Bed and Breakfast accommodation likely to be surpassed – LOC official
January 25, 2007
The Local Organizing Committee of the Cricket World Cup (CWC) is expected to surpass its target for the Bed and Breakfast accommodation.
This is according to Director of the Bed and Breakfast programme Ohene Koama, who told this newspaper that 1,500 of the 2,000 targeted accommodations have already been secured even as applications continue to roll in from interested Guyanese offering the service.
Koama estimates that in excess of the 500 additional places that are needed will be accessed in the next few weeks in the run-up to the hosting of the first match of the mega-event in March.
Even though the targeted number of bed and breakfast facilities is two thousand, the LOC will be pushing to secure as many as 3000 in an effort to ensure that the more than 25,000 visitors expected for the event have adequate access to this type of accommodation.
In this regard, the official noted that persons have been taking full advantage of the online reservation provision in place.
Koama also related that sensitization and awareness campaigns are ongoing in an effort to encourage more Guyanese to come on board.
However, not every applicant will be approved; strict assessment and inspection will be applied before they are allowed to offer their service.
This includes inspection of the facility for cleanliness, security and accommodation capacity, the general aesthetics of the area, and the type of neighbourhood, among other things.
Koama said the police force has been playing a major role in this regard and have been advising the LOC on “high risk security areas with a propensity for crime”.
However, the LOC will not be leaving it up to house owners to provide enhanced security measures for their guests.
“We will be providing the police with areas of B&B properties and those areas will be installed with street lights, and police outposts to help alleviate the incidences of crime.”
Meanwhile, the first in a series of four educational seminars will be held on Sunday for the B&B providers.
The exercise is aimed at giving these providers a clear understanding and in-depth knowledge of their critical undertaking.
According to Koama, all the requisite skills and information to portray Guyana's hospitality impeccably will be imparted to these providers.
He noted that the seminar will feature resource personnel from the Carnegie School of Home Economics, instructing B&B providers in appropriate culinary preparations and presentations of local dishes.
Officials from the Guyana Tourism Association (GTA) will also be on hand to provide training in customer service.
The logistics to ensure proper preparations regarding checking in, reservations, billing, etc., is also expected to be on the list of priorities.
Other aspects of the training will include transportation arrangements, maintenance of accommodation, and laundry services. Security and touring arrangements are also expected to be looked at.
Koama acknowledged that given some of the negative cultures that seem to have become ingrained in some Guyanese, the task of training could prove a Herculean one.
“We know that four or five sessions will be grossly inadequate in getting persons to change some of the things that they have been accustomed to doing all their lives. But with the rigid screening process that we have in place, coupled with the training, while we could never totally eliminate all the risks, we are confident that we can assuage them somewhat”
He stressed that to help ensure that the B&B service providers act in the prescribed way; they will be required to sign contracts mandating them to operate in a certain way.
Persons from all over the country have volunteered facilities to be used for Bed and Breakfast accommodation. These have been placed into four broad categories - A, B, C and D - which will dictate among other things, the quality of the accommodation and rates to be charged.
Many persons have adjusted their homes to allow for this type of accommodation whilst others are offering it in hotel or boarding house settings.