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 Press Room

Tourism Regulatory Authority Constituted and Operational
Author: Imelda Ndomo
Date: 30 Jun 14

On Thursday June 26th, the newly constituted TRA held a stakeholders awareness forum at the Utalii Hotel, Nairobi, which brought together tourism trade representatives and representatives of Counties clustered by TRA as Nairobi region. These counties include - Nairobi, Kajiado, Kiambu & Kitui, each of which was represented by the county executive committee member in charge of tourism.

The Nairobi forum was the culmination of such fora across the country as the TRA seeks to inform stakeholders that it is operational, and to mobilize industry buy-in into the various activities and regulations they are set to implement. The industry was invited to give input on what key areas and issues they would like to see the authority address as the authority embarks on putting together its five year strategic plan.

Some of the regulations stipulated in the Tourism ACT 2011 which TRA is set to implement include:

1.       Establish a standardization committee to oversee classification of tourism activities and services. As per the Tourism ACT 2011, the standardization committee may outsource classification services but retains oversight of the process, and a national classification exercise is to be carried out every five years.

The entire tourism value-chain is marked for classification under different classes as stipulated in the 9th schedule of the Tourism ACT 2011, e.g.

a)            All accommodation Facilities

b)            Entertainment, Restaurants & other food and beverage services

c)            Tour operators, Travel Agents, Tourist service vehicle hire services

d)            Services e.g. curio vendors, professional photographers, tour guides & beach operators.

e)            Nature reserves, parks, game ranches

f)             Conference and event services

g)            Tourism & Hospitality training institutions

2.       Enforcement of the regulation that no tourism establishment will be licensed unless the area management plan for its proposed location states the location is fit for the development

3.       Enforcement of the regulations regarding exemptions of duty on items for renovations of tourism facilities.

4.       Vetting of Hotels security officers, health inspections: the TRA will engage the Tourist Police Unit, who are recognized in the ACT as authorized officers for implementation of the ACT, to enforce regulations on health & safety and ensure that Hotel security have at least some knowledge about what goes on in the Hotel and expectations of guests.

5.       Promote sound administration & management practices and monitor this through such indicators as ISO certification.

6.       Develop professional standards to distinguish the skills/competency expected of any given technical position through review of training curricula, training duration, colleges' accreditation & skills gaps.

Industry self-regulation was identified as key to the success of the standardization process and TRA urged the tourism trade associations to support standardization by pegging their membership on adherence to a code of ethics and conduct tied with the requirements of standardization.

Classification:

KTF is part of the team comprised also of TRA representatives currently engaging with the World Bank for support for training of personnel nominated by the establishments on the classification process, to ensure the process is transparent. If dissatisfied with the result of their classification, establishments can appeal to the classification committee and if not satisfied, appeal to Tourism Tribunal which is to be established as stipulated in the Tourism ACT 2011.

A Certificate of approval will be awarded by TRA to all classified businesses. Preparations for the classification exercise are ongoing and TRA targets to commence classification in January next year.


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