The Rwanda Hotel and Restaurant Association (RHRA) has set up committees to promote hygiene, sanitation and the quality of customer service in local hotels and restaurants.
Joshua Mugenzi, the RHRA vice president, while speaking on a live radio and TV program, on Sunday, said that it is high time the sector improves.
“Hotels in Rwanda are being overhauled and all those who are building (hotels) are informed about the requirements which they have to meet before they are allowed to start business,” Mugenzi said, adding that his association has set up training sessions for hotel staff, urging all those involved in the sector to take part.
During the live discussion, Zulfat Mukarubega, the founder and legal representative of the Rwanda Tourism University College (RTUC), dispelled complaints by callers that hotel rates in Rwanda were high compared to those in other countries.
“I don’t agree with those who say that charges in our country are high – instead, what I can observe is that the charges low but it is rather the service here that is not really good,” she said.
“It is better to compare, for example, Serena with another Serena in a different country. One should instead ask why better services are offered in other countries’ hotels.”
Mukarubega, however, is hopeful that the Rwanda hotel service is set to change in the near future, following the numerous interventions.
RDB’s deputy Director of Tourism, Emmanuel Werabe, noted that his department is constantly monitoring whether its hygiene and sanitation guidelines are implemented.
Werabe said the tourism bill, currently in Parliament, will soon streamline issues in the hotel services area.
Mugenzi acknowledged that ever since Rwanda joined the EAC, there has been competition for jobs in the sector and foreigners are seen taking up most managerial positions in local hotels and restaurants.
During the September RHRA General Assembly, sanitation and hygiene was recognized as the leading challenges in hotel and restaurants business.