In preparation for the implementation of the finalised East African Community Standards criteria for the classification of hotel accommodation and restaurants, Rwanda recently hosted a professional training for assessors.
The RDB’s Deputy CEO in charge of Tourism and Conservation, Rosette Chantal Rugamba, said the classification of hotels will raise the quality of services and facilities offered to tourists within the region.
“This classification will help us have a single tourist destination whereby tourists will enjoy uniform facilities and services,” she explained.
The training took place at Bloom Hotel, in Kigali. It brought together 102 assessors from Rwanda Development Board (RDB), Rwanda Bureau of Standards (RBS), the Private Sector Federation (PSF), Kigali City Council, Ministry of Trade and Industry, Ministry of Health and Kigali Health Institute.
Basing on the East African Standards criteria, the trainees are expected to have the capacity to carry out the assessment of accommodation and restaurant establishments for classification in the country to be conducted mid this year.
Rugamba also urged trainees to show their capacity while assessing hotels and restaurants, noting that they are not actually going to be assessors as such, but advisors to hotel managers. The move to train assessors was also welcomed by hotel and restaurant owners in the country.
Speaking on their behalf at the conclusion of the training, a ceremony that took place Wednesday at Top Tower Hotel, Augustin Mukezangabo, President of Hotels and Restaurants Association, said the classification will increase their value by setting guidelines to fall in one category or the other.
“The absence of hotels classification was an obstacle to our clients as they wouldn’t know which category into which each hotel falls,” he said, adding that former inspectors didn’t also have basic knowledge to make a professional evaluation.
About 50 establishments across the country are expected to undergo assessment and be classified according to the EAC standards criteria, and the exercise will cost an estimated Rwf 110 million.