The New Times (Kigali)

6 February 2013

Rwanda: Thirty Hotels to Be Rated This Year

Thirty hotels will be rated this year, the Rwanda Development Board (RBD) has said.

The exercise, by the board's tourism department, is one of the measures aimed at ensuring that local hotels meet regional and international standards to improve service delivery in the hospitality industry.

"We are currently examining particular hotels that qualify for this year's rating, considering their facilities and quality of services offered," said Emmanuel Werabe, the RDB tourism and quality assurance head.

Other parameters include safety, environment and hygiene standards. Rwandan hotels were operating without any rating until 2011, when RDB came up with the initiative that saw 31 hotels rated that year.

This saw Serena Kigali Hotel and Dubai World Nyungwe Forest Lodge rated as five-star hospitality establishments. Lake Kivu Serena, Hotel Mille Collines, Lemigo Hotel and The Manor Hotel were rated as four star hotels.

RDB said the second, rating slated to take place in May, would be based on the East African standard certifications.

"What we want is to improve on what our hotels are currently doing, but this has to go hand in hand with improving the standards of our hotels if the hospitality industry is to develop," he said.

Werabe noted that hotels that will be rated in May are those that did not get a chance to be rated for not qualifying among other reasons. They include Orange Courts and Umubano Hotel, both in Kigali. The hotels were not rated because they were upgrading their facilities at the time.

Hotels which were rated in 2011 will be ranked again at the end of this year. RDB officials said those that will not meet standards would have their status downgraded.

Dennis Karera, the Rwanda Hotel and Restaurant Association chairman, recently called on RDB to consider only hotels which have subscribed to the association in the forthcoming rating.

Hoteliers have largely ignored the association. For a hotel to join the association, it pays Rwf100, 000 membership fee and an annual subscription charges.

A five-star hotel pays Rwf1.5m.

The records that this paper obtained showed that out of the 247 hotels that had been identified, only 30 had joined the association.

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