Fresh Tourist Facilities Classification in Kenya From November

The Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) is in November set to start afresh the classification and standardisation of tourism facilities and services in the country.

TRA said this would ensure standards and quality of service are adhered to, adding that lack of classification for over a decade had contributed to deterioration of hotel standards.

The last time the institutions were classified in Kenya was in 2003.

TRA said a classification team had already been set up and the names sent to the tourism Cabinet Secretary. A criterion for the classification and standardisation had also been established.

Among the services to be classified and standardised include hotels, parks, sanctuaries and national reserves among others.

Plans are to finish the classification by the end of 2015 ahead of the East African Community set deadline of June 2016. It will help hotels in their pricing, targeting their market as well as set basis for yearning for quality; we are also planning to register, license and grade all tourism related activities and services among them homestays so as they can be accountable.

The authority has at the same time issued a warning to facilities that operate as homestays, saying they must register in accordance with the law or risk being fined.

TRA also has plans of accrediting and registering tourism and hospitality training institutions in bid to ensure professionalism in the industry.

TRA are also working on regulations to mainstream, organise, support, involve and prepare the Tourism Sector Associations (TSAs) for credible operations and contribution to quality regulation and destination management through self-regulation.

TSAs should at least have a documented structured system with clear mission/ objectives - a clear criteria for membership, standards of practice and ethics, arbitration framework, TSA's mission and membership improvement (training) plan; board, secretariat with appointed CEO, strategic plan, among others.