travelling & touring: with Burzil Dube
AN impassioned plea on hotel rating system that was made by Yours Truly to the powers that be, to try and bring sanity within the tourism fraternity seemed to have spurred some self-introspection exercise.
It seems the rating programme could have been thrown in the back burner thus culminating in deterioration of hospitality standards within the tourism sector.
The highest rate in this evaluation exercise is ‘five’ while the lowest is ‘one’ while others are not graded at all due to failure in meeting certain hotel standards.
Those whose pastime is travelling and touring are usually alive to rating status of places such as Monomotapa and Meikles hotels which are in the five star categories as far as guest service provision and other related issues are concerned.
These two hotels are in Harare and are among prominent edifices within the tourism and conferencing sector.
Most top notch rated hotels and lodges are usually situated in holiday resort areas such as Victoria Falls, Kariba, and Eastern Highlands among others.
Such places can be catalysts in the transformation of Zimbabwe’s tourism industry.
However, Yours Truly is boggled that alcohol and other related beverages are somehow beyond reach in most of these hotels as some of us are used to average prices charged at beerhalls, bottle stores and shebeens whose trading is reasonable. Has it to do with the rating status?
Talking of beerhalls and shebeens, Yours Truly foresees a situation where the former is gradually sliding into oblivion due to the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic whose ripple effects has resulted in closure of some business operations.
Those in the imbibing world have been badly affected especially by the indefinite closure of beerhalls because they are considered to be super spreaders of Covid-19 which continues to take the world by storm.
Most beerhalls and night clubs are currently in a deplorable state as regular maintenance is now a thing of the past and their reopening hang in the balance while some workers are now part of the unemployment statistics.
While their reopening remains a pipe dream, this has resulted in proliferation of shebeens in both a low and high density suburbs across the country despite various regulations prohibiting operations of such entities.
Numerous arrests have been made against the illegal operation and sale of alcohol at endesiganted places but this continues to be an insurmountable task to law enforcement agents.
Some of these places are now breeding grounds for drug addiction, prostitution, juvenile delinquency which has gripped the country at alarming proportions.
Such imbibing venues (shebeens) will continue to have an upper hand even if the Covid-19 rules are relaxed to enable conventional beerhalls to operate at full throttle.
However, there are chances that similar guidelines recently enforced on restaurants might also be implemented if such drinking places are to be fully operational.
In other words, no full vaccination no entry in any beerhall.
The eateries were advised to strictly cater for fully vaccinated patrons while those not inoculated not allowed to have any form of a sit-down menu as per Covid-19 health guidelines.
Some countries have already implemented similar guidelines and it is proving to be effective even though there is resistance from certain quarters of society.
The much pronounced social distancing at beerhall and night club entities might prove to be a tall order if one happens to be sloshed after taking one or two many.
Yours Truly issued some form of edict to his imbibing cabinet on the need for every member to be fully vaccinated following stringent measures introduced by government curb the spread of Covid-19. And my proclamation paid dividends.
The majority of issues that I previously raised in this column have usually come to pass. however, and this does not mean that such words are of authority or prophecy but just facts that need to be taken into consideration in this Covid-19 fight.
Full vaccination opens the door to many travelling and touring avenues.
Forewarned is forearmed.
Till we meet again in the next column.
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