Travelling & touring: By Burzil Dube – Hotel edifices in dire need of ‘DNA testing’

VARIOUS theories have been thrown around concerning origins and treatment of Covid-19 whose ripple effects continue to be felt the world over. A similar scenerio is also taking shape in Zimbabwe where DNA test results have left a trail of broken families.

DNA stands for deoxyribonucleic  and has been effective in establishing true paternity of a particular child in the case of parental  dispute.

There is an organisation which is reportedly offering free DNA testing facilities to couples, who at times publicly declare their paternity results  that would have been carried out between couples.

While this is considered a noble move in terms of paternity authentication, this has been vehemently opposed by some sections of society who  warn of far reaching implications that are bound to even surpass Covid-19 ripple effects.

However, stop-gap measures have been implemented in efforts to curb the dreaded Covid-19 pandemic, which has claimed millions of lives across the world and also slackening developmental programmes among other related issues.

Some of the measures include putting on a face mask covering both nose and mouth, social distancing, regular washing of hands with soap, sanitising  and limiting shaking of hands.

Vaccination is another Covid-19 fixation mode which experts  believe to be most effective against this pandemic.

Most countries have already put in place  mandatory measures such as  having every able-bodied Jack and Jill innoculated for easier access to key services such employment, travel and touring facilities among others.

However, most members of the public are no longer fixated with Covid-19,  but with DNA testing which has taken the country by storm. Currently there are no stop-gap measures or vaccination against this exercise whose ripple effects could be  miles ahead of  Covid-19.

The same applies to the hospitality industry, which Yours Truly is of the opinion that its facilities need  some form of “paternity testing” mechanism to bring sanity within the sector whose services leave a lot to be desired.

Some of the country’s hotels and lodges have gone beyond their sell by date in terms of quality service and other related issues. They are found wanting on whether they subscribe to tenets of the modern day tourism industry.

Most “paternity” tests are found wanting in grading system where the number fiver digit is considered to be highest or best of quality in this tourism rating system.

This  exercise is the most sought-after accolade  bestowed by Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA), a statutory hospitaliy and tourism promotion body.

However, there is need for clarity on implementation of this noble honour that  plays a pivotal role within the traveling and touring industry as some international visitors consider it a priority  among their travel requirements.

Yours Truly tried to get some explanation from ZTA on how the star rating or grading is done and has been to no avail. This is the organisation  which seeks to  promote  the country’s tourist resort areas and is reported to in the process of re-introducing  tourism attaches.

The attaches will be stationed in various foreign countries as part of efforts to promote Zimbabwe’s premier tourist resort placeattest have nearly been thrown into oblivion due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

There are some hotel facilities  that could have been last graded more than five years ago whose services have now plummeted to alarming levels, much to the disdain of  any analytical minded guest.

This will in the process cast the entire hotel industry in a bad light and it will be to everyone guess on how it will impact in terms of customer feed back.

If such a trend is not arrested with urgency it deserves, this will certainly drive the whole hospitality entrepreneurship into oblivion as some of Zimbabwe’s  lodges and hotels are considered to be among the  best in the world.

Yours Truly recently came face-to-face with such a reality upon checking into one of the “leading” three-star hotels and whose reception area was a harbinger of worse things. The crushingly beautiful lady manning the reception area was not even aware of the hotel’s grading status let alone reasons of having such a prestigious accolade.

This was despite the fact that she was standing behind a three-star gold embossed plaque symbolising the hotel’s status.

While my allocated room was in a spick and span condition, the bathing facility left a lot to be desired and  one did not even  have a choice in terms of choosing his or her preferred menu.

Television channels were controlled from a designated central place and in this case it was at the reception area much to the chagrin of the few guests who were also  booked at this facility.

A quick “DNA test” executed by none other than Yours Truly established that this particular hotel was last rated  seven years ago  and the edifice has changed numerous hands in terms of proprietorship.

How many hotels situated out there are also operating in a similar scenerio?

Such a synopsis can be a equated to the current trending DNA test topic which as earlier alluded has resulted in broken families following paternity certification that would have proven negative in terms of biological father parentage.

In this case, the “child” in question who is in dire need of paternal testing mechanism within the tourism industry are hotel and lodges whose structures and services need some form of impetus in reclaiming their former glory.

Time is nigh to bring paternal sanity within the hospitality industry in terms of the much sought after hotel grading system.

These are just Yours Truly’s thoughts.

Till we meet again in the next column.

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