Letters: Guest house sector needs scrutiny

Monday August 19, 2019 Published in Letters to the Editor
Letters: Guest house sector needs scrutiny

Dear editor,

The core of your story Guests told they’re ‘dirty’, ‘drunk’, ‘liars’, and their child will be ‘punched in the face’) has important ramifications for the tourism industry as well.

 

Perhaps the government and the tourism industry have yet to recognise the need to regulate this part of the industry, particularly with the influx of tourists during the second half of the season. Three decades ago, we had hotels and motels to house tourists flourishing into the country. The accommodation landscape, however, has changed significantly since then because the hotel tariffs for some are too high (too high to contemplate). Then enter the private accommodation sector. Now, anyone can set up a guest house without the need to undergo rigorous training with respect to business skills in the tourism industry, including communications and decision making. Nonetheless, most tourists today prefer cheaper guest house options to avoid the high tariff charged by hotels.

The increase in privately run accommodation has never come under government scrutiny or regulation for many years despite having acknowledged the poor habits of some business owners in that industry, including poorly maintained facilities and the temptation to charge higher than 'normal' tariffs. An industry that is unregulated or poorly regulated can attract unwelcome consequences for the industry as a whole, and for the country too. Since the people in your story have complained (against former guests) using TripAdvisor, it’s not just a poor decision, but it is likely to lead potential tourists to turn to the Bahamas for their next holiday. And this is not what the Cookies need when the tourism dollar is really needed for infrastructure.

John Uri

Sydney

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