The Tourism Fund has embarked on training hoteliers and other stakeholders in the tourism sector on best practices to attract tourists in their facilities.
Tourism Fund Board of Trustees Chairman Alphonse Kioko said that his organisation had entered into a partnership with Kenya Utalii College to offer quality training to hoteliers and tour companies on ways to improve on standards for tourism.
“This is very important because as tourists come to Kenya, there’s need to find the standards of hospitality very high, they need to find seamless service whether in the big hotels or the small ones,” Kioko said.
Speaking on Tuesday when he met hoteliers and stakeholders in the tourism sector from Laikipia County at a Nanyuki hotel, the Tourism Fund Chairman added that it was important that the basic knowledge of health and service were upheld by players in the sector.
Kioko further said that the aim of the training was to ensure that local and international tourists take Kenya as their preferred destination globally.
The Tourism Board chair further added that the hoteliers would also be trained on bookkeeping to help them to properly manage their day to day operations and accounts.
“We want to show them on ways to curb on their losses and improve on their businesses,” he said.
At the same time, Kioko called on players in the tourism sector to ensure compliance in remitting the two percent levy to the Fund as the proceeds were used by the government to market tourist destinations across the country.
Tourism Fund is charged with the mandate of collecting two percent revenue from hotels, the homestays, and other facilities that give accommodation and this revenue goes to support the Kenya Tourism Board (KTB) in marketing the country.
However, a section of hoteliers questioned how the two percent levy was being utilised claiming that the trickle effect is never felt in their businesses.
Gilbert Mutembei, the proprietor of Beisa hotel in Nanyuki town lamented that hospitality industry had been turned into a cash cow due to the many levies and charges from the National and County Governments.
“What is so special in tourism to attract so many levies? We don’t see where the levies were being charged go to and I feel it’s time to re-evaluate the country’s marketing strategies especially abroad if we have to turn around this sector,” Mutembei said.
The hotelier challenged Tourism Fund to get relevance in the sector by being more proactive in engaging players in the industry.
BY Martin Munyi