Kisumu County Government has started registration of home stay providers ahead of the Africities Conference set for November.
Despite the region registering adequate accommodation capacities, the county government is being cautious as the number of guests for the event may exceed the projected 10,000.
Governor Anyang’ Nyong'o says home stay concept, which has become a tourism preference, is expected to boost the accommodation capacity.
“Apart from the hotels, home stays are very critical, and that is why we are interested in having people register so that the spaces can be assessed to ensure they meet the standards required for commercial accommodation provision,” Nyong'o said.
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The homes and apartments which seek to provide accommodation services will have to meet the standards of hotels, with provision of water, security, and other access infrastructure being key.
The providers are expected to reach out to the county tourism department, which will work with the relevant agencies to assess and approve the homes.
Already, through the Tourism Regulatory Authority, hotels situated within 80-kilometre radius from Kisumu have registered 8,136 bed spaces ahead of the assessment being implemented in collaboration with Lake Victoria Tourism Association (LVTA).
Africities Conference is a signature event of the United Cities and Local Governments in Africa (UCLG-Africa). It is Africa’s flagship pan-African event that is held every three years in one of the five regions of Africa.
It brings together communities and local authorities in African countries, as well as financial institutions, civil society groups and development partners at continental and international level.
Kenya will be hosting it for the second time after the first one in Nairobi in 2006.
The summit is aimed at addressing major questions based on the construction of the 2063 Vision of Africa with debate proposed by the African Union Commission.
Kisumu is set to be the first intermediate city to host the event, with the county government working round the clock to have everything ready.
During a tour of Kisumu last week, President Uhuru Kenyatta is said to have committed to rally the national government to back the event.
Robinson Anyal, the chair of LVTA, said Kisumu alone is capable of providing 4,900 accommodation spaces, with neighbouring counties expected to provide more.
Some of the requirements for hotels include occupational permit, valid operation licence, environmental audit report, room designation, safe deposit, fire safety, security systems, electrical safety and medical examination.
Alois Ager, a member of the Africities Conference Secretariat, yesterday said the preparations in the hospitality industry was just part of the major preparations ahead of the event, with infrastructure, which will enable the event, also being put in place.
“We have the Jomo Kenyatta International Stadium which will host the event, which is under construction, as well as access roads to the venue,” he said.
President Kenyatta visited the area last week and tasked the contractor with ensuring the construction works at the stadium is complete in time for the conference.