Hotel chain seeks to meet top standards

Mr Merani
Tourism sector in the country is set to get a shot in the arm as a Tanzanian chain of hotels is re-branding with the view to achieving internationally-accredited hospitality standard ratings.

The re-branding of accommodation facilities under the ‘Blue Pearl Hotels and Apartments’ banner, started a few weeks ago and will be accomplished by placing the ‘Mark Group’ placard on Blue Pearl and all of its countrywide subsidiaries, according to the chairman, Mr Rustam Merani.

“We researched widely to find out what to do to meet internationally-accredited hospitality standard ratings. This involves investing massively,” he told The Citizen in an interview at the weekend.

The facilities under the banner include Dar es Salaam’s Blue Pearl Hotels & Apartments, Beach Comber Hotel, Changani Beach Cottages and Urban Rose Hotels and Apartments.

Also to be re-branded to Mark Group include Manyara Wildlife Safari Camp and New Dodoma Hotel as well as the newly opened Market Lodge and Al-Minar Hotel, both located in Zanzibar.

The Al Minar -- facing the Zanzibar Serena --  and the Market Lodge at the Stone Town have a total of 41 rooms and were only opened earlier last month.

Mr Merani said the company engaged a South African consultant on the best way to improve the companies’ services.

The consultant advised, among other issues, that the company should improve in food and beverages, health and safety as well as in how to promote the group online and in other publications.

“We were also advised to improve our relationship with tour operators and with internationally-recognised hospitality associations like the UK-based African Travel and Tourism Association (Atta) and the Association of Southern African Travel Agents (Asata) as well as locally, with the Hotel Association of Tanzania (Hat),” he said.

According to him, the exercise, to be completed in the next eight months, will see the company offering accommodation services that are at par with their peers in the developed countries.

The company is working to increase the number of quality hotel rooms in the country. It is planning to construct a 130-room 5-star hotel -- Ocean Wave Hotel & Resort -- at Mbweni in Zanzibar by June next year.
Source: The Citizen, reported from Dar es Salaam
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