be rated once every three years.The ministry said that the system will be based on the European Hotelstars rating system. The system rates hotels between one and five stars based on 270 criteria, including services for guests, product quality, and more. Before work on the new rating system can begin, the Tourism Ministry will appoint an advisory committee made up of officials from the ministry and the hotel industry, to advise them on exactly how to calibrate the rating criteria.After the criteria are finalized, hotels who apply to take part in the rating system will submit a request to the ministry. The rating they receive will be valid for three years, after which they must apply for a renewal. Hotels who undergo renovations during the three-year period can also submit a request for a new assessment. Once a hotel is awarded a rating, it will be required to maintain the quality of that rating, or risk losing its rating.The ministry said Sunday that once the new system goes into effect, hotels will not be able to use stars in their promotional campaigns or personal ratings.