Housekeeping could ‘make or break’ hospitality sector, says WDA expert

Hospitality sector players have been urged to improve housekeeping because it is vital to enhance service delivery and attract more visitors.
Umubyeyi prepares for a housekeeping practical test at the training. / Donata Kiiza
Umubyeyi prepares for a housekeeping practical test at the training. / Donata Kiiza

Hospitality sector players have been urged to improve housekeeping because it is vital to enhance service delivery and attract more visitors.

Maria Bernadette M. Ramos, a senior training of trainers (ToT) expert at Workforce Development Authority (WDA), said most hotel owners and housekeepers still have the misconception that housekeeping is just about laying beds. This, she added, has left many sector players with dwindling guest numbers due to unattractive services that result from poor housekeeping.

Ramos was speaking during the closing ceremony of a five-day training of trainers’ workshop on housekeeping skills at IPRC West, Karongi District.

The training attracted 19 housekeepers, hotel owners and technical and vocational education and training (TVET) trainers in the tourism industry from the Kivu belt region. It was organised by WDA in partnership with Germany Development Co-operation (GIZ).

The participants were equipped with skills on time management, hygiene and room preparation, among others. Later, they sat a practical examination in housekeeping, and the successful ones will be awarded certificates of competence by WDA.

Ramos said the training was aimed at improving hands-on skills of housekeepers, hotel managers and ToTs. She added that the trainees are expected to pass-on the skills to ensure quality service in the sector and thus increased stay of guests, as well as attracting more local, regional and international tourists.

“We conducted a survey among different hotels, where we asked respondents on the specific areas they would like us to train them and help improve services; most of the sector players mentioned housekeeping,” said Ramos. So, we equipped the participants with skills in room preparation because this is important to encourage visitors to stay long as an appealing room makes customers feel at home, she added.

Speaking at the event, IPRC West principal Fredrick Mutangana said improving workers’ skills is essential to increase service delivery, particularly in housekeeping, in hospitality industry. He added that creativity in, say laying beds, creates a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere for a customer.

“Housekeeping is important in hospitality management, and hotels should pay attention to areas like bedrooms as they will largely determine whether a customer will stay longer or come back,” he said.

Mutangana also added that housekeeping is more than just laying a bed and involve a lot of details, urging housekeepers to pay attention to what will appeal to a customer.

Trainees speak out

Concessa Mukabaziga, the owner of Diana Fossey Hotel in Rubavu District, said she will use the skills from the training to improve her staff’s competencies, especially in hygiene and room preparation.

“We have not been doing some of the things properly at my hotel. Besides, I have understood that hiring professionals can translate into better performance and more returns.”

Assumpta Furaha Umubyeyi, a trainer at Rubavu Polytechnic College, called on TVET trainers to embrace hands-on training to equip learners with skills required by the sector.

About the training

The training is part of the ongoing efforts by WDA and GIZ to build the capacity of personnel in the hospitality industry and help bridge the skills gap in the sector going forward.

 

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