A requirement for the registration of hotel guests still eludes the hospitality industry in Ankole region.
According to the government regulations, all guests to hotels are required to show an identity proof and record their particulars, indicating where they are coming from and their next destination, before checking into the hotel.
This measure was envisaged to strengthen the safety of guests and facilities that host them. The process has also been used to track down suspected criminals who would otherwise take advantage of the lapses at hotels to attack and harm other guests or steal from them.
But the regulations have been ignored in almost all facilities in Ankole region. A number of them will offer access to any guest as long as they have paid for the services. No effort is taken to capture the particulars of the guests. This was evident in a visit by URN reporters to Limu Hotel, Canaan Guest House, Palace Hotel, Bam Guesthouse, Lake view and Ruhinda hotel, all in Mbarara district.
A staff at Limu Hotel in Mbarara town, who preferred anonymity, told Uganda Radio Network that often times, the registration process pushes potential guests away.
Other areas where the registration is not a priority include Bakikakase Guests House, People’s Lodges, Highway Hotel, Safe Lodge, Kabira Inn, Valley Inn, Ideal Lodges, Green Lodges, Embassy Tours, Single Line Cottages and Pearl Lodges in Ntungamo District.
David Bizibu, a manager at Ankole Resort and Spa in Ntungamo district says that the registration of the clients is not only good for security but also helps in creating customer loyalty and the possibility of following up on the clients in case they leave behind some of their belongings.
Ntungamo district Tourism officer Robert Aturinda says that his office is engaging the hoteliers on the need to take client records. He says that the tourism office is working closely with security in the district to ensure that the registration of guests is taken seriously.
Ntungamo District Internal Security Officer Apollo Tandeka says the guest houses in question have been cautioned against disregarding the requirement. He adds that the district leadership will take an effort to guarantee that the security of the people, especially guests and their properties is nor compromised.
He adds that some clients who occupy Guest Houses during the day and quit in the evening have on some occasions evaded registration and that this must be addressed by the hoteliers.
Mbarara Deputy Resident District Commissioner Emmy Kateera says that the hoteliers who do not register their guests risk sanctions.