Kenya set to classify hotels

Tourism stakeholders welcome government move to classify hotelsMOMBSA (Xinhua) — Kenya’s tourism stakeholders have welcomed the government’s new process of starting to classify hotel facilities in the country.

Kenya Association of Hotel Keepers and Caterers (KAHC) and Kenya Coast Tourists Association said the process will boost local hotels marketability and enable them to compete with other international hotels.

KAHC Executive Director at the Coastal region Sam Ikwaye said classification will bring about health competition among hotel facilities in the country.

“Once classification is done, the level of standards in our hotels must also match with the awarded ranking and it’s very important and will help us market our property well,” Ikwaye said.

He said the government last did the classification in the year 2002, but was disputed by stakeholders since the private sector was involved.

“It’s a welcome move aimed at checking and benchmarking standards that we have against our competitors in particular the East Africa region,” Ikwaye said.

The government will start rating all hotels starting February.

KCTA chairman Mohamed Hersi who is also the CEO of Heritage Hotel said they will be able to get into international markets by using the official government classifications.

“We can now boast and market our property to the international markets once we have the government’s official classification tag on us,” said Hersi.

Speaking to Xinhua in Mombasa, Ikwaye said they urged source markets, including Britain and the United States, to reconsider reviewing the travel advisories that have had a negative impact on Kenya’s tourism industry.

He said the government has witnessed relative calm with minimal gun and grenade attacks being witnessed in past months that had scared away visitors especial in the coastal region.

“We are optimistic that the tourism sector will revive again this year and attract more visitors now that the incidents of insecurity have drastically gone done in recent months

However, the government has role to lobby for lifting of advisories,” said Ikwaye.

Stakeholders attribute the drop in the number of foreign visitors to the decline in chartered flights from Europe.

http://www.coastweek.com/3803-Tourism-stakeholders-welcome-government-move-to-classify-hotels.htm

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