(eTN) – The Kenyan ministry of tourism advertised yesterday in the main print media their intent to commence a major grading/classification exercise across the country, using the East African Community guidelines now in place to review the results of previous exercises done under local rules and to give the tourism industry the confidence of a true outcome.
The long-delayed exercise, due to lack of funding, is now finally going underway by March 25 and will initially concentrate on the capital Nairobi and its environs, the entire Kenya coast, and also the Masai Mara, where government may also have a second agenda of capturing unlicensed establishments during the high season, which has proved difficult to achieve during previous attempts to identify them and shut them down. The rest of the country, especially the Eastern, Western, and North Western regions, will follow thereafter when the manpower used can be shifted to new locations.
The Hotels and Restaurant Authority, under the political oversight of the Ministry of Tourism, will be the body responsible for carrying out the grading through inspections by teams of specially-trained assessors. Until the new results are reconciled – there is an appeal mechanism in place should hospitality owners not agree with the outcome communicated to them – the previous grading results will remain in force, but once the new results have been published and gazetted, thought to be before the end of the year, the industry and consumers will have an entirely new framework of certified quality standard as a reference base.
Said a regular source from Nairobi: “This will enhance our tourism products and will separate performers from those who do not meet expectations and standards. It is good for tourism, and I believe it will be an incentive for hotels, resorts, and lodges to improve and aim for even better standards. We promote tourism on quality of our product, and this is a key cornerstone to show evidence we mean business and have a superior range of facilities for our visitors.”