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Diamond Mine: 80 Years of the AAA Diamond Program

AAA has been inspecting venues and advising members accordingly for more than 80 years.

AAA began inspecting the nation’s hotels and restaurants in 1937, providing detailed descriptions to members on the go.

The program proved so valuable that AAA standardized the process in 1963, adopting a formal rating system specifically for accommodations.

But it wasn’t until 1976 that the AAA Diamond Program was officially born. The program was staffed by professional travel experts who maintained anonymity to keep their ‘mystery shopper’ status.

The program expanded beyond hospitality in 1986 to include restaurants. And today, the AAA Diamond Program continues to evolve.

Earlier this year, the program’s criteria was updated to reflect today’s expectations, replacing outdated hotel criteria (such as ironing boards) in favor of factors that more directly related to guest comfort, such as storage space and shelving.

So the next time you browse a ratings website to research destinations – and wonder if the advice is trustworthy – remember AAA has advised travelers for more than 80 years, with a voice as rock-solid and enduring as any diamond.

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