Published on : Friday, October 27, 2017
A total of 75 tourism facilities had applied for licences and grading with 67 making the cut, and among them, 50 are hotels. The five-star category includes Kigali Serena Hotel, Kigali Marriott Hotel and Radisson Blu Hotel.
A five-star hotel or restaurant has the highest rating and is considered a top notch, world-class facility in areas such as hospitality and service delivery.
Four-star facilities include Lemigo Hotel, Hotel des Mille Collines, Ubumwe Grande Hotel, Hotel Golden Tulip La Palisse (Nyamata), Gorilla Golf, Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge and Lake Kivu Serena.
19 hotels received three-star category and 18 fell into the two-star category while one was ranked as a one-star facility. Sabyinyo Silverback Lodge, a recent entrant onto the local hospitality sector, was ranked as a four-star lodge.
This grading is in compliance with 2014 tourism law which was gazetted and passed by cabinet in October 2016.
To receive licences and respective grading for hotels, facilities made applications via a web portal www.tourismregualtion.rw and deposited an application fee of Rwf80,000. After submission of registration documents, the facilities were physically inspected by a team of hospitality experts.
All hospitality and tourism businesses in the country will henceforth be required to be licenced under one of the five categories; accommodation establishments; restaurants, bars and nightclubs; tour operators, guides and travel agents; tourism information centres; and cultural tourism facilities.
The Rwanda Development Board chief tourism officer Belise Kariza said that the licensing grading exercise, which is of international standards, is aimed at ensuring regulation and standards in the sector.
Kariza said that operators in the country across the various categories have time till June 2018 to apply for licences and grading.
The tourism sector is the largest driver for the local service sector and has emerged as Rwanda’s largest forex exchange earners.
Last year, the sector generated $404 million with expectations that it will fetch $444 million in 2017. RDB is working on positioning the country as a high-end tourism destination to increase revenue receipts. RDB chief executive Clare Akamanzi said that, in coming days, they plan to license over 500 players in the local sector.