By Drake Nyamugabwa
The Uganda Tourism Board (UTB), a government body charged with promoting Uganda as a preferred tourism destination, check for standards in the sector and classify facilities among other functions has started registering and licensing tourism facilities in Uganda including accommodation facilities in order to ensure quality standards.
The registration exercise which started on 25th March will go up to 31st October 2019, according to the statement released by UTB on 25th March 2019.
The statement reveals that all proprietors of the said facilities should be part of the exercise to ensure standards of the facilities.
Deputy CEO, UTB, Bradford Ochieng during an interview said that in order to improve the tourism sector, their efforts will be dedicated to ensuring active measures are put in place to regulate and improve the quality of hotels and other tourist facilities in the country.
“We would like to ensure that there are minimum standards for accommodation and restaurant facilities throughout the country. This process will also enable us to be able to ascertain the number of establishments available for domestic and foreign tourists across the country,” Ochieng said.
He added: “I believe that once we have the right facilities in place, it will bolster our ability to become more competitive and offer customized products for the different classes of tourists.”
The minimum standards for accommodation facilities according to the standards and classification criteria from UTB includes Hotel insurance, approved source of water, fire safety measures, room designation, electricity safety certificate, qualified managers among others.
Shrestha Nimes, the Manger at Speke Apartment while commenting on the UTB said that their hotel qualifies more than the set standards set by UTB and that they welcome the new registration and licensing action.
He added that the hotel has facilities that can spur Uganda’s tourism sector.
“While the hotel and tourism industry has been growing exponentially, Speke Apartments are unique because of the facilities offered,” he said, adding that: “Here are 27 one-bedroom and 16 three-bedroom apartments, all self-contained, fully furnished and equipped with all the gadgets required for a home, including: 16-channel remote controlled satellite TV and a fully equipped kitchen with cooking range, cutlery, fridge/freezer, microwave etc. There is a full housekeeping service with cleaning and laundry services.”
UTB said that the list of registered facilities will be posted on their website.