Hotels and apartments must be properly air conditioned

Dear Editor,

I work in the vacation planning industry and am privileged to travel extensively to many countries including Guyana. I noticed that the Guyanese Government has expressed interest in developing the tourism industry and invested in projects to make the country an appealing tourist destination. If managed effectively, tourist revenue could be a significant boost to the country’s revenue earnings. It is therefore important that everyone plays their part to make this a success, especially the hotels and hospitality industries.

A common complaint that I hear from visitors to Guyana is that the hotels do not provide adequate air conditioning. An informal survey done by a qualified expert concluded that most A/C units currently used do not have the required BTU for the size of room in which installed. This means that the unit is unable to effectively cool the space. In the cases of apartment hotels where there are multiple rooms, it was discovered that only one unit is installed in the bedroom. Because the bedroom of apartment hotels has a private door, this means that when the door is closed, the living area is left without the benefit of the A/C. Visitors complain that this is false advertising since these apartments are advertised as fully air conditioned. I think the hotel sector needs to be aware that overseas guests are product and service savvy consumers. To legally advertise that an apartment is fully airconditioned, there must be units installed in every space. Example, a one-bedroom apartment should have two A/C units installed, one in the bedroom and another in the living area. Furthermore, these units must have the specific BTUs to cool the size of the room in which they are installed.

I have provided the guidelines for A/C units below:

Room Size BTU required in A/C unit 100 – 250 SQ FT 7000 -9000 BTU 250 – 350 SQ FT 9000 -10,000 BTU 300 – 400 SQ FT 10,000 -12,000 BTU 350 – 450 SQ FT 12,000 -12,000 BTU Hotels should anticipate that their guests may entertain visitors, therefore an additional 600 BTU per extra person in the room should be factored in when installing the unit. In the case of apartment hotels where a functional kitchen is present, an additional 4000 BTU is needed on top of the normal room size requirement.

I have stayed at a hotel (name given) in Georgetown where all the A/C units are visibly old, an eyesore and need replacing. Most importantly, they are unable to cool the rooms during the peak times when the sun is up due to low BTUs. The management has received a number of complaints about the air conditioners not being effective but has refused to upgrade them to newer and more effective models. Guests see it as disrespect when hotel and apartment renters refuse to take these complaints seriously. I appeal to the tourism minister to carry out inspections at all the hotels to ensure that the A/C units meet international standards of compliance. It does not do well to foster tourism when visitors give negative accounts of their stay in Guyana.

Yours faithfully,

Shameer Ali

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