UTB Starts Hotel Classification Exercise

Uganda Tourism Board has embarked on another phase grade and classify hotels and related accommodation facilities starting 21st March 2016.


Under the Quality Assurance Department is embarking on a Hotel Classification Inventory Exercise. The exercise verifies whether a given hotel meets the essential requirements.

“To qualify for classification, the hotel has to meet all aspects of the essential requirement herewith attached,” says James Ssebagala the UTB Coordinator for Quality Assurance.

“This exercise identifies classifiable hotels for effective preparation for the hotel classification program,” he adds.

Last year, Uganda Tourism Board held an awards ceremony for hotels previously classified under the Ministry of Tourism, Wildlife and Antiquities. The classification function was moved to UTB in 2014.

UTB Chief Executive Officer Stephen Asiimwe says that the ongoing inventory exercise is to guide in the assessment and standardization of accommodation facilities in Uganda.

“Uganda is classifying hotels working with the same standards used by all East African Community members. It is a requirement that all accommodation facilities be classified under the same EAC  standards,” says Asiimwe.

The present grading covers the physical and intangible service expected from an accommodation facility in a specified category and level of classification he adds.

Background to Hotel Classification

The East African Criteria rating system is denoted by stars where one (1) star denotes the lowest and five (5) star the highest grade. Save for Motels and Restaurants whose star rating range from one to three and three to five respectively, all the other categories are graded from one to five stars. While a one star establishment has the basic facilities that provide functionality and comfort to the guest, the five star establishments provide a high degree of luxury and ambience that conform to any internationally recognizable standards.


For purposes of classification, The EAC criterion has grouped hotels into five categories:

Town Hotels: Located within or near an urban center with the majority of clientele being travelers

Vacation Hotels:  Located within or near a holiday resort and in which the majority of the clients are holidaymakers.

Motels: Located along a highway or motorway and which caters mainly for the motorists

Villas Cottages and Service Apartments: Commercial establishment mainly located within holiday resort area but targeting clientele who may prefer self-catering services and privacy.

Lodges and Tented Camps: Located within or near a natural habitat rich in fauna and flora. The majority of the clientele are leisure seekers.