HOTEL MANAGERS BLAME OWNERS FOR POOR SERVICES
A group of managers of hotels in Musanze / Ruhengeri have stood up to their bosses when they denounced them for being responsible for the lack of top quality services, as tourist visitors expect to find when coming to see the mountain gorillas in Rwanda or else visit the other national parks or lakes.
Only last week did the Rwanda Development Boards Tourism and Conservation Department threaten to expose hotels and restaurants with continued poor service levels, by naming and shaming them, while at the same time also embarking on solutions such as added and intensified training to provide skills to staff already in the workplace.
Managers, though not yet organized in a separate trade association, have used the presentation by RDB last week to speak out why in their opinion owners are at least partly responsible for lower standards, pointing to the employment of unqualified relatives and in laws at the expense of properly trained staff, while at the same time payingpeanuts to those who trained in such institutions like Kenyas Utalii College.
Said a regular reader of this correspondents articles and columns in an overnight mail: Some of our owners do not understand what hotel keeping is all about. They look at it as a way to make a lot of money but fail to employ professionals to design and build their hotels, and then fail more when they employ cheaply paid staff brought in without training. They need to consider maintenance budgets to keep their property in top shape and have to invest in training of the staff to give the best possible services. Within the East African Community our standards in comparison need to be lifted up so that we can be at level with Kenya, which leads the region in the employment of professionals on all levels. The Kenyans are also the most advanced in using management companies with a lot of expertise while in Rwanda, and I think also often in Uganda, the owners prefer to do their own thing even if they have no clue of the specific requirements to operate and manage a hotel successfully long term. We as managers are happy with RDB to raise the issue with owners and proprietors and if they succeed the quality of service in Rwanda is bound to rise.
True words here and no doubt with RDBs Rica Rwigamba and her team do all they can to make certain that regular training opportunities are availed to the sector to make Rwanda the regional number one destinations in terms of quality and attractions. Watch this space.