Kisumu hotels seek higher facility ratings
Many hoteliers in Kisumu city are upgrading their facilities to attract more business and get better rating from the Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA).
A spot check by Travelwise indicated that a number of facilities, among them Imperial, Park View Safari, Sunset, Hope Villa and Whirlspring are refurbishing their facilities to get higher star-ratings during the next classification exercise.
The improvements will also draw additional business opportunities.
The upgrade involves expansion of the hotels’ conference and accommodation facilities. Most hotels in Kisumu and larger Western Kenya circuit are three-star rated, with the highest at four-star class.
Recently-established rated hotels include Acacia Premier (four-star), Pinecone, Le Savannah, Royal City, Imperial Express, the Vic, Sovereign, Grand Royal Swiss and Jumuia.
According to the tourism regulator, majority of hotels in the lake side city are yet to be rated after they requested for more time to upgrade their facilities.
The State-owned Sunset Hotel, which recently declared majority of its workforce redundant, is seeking to regain business after refurbishment.
General Manager Joseph Oduor says plans are underway by the Tourism ministry to upgrade the facility to make it compete in the industry and boost incomes.
The face-lift is also aimed at making the hotel match the current standards in local hospitality industry. “We want to improve on the dilapidated status so that we can begin to operate optimally,” he said.
Oduor attributed the difficult times that endured by the hotel over the years to dwindling business opportunities caused by stiff competition. The hotel has incurred losses over the last 15 years.
Hope Villa Hotel manager Caroline Ayugi says the facility is being face-lifted to redeem its glory to compete for the market niche.
“Ongoing works include improving food services, accommodation and conference utilities. We are also enhancing security,” she said.
Western Kenya Hospitality Leaders’ Association chairman Robinson Anyal said the move to revamp the facilities has been necessitated by rising number of hotels in the region over the recent few years that has rendered some lose competitive value.