Tourism Board Begins Exercise to Classify Accommodation Facilities

Uganda Tourism Board, shop the agency responsible for promoting tourism has embarked on another phase to grade and classify hotels and related accommodation facilities beginning 21 March.

The hotel classification inventory exercise which is being undertaken through the Quality Assurance Department is targeting to verify and ascertain whether hotels meet the required standards.

“To qualify for classification, more about the hotel has to meet all aspects of the essential requirements as spelt out by the EAC criterion, diagnosis ” says James Ssebagala the UTB Coordinator for Quality Assurance.

Classification of accommodation facilities according to the regional criterion is majorly determined by location and the clientele. The five categories include; town hotels, vacation hotels, motels, villa cottages and service apartments as well as lodges and tented camps.

Town Hotels are located within or near an urban center with the majority of clientele being travelers while vacation hotels are located within or near a holiday resort with majority of the clients as holidaymakers.

Motels are those situated along highways or motorways and cater mainly for the motorists whereas villa cottages and service apartments are Commercial establishments mainly targeting clientele who may prefer self-catering services and privacy.

Lodges and tented camps are close or within a natural habitat rich in fauna and flora with majority of the clientele as leisure seekers.

“This exercise identifies classifiable hotels for effective preparation for the hotel classification program,” Ssebagala added in a statement released on Wednesday.

UTB Chief Executive Officer, Stephen Asiimwe said; “Uganda is classifying hotels working with the same standards used by all East African Community members. It is a requirement that all accommodation facilities be classified under the same EAC standards.”

The present grading covers the physical and intangible service expected from an accommodation facility in a specified category and level of classification he adds.

The East African Criteria rating system is denoted by stars where one (1) star denotes the lowest and five (5) star the highest grade. With exception of motels and restaurants whose star rating range from 1 to 3 and 3 to 5 respectively, all the other categories are graded from
one to five stars.

While a one star establishment has the basic facilities that provide functionality and comfort to the guest, the five star establishments provide a high degree of luxury and ambience that conform to any internationally recognizable standards.

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