Hotels in Abkhazia no longer required to provide sheets, towels, soap and even furniture to guests
Adgur Ardzinba, Abkhazia’s Minister of Economy, has said that the former requirements for Abkhaz hotels are out-dated.
The previous list of requirements, which was put together in Soviet times, had 120 points. The new list has only 12.
From the list of requirements, points dictating the necessity of sheets, towels, soap, ashtrays, furniture and other items in hotel rooms, without which it is impossible to imagine a modern hotel, have been removed.
“There is no benefit to these points, neither for the business owner, the tourist nor the state. There is competition on the market. If your rooms don’t have these items, people simply won’t come to your hotel. I do not think it is the charge of the state committee to go into the rooms and see how many towels are hanging in the bathroom. When a guest tells a business owner ‘you don’t have soap or your towels are of bad quality’, well that’s just comical,” Ardzinba says.
Now, the State Committee for Standards will pay more attention to fire safety, technical and sanitary issues when issuing licenses.
“A tourist doesn’t see whether or not there is a fire-extinguishing system or if it has been checked this year, or if the lifts are in good condition or if they are being monitored. It is in these areas that the government must exercise control and perform checks,” says Ardzinba.
In addition to having the requirements reduced by over 10 times, the Ministry of Economy will also be more severe in penalizing hotels that do not comply with standards; if, for example a safety violation is discovered, then the hotel will not only be fined but closed.
“Fire, technical and sanitary violations directly or indirectly can harm and, god forbid, even kill people. Here, we will exercise strict control, including closing down businesses until they address issues that were identified,” Ardzinba stated.
Another innovation will be the systematic nature of checks on hotels. Previously, hotels were inspected several times a year. Now they will be checked just once before the start of the season, and based on the results will either be issued a certificate for the year or not.