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Kenya: Regulator Warns Hotels Against Falsifying Star Ratings

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Unscrupulous hotels and restaurants are giving themselves false star-ratings to dupe unsuspecting tourists, the sector regulator has warned.

This alert comes especially at a time thousands of visitors have invaded Kenya to attend the World Rally Championship Safari Rally, which has revved off yesterday.

Event organisers expect about 10,000 visitors to flock Naivasha, where the rally is taking place with the business boom expected to inject at least Sh6 billion into the economy, according to government estimates.

“The Tourism Regulatory Authority would like to notify the public that it has come to our attention that some restaurants and hotels have been marketing themselves as having attained various star ratings from this authority yet this is untrue, misleading and punishable by law,” TRA said in a notice on Thursday.

The authority is in charge of giving ratings to local facilities.

TRA said yesterday: “That it has come to attention the existence of unlicensed online tour guides and companies that have been defrauding unsuspecting tourists and ending up pulling down their websites and Facebook accounts after receiving payments.”

Sustainable tourism

The authority warned that unlicensed operators of cottages, guest houses, villas, serviced apartments, home stays, and hostels marketing themselves on online booking platforms without valid licences risk prosecution, and 12 months in jail and other penalties, if convicted.