Uganda Tourism Board has today trained public health inspectors from the five divisions of Kampala Capital City Authority (KCCA) on the minimum expected standards in the hospitality industry
Samora Ssemakula, the Quality Assurance Manager at UTB said the training is aimed at equipping the health inspectors with knowledge on the lowest acceptable standards as agreed by the East African criteria.
“This training is encompassing two core things; training on basic standards as well as addressing the challenges faced by the owners of these facilities,” he noted.
While training the inspectors at Imperial Royal Hotel Ssemakula revealed that many people today are operating facilities without information on what exactly is required of them.
“So, we are not necessarily going to close them down but when we go to their facilities, we shall sensitize them on what a hotel, lodge or Inn should appear like. What must they ought to have in their rooms and how they can maintain standards and build their human capital” he said.
Sylvia Ntabazi, the Executive Secretary of the Uganda Hotel Owners Association (UHOA) who also attended the workshop stated that as an association, they had opted for self-regulation as one of the ways to comply with the set standards.
“Before one joins us, we do inspections because we want them to conform to the minimum acceptable standards. We look out for things like signage, bathrooms and toilets, and staff experience and training. This is one way in which we are also helping government ensure that we offer facilities that are adequate enough for our guests.
She also called on government to train more assessors given that there are currently only 15 licensed assessors who are charged with assessing facilities throughout entire country.
Ronald Mubiru, the Sports, Tourism and Recreation Manager at KCCA while addressing the public health inspectors explained that World over, the economy had changed from just giving a service to offering an experience.
“We should keep in mind that close to 90% of Uganda’s tourists pass through Kampala. This therefore means that a person’s experience can easily be destroyed here on arrival or while leaving. It is imperative that we ensure that the facilities we have offer the guest an experience that will make them stay longer in Uganda, in which case we earn more revenue as a country and also make them want to return to Uganda,” he said.
He also urged the inspectors not to approach the hotel owners with a punitive face but rather with suggestions on how they can improve their facilities.