PSF seeks to fix skills gap
The Tourism Chamber, under the Private Sector Federation (PSF), is currently undertaking an exercise to identify the major causes of poor customer care in restaurants and hotels.
Edwin Sabuhoro, the chairman of the Chamber, said it has already been established that there are gaps between employees and employers.
“Restaurant and hotel owners must have a well-defined and detailed employment structure that also shows the salary of their employees,” Sabuhoro said.
He said there are indeed many factors that are affecting the industry, pointing out the mechanism through which some investors in the industry employ workers.
“Hotel owners are employing friends and relatives without considering professionalism or qualifications for employees to serve effectively. This has a strong negative impact on service delivery and in this particular case, it has also caused challenges in payment or salaries,” he said.
Sabuhoro added that after the exercise, the chamber will come up with mechanisms to address the issues that also include a training programme for hotel and restaurant staff in line with their respective departments.
The training programme is part of the activities the chamber will engage in to promote customer care with support from TradeMark East Africa, at a tune of USD 300,000.
Speaking to The New Times, the chairperson of Rwanda Hotel and Restaurant Association (RHRA), Dennis Karera, said only members of the association will benefit from the programme.
“In addition to the financial support fund, we also have to contribute as an association and this fee is from the membership contribution,” he said.
Karera recently called on Rwanda Development Board (RDB) not to consider hotels which are not members of the association for this year’s ranking.
He said only 20 out of the 247 hotels identified have so far registered with the association.
For a hotel to become a member, it has to pay a membership fee is Rwf 100,000 that is followed by an annual subscription fee which depends on hotel ranking.
A five-star hotel pays the highest, Rwf1.5 million, a fee that members say is meant to support the association to engage in capacity building activities so as to improve on service delivery in the industry.
Contact email: grace.mugoya[at]newtimes.co.rw