Registration of Airbns on, says tourism sector regulator

An online Airbnb App. [Getty Images]

A process to document short-term and long-term stay homes popularly known as Airbnbs has been launched targeting to license more than 50,000 facilities in three months.

The initiative by the Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) is designed to equip operators of registered facilities with skills to upgrade services and improve their security.

TRA General Manager (GM) Norbert Talam said 8,000 outlets have already been licensed to allow proper documentation.

Talam said registration of facilities is compulsory, warning that those who would be caught flouting the regulations would be disciplined. 

The registration will be followed by the classification of all tourism and hospitality facilities across the country. “Registration of the short-term accommodation facilities that are popular is a requirement and for those who will defy, stern action will be taken by the regulatory body,” said Talam.

Talam spoke when he awarded 291 hotels and tourism establishments accredited by the authority in the nine counties in the Mt Kenya tourism circuit.

The GM explained that after the Airbnb facilitates are registered, their crews will get trained and guided on how to offer quality services and security to their guests.

“In the recent past, there have been several criminal incidents exposed in the facilities, and we want to ensure the safety of all guests accommodated in the facilities," said Talam.

"Some owners of Airbnbs have already registered and been issued licenses and we call upon those yet to do so to come out in large numbers for registration.”

Mr Talam noted that the registration of Airbnbs will boost tourism in the country as guests - both local and international will not fear accessing the services of the facilities.

The authority, he explained was working with the Private Security Regulatory Authority to ensure all guests accommodated in the Airbnbs are registered to enhance their security. 

In the planned classification of the tourist class facilities, the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife will categorise them from one-star to five-star. This will ensure all service providers are in their cluster.

The classification was last conducted in the 2018/2019 financial period and thus needs a review.

A hotelier James Ndung’u of Silver Lodges of Lake Nakuru lauded the initiative, saying the process has provided ways for improvement.

“The initiative will motivate many investors in the tourism sector thus employing thousands of young people,” said Ndung’u. 

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