Tour and Travel Agencies Fault UTB Over Enforcement of Hotel Standards

2243 Views Jinja, Uganda

In short
Vincent Byarugaba, UTB spokesperson says the process of standardization is still ongoing under UTB. James Ssebagala, the Coordinator Quality Assurance-UTB, says the hotel classification exercise is meant to determine whether a given hotel meets certain essential requirements.

Uganda Tourism Board-UTB has come under sharp criticism from Tour and Travel agencies in Jinja for failing to enforce the minimum standards for hotels. In March, 2016, UTB started grading and classifying hotels and other accommodation facilities across the country. 

But Tour and Travel agencies in Jinja accuse UTB of failing to enforce the standards. They claim most of the hotels brand themselves above their grade and advertise services they don't offer. Some of the implicated facilities for branding themselves wrongly are Safari Inn, Daniel, Cool Breeze, Gately on The Nile, Rumors and Nile Village among others. 


Dennis Gali, a manager at Jomaar Safaris limited, says sometimes hotels wrongly present themselves, which disappoints their clients.


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Lincoln Myeera, a Travel consultant at Jinja Tourists center, says quite often their clients pay for certain services at some hotels based on the information they provide in their advertisement, only to discover they don't exist. But John Wayne Muganza, a Director at Cool Breeze Hotel, says they are trying hard to meet the required standards as time goes by.

Simon Kaita, Jinja Municipal Council Tourism Officer, says less than 10 out of the 200 registered accommodation facilities meet the standards set by UTB. He says as a result, most of the tourists are cheated, which affects the hotel sector.


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One of the guests URN found at Cool Breeze hotel in Jinja, said despite the conducive rates, the hotel lacks leisure facilities, room service, adding that some of the rooms are partitioned with soft boards, which compromises the safety of customers.


Vincent Byarugaba, UTB spokesperson says the process of standardization is still ongoing under UTB. James Ssebagala, the Coordinator Quality Assurance-UTB, says the hotel classification exercise is meant to determine whether a given hotel meets certain essential requirements. 

According to Ssebagala, the hotels are graded in accordance with East African Community-EAC standards. He says the grading is denoted by stars. One star denotes the lowest standard while five-star represents the highest grade. 

Except for motels and restaurants, whose star rating range is from one to three and three to five respectively, all the other categories are graded from one to 5 stars. Ssebagala says hotel services include simple things such as room service, dry cleaning, big conference rooms with support staff, fax machines, copy, print services etc.



The leisure facilities include a SPA, gym, sauna rooms and Wi-Fi among others. The facilities vary depending on the grade of a particular hotel. However, a five star hotel must have at least swimming pool, tennis court and golf course in addition to the above.