Despite the introduction of the multiple currency regime, the conditions in many of the city’s hotels are not improving. A visit to one revealed a blocked drainage system with the smell of human waste in the corridors.
Interviews with hotel officials revealed that there had been fluctuations in hotel bookings owing to the poor service of the catering industry. This was attributed to poor salaries, with some workers claiming to be earning no more than $60 a month.
“Most of the owners of small hotels have left the country,” said a local hotel manager, Andrew Ncube.
Another hotel employee, Rumbi Chiza, said the dollarization of the country’s economy had negatively impacted bookings as people could no longer afford the rates.
“Most people earn salaries below the poverty datum line, which impacts the services offered in our local hotels,” said Chiza. “If non-governmental organizations don’t make bookings in our hotel, it means our employers have to battle to pay us at the end of every month.”
Yang Chan, a businessman from China, had no kind words for the local hotels.
“It is unfair for hotels here to charge exorbitantly for their services because the charges never tally with the quality of services we get. At one of the hotels, rumoured to be a Five Star, I was given a bucket in the morning when I needed to bath and the explanation I got was that there was a breakdown of pipes connecting to the tubs and showers at the hotel. I was booked at the hotel for over three weeks, still getting the same explanation with no action to tackle the crisis head-on,” said Chan.
Tumi Sizane, a visitor from South Africa, who stayed at one of the hotels in the city, claimed there were no toiletries or air-fresheners provided.
“This so-called prominent hotel has no toiletries and no soap to wash your hands after using the toilet,” Sizane said.
An official from the ministry of Tourism and Hospitality admitted that the service quality in the majority of hotels in the country were no longer meeting international standards, but said reducing the stars would send a negative picture to the outside world.
“Yes, our hotel standards can’t match that of international hotels, for example a five star hotel in Dubai can not be compared with a five star here, but we can not reduce our stars, tourists will start to question why we do not have five star hotels in the country.”Post published in: Business