Per person sharing? Mixed reactions as Tourism CS advocates for hoteliers to charge per room

Tourism, Wildlife and Heritage Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza. [Denis Kibuchi, Standard]

Tourism Cabinet Secretary Peninah Malonza has said that the ministry is advocating for hoteliers to charge customers per room and not per person sharing, eliciting quite a debate.

Per Person Sharing (PPS) is the price each guest is charged when sharing a room, while per-room charges do not depend on the number of people in the room.

While in an interview with Capital FM on Wednesday, August 16, Malonza said that this move is aimed at ensuring that hotels attract more bookings.

“We are talking to our businessmen especially hoteliers so that they can open space for people to book per room and not per person. Because that is the practice that we have in this country. If you go with your wife, she will pay and you will also pay for the same room,” averred Malonza.

 The CS added: “That way, you will open up the space for the rooms to be booked 100 per cent every day other than just relying on a few people who come and you charge them per person.”

She also acknowledged that it will not be easy to actualise the idea especially with the hoteliers being used to charging a room per head.

But speaking to The Standard on Thursday, the Kenya Association of Hotelkeepers Chief Executive Officer, Mike Macharia, said the hotel industry should first be understood deeply before the move is made.

“The business of hotels and tourism deals with people. We issue hotel amenities based on the number of people in the room,” said Macharia.

He noted that a hotel’s activities including the cooking, highly depend on the number of people residing in the hotel at a given time.

“If the room has two people, we will issue two pairs of sandals, and two pairs of towels and account for other amenities based on the number of people.”

Since Malonza’s proposal, social media has been rife with debate with a section of Kenyans in support and others against.

“I can see some people are against these. From my traveling, most countries don’t operate per person. Also, there are policies put in place to deal with room sharing,” wrote Twitter user, Omondi Donaldo.

Another user seconded Omondi’s sentiments saying, “In some countries, there's no per-person sharing. It’s per room and then you have a policy of maximum of two people per room. This is common sense.”

However, another user, Koech Bernard was against the proposed policy.

“It's tricky because if it is a bed and breakfast, the hotel will go at a loss. That works best when meals are excluded.”