Tourism Regulatory Authority (TRA) has reasserted its commitment to ensure that participants at the 9th edition of African Cities Summit destined for Kisumu City in 2021 carry home lingering memories of the Western Tourism Circuit experience.
Nyanza TRA Manager Lilian Ayimba said that the Authority has a vital role to play ahead of the summit not only to ensure the visitors get an opportunity to sample the unique tourism potential of the region but also to strengthen capacity among the key players in the sector and assist them peak the top of their game.
“The key objective of the Authority is to ensure that services offered in both hotel and tourism sectors are as outlined in the 9th Schedule of Tourism Act, 2011 hence need to manage customer expectations by maintaining minimum standards,” said Ayimba
Depending on services pitched for, she explained, the applicant will have to present given documentation to TRA before they can be registered and issued with a tourism license.
She clarified: “The rating application should be in a duly filled Form and upon payment of prescribed license fees in the fourth schedule of the TRA regulations required for the different classes of tourism licenses which will be considered by the Licensing Committees”
Speaking to KNA in her office Friday, Ayimba disclosed that the Authority has already rolled out a National Classification exercise for Hotels and Restaurants within Kisumu and neighbouring counties.
For instance, she explains, in order to be rated as from class A-F, the Authority undertakes National classification of all regulated tourism activities and services with the aim of ensuring high standards and quality of services.
The process, she adds, is being overseen by a Standardisation and Classification Committee comprising members from both the public and private sectors.
At least 8,500 delegates from Africa are expected to attend the ninth edition of Africities Summit as from November 16 to 20, 2021 at the Lakeside city.
Kisumu will be making history as the first intermediary city to host the summit and this will be the first time that the conference is to be hosted outside a capital city.
The manager however observes that while there is currently no five star hotel within Kisumu, the four star hotels including Acacia, Imperial and Pine Cone hotel have proven that they can as well match the standards.
She also discloses that at least 20 homes have turned up applications to offer home stay tourism and the facilities have been assessed to conform within the set standards and regulations by the relevant authorities and they have been approved.
Ayimba notes that the calibre of visitors anticipated to stream to the Lakeside Africities meet presents a rare opportunity that local entrepreneurs can exploit to brook future investment partnerships.
In her opinion: “Kisumu city is ready to host the African cities summit as the outline for facilities and infrastructural need has been done, it’s now upon the national and county governments to help in improving these facilities and ensure that there is proper maintenance and adequate security.”
By Obiero Nathaniel/Milton Onyango