Suns illuminate tourism in Wallonia
Did you know?
In Wallonia, the term 'tourist attraction' is a protected designation awarded by the "Commissariat general au Tourisme" (CGT). The attractions that have received recognition can also benefit from a classification system – the awarding of 'suns' – in the same way that hotels have 'stars' and gîtes have 'épis'. But the number of suns (between one and five) is not based on an evaluation of the content of the attraction, nor does it mean that an attraction with more suns is necessarily more expensive than another.
This is, above all, a quality initiative. It is aimed at encouraging excellence, and therefore reinforcing the professionalism of tourist facilities in Wallonia.
Therefore, 'suns' are first and foremost about the quality of the experience provided to the visitor, which includes aspects like staff performance, opening times, accessibility for people with reduced mobility, or the speaking of foreign languages, to cite just a few of the many criteria.
For example, to receive its first 'sun', an attraction must provide a full telephone service during opening hours and opening periods, a leaflet containing a description and practical information, a clearly identifiable reception space, and first aid equipment, among other stipulations. As you would expect, the award of additional 'suns' is dependent on increasingly stringent quality criteria. So, a 'five-sun' attraction must offer services like a sales area with an electronic payment option, and it must have the facility to welcome guests in three languages.
In Wallonia, some 250 activities could lay claim to the designation of tourist attraction, and therefore be awarded 'suns'. Some of them provide activities centred around nature and the environment. Others are focused on artistic, historical, scientific or technical activities. A third category consists of facilities where the emphasis is on leisure and fun.
This recognition and classification procedure is the only one of its kind in Europe, and it also offers tourist attractions new development opportunities, by making them eligible for investment aid. Ultimately, the system benefits everyone.
Because a tourist attraction which focuses on quality is guaranteed to satisfy its customers even more, and those customers will undoubtedly then become its champions.
Welcome to Wallonia, where the suns multiply, all the better to serve you.