This story over the weekend certainly brought some form of relief. The state of our hospitality industry is truly shambolic. Its not that Zambia has no motels / hotels, on the contrary, we have so many that the authorities find it difficult to enforce standards. The number of hotels have outstripped government's ability to check their operations. This is a problem because hospitality is an experience good, or is it a "credence good"? The other point is that a good hospitality industry is crucial for tourism and the associated evenue it brings into government coffers. The rationale for government intervention, in form of standard setting there appears solid.
One possible policy intervention worth seriously considering is to make it mandatory that motels/hotels that use "electricity" also have generators or some other emergency power. It is seems like common sense that someone who runs an hotel would have a generator. Unfortunately, very few Zambian motels / hotels seem to have generators, as my wife and I found out in January when we moved from place to place in Ndola in search of power. For many of our motels when the power goes out, everything goes out, including appropriate standards of cleanliness.