Players urge State to revise classification of hotels
By Philip Mwakio
Coast hoteliers have asked Tourism Minister Najib Balala to initiate a revamped hotel classification system and involve the private sector.
Speaking separately, two leading tourist lobby groups, the Mombasa and Coast Tourist Association (MCTA) and the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers and Caterers (KAHC), urged faster implementation of new classification criteria.
"There is need to have a free and transparent system that is private sector-driven to classify our hospitality establishments,’’ KAHC Coast Chairman Titus Kangangi said.
Mr Kangangi, who is also the general manager of Sunrise Beach Resort, Apartment and Spa, said the Hotels and Restaurant Authority (HRA), the body charged with conducting the classification needs to be rebranded.
And MCTA Chairman John Cleave said there was need to relook the classification system and give it a new mandate.
"Kenya today offers a unique type of hospitality accommodation in beach, lodges and tented camps, which are totally different from city hotels’ classification criterion,’’ Mr Cleave said.
He said on the international scene, the classification is designed for city hotels whose services differ from those at the beach, tented camps and lodges.
Cleave, a pilot, said South Africa has adopted a classification system identified by a private company. The exercise is up to the task there. It is rigorous since internal audits are conducted periodically to confirm the status of classification given,’’ he said.
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