By Apolinari Tairo
Published November 14, 2017
Grading and classification of tourist accommodation establishments is a requirement by the East African Community (EAC) that is aimed at marketing the region as single tourist destination with standardised accommodation and services offered through hotels, lodges and wildlife camps.
Hotel owners and managers had complained over the US$3500 grading fee saying it was too expensive.
Nura-Lisa Karamagi , Chief Executive Officer for Hotels Association of Tanzania (HAT), said the grading exercise of Tanzania hotels and lodges was vital in marketing Tanzania alongside other EAC member states.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism released its list of tourist hotel ranking list in August 2017 showing that Tanzania has nine Five-Star, 19 Four-Star, 65 Three-Star and 81 Two-Star hotels.
Serena Hotel, the Kilimanjaro Hyatt Regency and Sea Cliff are the bona-fide five-star tourist accommodation facilities located in Tanzania’s commercial capital of Dar es Salaam on the Indian Ocean coast.
The three hotels were rated Five-Star according to the Criteria for Standardization of Tourism Facilities developed under the auspices of EAC that is ranking tourist class hotels and other accommodation establishments across Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and South Sudan.
The exercise is aimed at improving tourism services and hospitality sector in the EAC region and stimulate competition in service delivery, efficiency, and responsibility among the governments and the business stakeholders in travel and tourism sectors.
More than 60 hotel inspection experts have been trained in Tanzania, Kenya, Rwanda, Uganda and Burundi for executing the classification and evaluation duties in grading the properties.
With a workforce of about 400000 employees, tourist hotels in Tanzania are braving to match with cost-cutting measures after the government restricted its agencies to book them for conferences and accommodation services.
An eTurboNews article