KENYA’S HOTEL GRADING TO BE ‘EYEBALLED’ BY ANTI CORRUPTION BODY
The Kenya Hotels and Restaurant Authority’s unfolding grading exercise, long delayed for lack of funding but now finally confirmed to commence by the end of March, will be subject to oversight by the Kenya Anti Corruption Commission following pending complaints by sections of the hospitality industry. Previous ‘awards’ of star rating has often drawn severe criticism from within the sector, that some establishments were ‘over rated’, prompting swift allegations of corrupt practise and influence peddling. While restaurants and hotels have the opportunity to challenge the findings of the inspection teams and demand a ‘second opinion’ to have ‘unfair’ results reviewed, little can be done at present against ‘over rating’ as competing hotels and resorts do have little chance to contest star ratings thought to be ‘too high’.
Subsequently has Hon. Najib Balala, the Minister for Tourism in Nairobi, directed the involvement and oversight of the exercise by the KACC to be sure of an independent outcome reflecting reality on the ground. The star rating can be an important tool to market a property and will undoubtedly support Kenya’s drive towards higher quality tourism products and moving away from the wrong image of being a ‘mass tourism destination’ only fit for cheap charter tourists.
Results of the nationwide grading of hospitality businesses are expected by the last quarter of 2011 in time for the high season.