Mutua says hotels to lose coveted status after revaluation

Tourism and wildlife cabinet secretary Dr Alfred Mutua interacts with students of Maasai mara wildlife and tourism college. [Peterson Githaiga, Standard]

Tourism and Wildlife Cabinet Secretary Alfred Mutua has warned that some hotels currently enjoying Five Star status could be downgraded for failing to meet the standards.

Dr Mutua said hotel classification in the past failed the objectivity and transparency test and some hotels do not deserve the status they enjoy.

"For too long, we have turned a blind eye to the discrepancies within our hotel classification system. Corruption has seeped into the very foundations of our industry, casting a shadow over the true gems of hospitality," he said.

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The CS noted that the hotel classification has been marred by subjectivity and favoritism, neglecting the standards that should be the cornerstone of the country's hospitality.

He vowed to ensure transparency in the hospitality industry.

Mutua outlined stringent criteria for hotel classification, saying those who fail to meet the standards will face the consequences.

"Some hotels may be downgraded, their stars stripped away to reflect the reality of their shortcomings,” he said

The CS was speaking on Monday in Maasai Mara when he unveiled the Mara Tourism and Wildlife College in Pardamat conservancy, Narok West.

The college, a collaborative effort between the local community and support from the Maasai Mara Conservancies Association, stands as a beacon of empowerment for the region.

Mutua highlighted the significance of community involvement in conservation  efforts saying such initiatives are vital for safeguarding wildlife habitat amid mounting population pressure.

He underscored the Ministry's commitment to developing robust policies to address conservation challenges.

Kenya boasts of 215 conservancies, covering 12 per cent of the landmass, with 30 located in the Maasai Mara region alone.

The establishment of the Mara Tourism and Wildlife College aligns with the government's endorsement of the conservancy model, seen as a sustainable approach to conservation.

"The Maasai Mara Tourism and Wildlife College will equip the youth through education and training to tap into opportunities in the thriving wildlife tourism industry in the Mara. It offers diploma and certificate training in natural resource management and tourism and hospitality," Mutua said.

In addition to promoting conservation, the Ministry of Tourism and Wildlife aims to bolster local tourism.

"My recent tours to 12 counties were part of this strategy, aimed at showcasing Kenya's diverse attractions and fostering domestic tourism," said the CS.

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