2012 AAA Diamond Rating Fact Sheet

2012 AAA Diamond Rating Fact Sheet

July 2012

Media Contact:

Heather Hunter




The AAA/CAA brand, AAA Approved®designation for hotels and restaurants and Four Diamond Award®and Five Diamond Award® ratings are among the most well-known and respected trademarks in the global travel industry.

AAA’s professional inspectors conduct unannounced, on-site hotel and restaurant evaluations as a service to members.To pass inspection and be AAA Approved, properties must offer acceptable cleanliness, comfort and hospitality. Next, a rating of One to Five AAA Diamonds is assigned to identify the type of experience members can expect, from basic to full-service.

Members review and weight the importance of 89 detailed property attributes assessed during on-site inspections — everything from landscaping to extra pillows in the room — to ensure evaluation scores accurately reflect member priorities.

AAA’s comprehensiveApproval Requirements & Diamond Rating Guidelines are periodically updated to reflect current member priorities and industry trends.Theguidelinesfor LodgingsandRestaurantsare available on the AAA.biz/Approved business website.

AAA’s inventory and reach is more extensive than any other rating entity, with more than 59,000 Approved and Diamond Rated hotels and restaurants across the U.S., Canada, Mexico and the Caribbean.

AAA publishes its hotel and restaurant data in various print and digital formats including the AAA TourBook® guides available at AAA/CAA offices, eTourBook® guides downloadable at AAA.com/ebooks, TripTik® Travel Planner and searchable Travel Guides on AAA.com and the free AAA Mobile® app and AAA Mobile Web at AAA.com/mobile.


AAA is now in its 76th year of conducting professional, in-person property inspections and publishing the results for member travelers.

In 1917 AAA published its first stand-alone hotel directory (content was previously published in AAA’s American Motorist magazine).

In 1926 AAA released the first TourBook® series with three books covering the Northeastern, Southeastern and North Central States, including parts of Canada.

In 1937 AAA began field inspections of lodgings and restaurants. With the launch of inspections, AAA began publishing detailed property descriptions to provide members with valuable information about services and facilities.

In 1963 AAA adopted a formal rating system for TourBook guide accommodation listings. The 1963-1964 edition Florida and Southeastern TourBook guides were the first to carry these ratings, which included four specific categories: Good, Very Good, Excellent and Outstanding.

In 1976 (for publication in the 1977 TourBook edition), the early lodging rating system evolved into the Diamond Rating System for lodgings. A diamond was chosen as AAA’s rating symbol in honor of the association’s 75th anniversary.

In 1985 AAA began Diamond Ratings for restaurants. The ratings were rolled out to designated regions over several years, concluding in 1991 with publication in all TourBook titles.