Bed and breakfast providers still not sure about guests
-around 2,000 rooms registered
By Miranda La Rose
February 22, 2007
Given the number of rooms registered with the Bed and Breakfast (B&B) programme, accommodation via this route is assured for visitors to Guyana for the Super Eight matches, but registrants are seeking answers to questions as well.
Close to 2,000 rooms have been registered on the B&B programme, almost 500 more than was called for when the programme was launched at the Demerara Harbour Bridge courtyard at the end of January, 2006.
The ICC CWC Local Organising Committee (LOC), urging the public to get involved, had said that at least 1,500 rooms were needed to help in accommodating the visitors expected to come to Guyana over the two-week period that the ICC CWC 2007 Super Eight matches would be played at the Guyana National Stadium at Providence, East Bank Demerara.
A UK firm has estimated that some 37,000 visitors could be here over the period though others have doubted this figure.
The staff of the LOC and the B&B Secretariat have said that the response has been good. However, at this point in time some property owners who have offered their homes on the programme are not sure whether they will receive guests. They are not sure what is happening in terms of reservations.
Several home providers told this newspaper that since they registered and their homes were inspected they have had no other form of communication with the B&B Secretariat except for being invited to take part in some seminars held for them. The last training session was held last Sunday.
One of the providers on the East Bank Demerara told Stabroek News that he has always had to call the secretariat when he needed information. He said his wife told him about a telephone call inviting them to attend one of the workshops, but he did not think it was necessary to go since the organizers did not say it was a pre-condition to, or another stage in the processing of his application.
Stabroek News was unable to get information from the staff of the B&B Secretariat yesterday, since they are not permitted to speak to the media. For fear that the public could be misled, only Chairman of the LOC and Minister of Culture, Youth and Sport, Dr Frank Anthony and Chief Executive Officer of the LOC Karan Singh are authorized to speak with the press or any other officer they nominate to do so.
They could not be contacted yesterday.
Among some of the questions the providers were asking were: would they be allocated guests?; who will notify them of this?; what would be the payment arrangements?; what is the rating system? Two of the providers said that they would have liked written feedback. All they were told was that the accommodation was "okay."
One of the providers told the Stabroek News that one of the inspectors told him that all they were looking for was to see if the accommodation met the expected standard. He said since the inspection he had been thinking about the other elements in the arrangement. "Is someone going to call at any time and just say you had applied to be on the programme and we have a Mr So and So. Could we bring him along right now? At what stage do we know if we are getting a guest? Who is this guest? Is the guest going to pay in advance?"
Stabroek News visited the B&B website at www.guyanaaccommodations.org and found the listings of 376 homes with single and multiple rooms with recommended prices ranging from US$55 per night to US$110 in four categories: A,B,C and D
Category A and B homes are those located in prime city zones, high quality neighbourhoods and within reasonable proximity to the stadium. Facilities include a double or twin self-contained bedroom with air-conditioning and private access to rooms. Breakfast is provided and other meals could be arranged at an additional cost.
The category A and B rooms include televisions and other basic amenities but the Category A rooms include comfortable and functional furniture in a quiet and attractive setting.
The category C and D rooms have double beds but with shared facilities and in reasonable proximity to the stadium. The rooms are not necessarily air-conditioned but offer good ventilation with a ceiling or portable fan. Breakfast is provided and other meals could be arranged at an additional cost.