During the 2019 RDB star rating ceremony held yesterday in Kigali, 40 hospitality establishments were awarded between 1 (one) to 5 (five) stars by Rwanda’s tourism industry regulator.
The RDB star rating system helps to differentiate the quality of services that establishments render to their clientele.
The criteria used to grade the establishments range from their location, site and environment, architectural design and features, capacity, reception area, information services, hours of service, decor, amenities and accessories and regulation of temperature among others as per the ‘East African Criteria for Standardization of Hotels, Restaurants and other Tourist Accommodation Facilities’.
The criteria stipulates the standards that should be met for any accommodation establishment to be one, two, three, four or five star and are mandatory for any prospective property developer in the accommodation sector in all EAC member states.
The facility awarded a five-star rating is Bisate Lodge in Volcanoes National Park.
Four-star facilities are The Retreat Boutique Hotel and Residence Prima 2000, all located in the City of Kigali.
The 11 establishments that got a three-star rating are; Landmark Suites, Executive Suites Kigali, Highlands Apartment Gacuriro, Villa Asimba, Park View Courts Ltd, Gorilla Solutions Lodge Ltd, Light House Hotel, Heaven Boutique Hotel, Emeraude Kivu Resort and Quiet Haven Hotel.
16 hospitality establishments got a two-star rating while 11 got one-star.
Speaking while presiding over the ceremony, the Guest of Honour, Pudence Rubingisa, the City of Kigali Mayor said:
“The establishment and compliance with these standards is very important for our country as a tourist destination in order to sustain a competitive advantage and attract more tourists. Quality service delivery is a key driver of economic growth as stated in the National Strategy for Transformation which aims to increase tourism revenues to over US$ 800 million by 2024.”
Zephanie Niyonkuru, the RDB Deputy CEO and Chief Operating Officer said:
“The grading and classification of hotels helps to inform customers on how to recognize quality, differentiate all levels of facilities and services and offers greater transparency. The accommodation classification practice enhances the EAC’s competitive edge as a single tourism destination and helps to have a developed industry.
“And there is a lot to be happy about. For example, in the last five years, a number of renowned hotel brands have started their operations in Rwanda. Looking back, in 2014, Rwanda had only one 5-Star hotel.
“Today we have 5 and we are expecting more. This has led to revenue from MICE to increase from US$33 million in 2014 to US$ 55 million in 2018. Therefore, the Government is committed to providing support that leads to the improvements in quality standards.”