Western Kenya hoteliers urged to embrace staff training
Hoteliers in the Western Kenya circuit have been urged to invest in training for their staff to improve service delivery.
Kenya Utalii College Head of Industrial Training, Peter Muindi, says most hoteliers in the region are not supporting their employees to go for in-service trainings.
“Our analysis indicates that most personnel are not properly trained, yet there are training opportunities available for them including free refresher courses,” he said
He said the hospitality workforce was critical in transforming the hospitality sector, noting that the hoteliers should rely on Kenya Utalii College refresher courses and related opportunities to scale up the skills of their employees.
Muindi was addressing tourism sector managers during a two-day Western Kenya Hospitality annual conference held at Kisumu’s Jumuia hotel.
He cautioned them that the industry was experiencing fast growth, which called for a corresponding availability of professional staff.
“You cannot talk about improving quality of hospitality services and how to boost the destination yet you leave the staff behind because they are the drivers of quality services,” said Muindi.
The forum was used by delegates to review the industry’s performance in the region in the past one year.
It was established that inadequate marketing and underdeveloped products were the major drawbacks for growth of the sector.
The Western Kenya Tourism circuit comprise the counties of Kisumu, Siaya, Homa Bay, Migori, Kisii, Nyamira, Kericho, Bomet, Vihiga, Bungoma, Busia, Kakamega, Nandi and Trans Nzoia.
The Tourism Fund regional manager (Western Kenya) Edward Kisali stressed the need to adequately market the region as a potential tourism hub.
He decried what he termed non-compliance by regional hoteliers in remitting two per cent tourism levy to the agency. “We are sensitising hotel managers to improve collection levels,” he said.
Western Kenya Hospitality Leaders’ Association chairman Robinson Anyal said the region’s hospitality sector was growing despite challenges such as insufficient destination marketing.
“Several high-rated hotels and conference facilities have been set up in the region. The industry is doing relatively well and the increase in bed capacity is a pointer of good things happening,” he said.