Rwanda Development Board (RDB) through the department of Tourism and Conservation, has completed its hotel classification exercise.
A Hotel Star Awarding Ceremony has been organised to this effect and is slated to take place today at Kigali Serena Hotel where 30 accommodation establishments will be awarded stars.
According to RDB, the star system ceremony, the first of its kind in Rwanda, will elaborate the importance of classifying and awarding stars to the establishments.
It will also indicate the importance of raising the quality of services and facilities for visitors, guiding consumers and suppliers in identifying facilities and services that meet their expectations and promoting the East African Community as a single tourist destination.
The head of Tourism and Conservation at RDB, Rica Rwigamba, explained : “The classification system covers 16 sections of the establishments and brings out various aspects of service delivery essential for customer satisfaction, which include safety and security, comfort and enjoyment”.
She added that this also covers physical and tangible characteristics of accommodation facilities such as location, dimension of the rooms, supplies in bathrooms and frequency of change of linen and non-tangible elements such as comfort, ambience, elegance, style and luxury.
“The system also covers social contact in aspects such as staff grooming and communications skills,” added Rwigamba.
Speaking to The New Times, the Director of Administration and Finance at Lemigo Hotel, Yves Nkurikiye, said that the classification will act as a motivational force for hotels to improve their services.
“I think the classifications are a great source of motivation and competitiveness among hotels in this country,” said Nkurikiye.
He also said that it was a great opportunity for their international clients to be able to choose where they want to stay based on the quality of services offered.
The classification exercise was conducted by a team of experts from Rwanda as well as the East African region who were trained and certified by the East African Community.
Rwanda is now the second country in the East African region to classify accommodation establishments using the EAC Criteria, following Tanzania.
The total cost for the whole classification exercise including training of assessors, training and creating awareness of the exercise to owners and managers of accommodation establishments and producing plaques that bear the stars was about Rwf 120 million.