By Dorothy Wangi
Hotels in Kenya get star ratings by Tourism Regulation Authority as tourism in the country gains momentum with the first classification conducted in Eldoret, Uasin Gishu County after 13 record years. Many investors in the hotel and restaurant sector of the industry had earlier resisted classification by relevant regulation agencies.
The authority director general, Kipkorir Lagat said that efforts to classify hotels in the past decade became a challenge to the authority because of persistent resistance from the hoteliers and stakeholders. “It was wonderful for the north rift county to pioneer this important exercise. An in-depth engagement with investors in the hospitality industry by creating awareness and capacity building for stakeholders ahead of the classification exercise that ensured this success,” said Lagat. He said that the classified and gazetted properties will be listed on the Kenya Tourism Board official website. Besides, they will also enjoy a duty-free incentive in importation of 11 hotel items including linen to enable them maintain and upgrade their facility standards. He further disclosed that the exercise will cut across East African Community to ensure visitors get real value for their money. Out of 126 hotels that participated in this classification process, The Boma Hotel Eldoret scored a 4 star rating based on her quality service, accommodation, conferencing, other facilities and caliber of staff. Samich Resort, Kerio View Lodge in Elgeyo Marakwet, The Noble Conference Center, and Hotel Horizon in Uasin Gishu got a 3 star rating each. The Comfy Hotel, Kenmosa Tourist Hotel, Poa Place Resort, Starbucks Hotel, Cicada, Hotel Winstar and The Pearl Hotel, all in Uasin Gishu, got a 2 star rating and were all awarded a certificate and a plaque each showing their classification categories.
The North Rift region lies within the Western Kenya Tourist Circuit is extremely well placed to attract and develop the industry through its diverse opportunities.