Unscrupulous inns and eating places are giving themselves false star-ratings to dupe unsuspecting vacationers, the sector regulator has warned.
This alert comes particularly at a time 1000’s of holiday makers have invaded Kenya to attend the World Rally Championship Safari Rally, which has revved off yesterday.
Occasion organisers anticipate about 10,000 guests to flock Naivasha, the place the rally is happening with the enterprise increase anticipated to inject at the least Sh6 billion into the financial system, based on authorities estimates.
“The Tourism Regulatory Authority want to notify the general public that it has come to our consideration that some eating places and inns have been advertising themselves as having attained varied star scores from this authority but that is unfaithful, deceptive and punishable by regulation,” TRA mentioned in a discover on Thursday.
The authority is in control of giving scores to native amenities.
TRA mentioned yesterday: “That it has come to consideration the existence of unlicensed on-line tour guides and firms which were defrauding unsuspecting vacationers and ending up knocking down their web sites and Fb accounts after receiving funds.”
The authority warned that unlicensed operators of cottages, visitor homes, villas, serviced residences, house stays, and hostels advertising themselves on on-line reserving platforms with out legitimate licences danger prosecution, and 12 months in jail and different penalties, if convicted.
TRA issues come at a time the tourism and hospitality business is steadily bouncing again after a freeze on worldwide journey because of the Covid-19 pandemic that stopped influx of vacationers into the nation.
The authority additionally warned that different unlicensed firms that purport to supply tour providers on-line have additionally sprung up and solicit cash from vacationers earlier than knocking down their web sites and vanishing into skinny air as soon as they’re paid.
TRA has appraised 60 inns and eating places inside the better Nairobi area, 49 on the Coast, 48 within the South Rift, and 15 and 6 within the former Western and Japanese provinces respectively with star scores, starting from one to 5.
The Tourism Act 2011, which established TRA, offers the authority the mandate to “register, licence and grade all sustainable tourism and tourist-related actions and providers, together with cottages and personal residences engaged in visitor home providers”.