CLASSIFICATION OF ACCOMMODATION | ZANZIBAR
Yesterday, the Ministry of Information, Culture, Tourism and Sports, and the Commission for Tourism, jointly held a workshop at Bwawani Hotel to familiarize hoteliers with the recently introduced hotel classification scheme.
Guest speakers included:
• Dr. Ahmada Khatib – Chairman, Zanzibar Commission for Tourism, was a Guest of Honor.
• Shedrak Mashauri – Representative of Secretary General (EAC) and is a Board Member of EAC wildlife Board.
• Salam A. Kibogoyo – Tanzania representative on EAC Assessors.
• Mohammed Munyanya – Board Member of EAC Classification and Grading of the Tourism Establishment and also is a Chief Assessor on Accommodation Establishments.
The criteria was explainedin depth and hard copies of criteria and the assessment sheets that will be used to score each establishment were provided for attendees.
The speakers explained that the classification system brings out different aspects of service delivery essential for customer satisfaction. It covers physical and tangible characteristics of accommodation establishments such as location, dimension of rooms, supplies in bathrooms, as well as non-tangible elements such as style, elegance, comfort, finish and luxury. The system covers social contact in aspects such as staff grooming and communication skills.
The classification of accommodation aims to:
• focus on the customer experience
• improve the image of the region
• standardize and raise the standard of accommodation – ensure quality accommodation and related products, services and facilities
• provide a basis for setting future standards in the industry by benchmarking and aligning local standards within internationally accepted standards and practices
• prompt discussion and critique of the scheme
• streamline the efficiency of the scheme administration.
Shedrak Mashauri, who discussed the “Focus of EAC on Standard of Classification in Partner States,”told attendees that “there are some challenges in putting the theory into practice but these challenges are rectifiable. The assessors are highly trained and customer friendly. They are not coming to you as Police. They are coming to give you the status of your establishment and will explain your rating and highlight what you can do to make any changes.”
“This is a partnership scheme… This will lead to an improved performance of the tourism sector and improved revenue flows to the Government.”
The inventory exercise, which started on 6 Jan and identifies which hotels will be graded, checks the ‘essential items’ only.
Hotels in Stone Town and West Coast of Zanzibar have already been completed and this week assessors are visiting the hotels at Kizimkazi, Jambiani, Bwejuu and Michamvi. Next week they intend to visit hotels inUroa, Kiwengwa, up to Nungwi.
Those that meet the minimum standard will be graded and it is expected that the in depth classification exercise, which is one day, will to start from 25 February. Those not meeting the criteria will remain ungraded.
It was advised that you review the criteria assessment in advance to familiarize yourself with what is expected.
The points needed to reach specific grades for a town hotel are as follows:
Star rating (1-5) Points needed
Please note that there are eight different accommodation criteria, which are all available from the contacts below.
Following the assessment, a report will be provided highlighting areas for improvement, and classification results will appear in the Government Gazette Supplement.Future follow-up inspections will be done to ensure that standards are maintained. Also, a quality assurance committee will be set up to oversee the scheme and advise on key issues.
Amb. Juma Volter Mwapachu, Secretary General of the East African Community, said: “If the region is to enjoy the benefits that tourism can bring, there is need to go for quality rather than quantity. Quality assurance indicators like the star rating system established in the developed criteria for accommodation and catering facilities is one of the ways of building confidence in potential customers who would like to patronize the region, and have the quality of our tourism product internationally recognized. This is the only way in which the Community is going to be able to develop and maintain competitive tourism accommodation and catering facilities.
“Quality is a journey without an end and I therefore urge service providers in the accommodation and catering sector to constantly utilize the EAC Standards Criteria as their guide to encourage and maintain quality standards in products and services being delivered to tourists in East Africa.”
Finally, it was highlighted that assessors have already identified some issues with the criteria that need addressing but it was also made very clear that they are ready to hear your views and make amended where necessary.
A sample hotel inventory report and assessment sheet for town hotels in attached.
Full details were made available at the workshop and are available at the contact details below.
CONTACTS FOR GRADING EXERCISE
Ms. Salam A. Kibogoyo
Number – 0784 342 318/0716 342 318
E-mail – email@example.com
Mr. Mohammed Mumyanya
Number – +254 (0)722 206 229
E-mail – firstname.lastname@example.org / email@example.com
Mr. Hassan Burhan (Zanzibar Commission for Tourism)
Email – firstname.lastname@example.org
Mr. Juma Shomari Juma(Ministry of Information, Culture, Tourism and Sports)
Number – 0777 416 039 / 0715 416 039
E-mail – email@example.com