Confidence seems to be returning to the Nigerian hotel industry at the start of 2018, after more than three years of depressed performance, according to research undertaken by Lagos-based W Hospitality Group.
W Hospitality Group interviewed hotel general managers working across Nigeria, and found that no fewer than 83% are optimistic about their hotel’s performance in 2018, a strong bounce-back from 2017, due to renewed confidence in the Nigerian business environment. Whilst the survey revealed that the business environment is still seen as a major challenge to deal with, expectations are high.
According to Trevor Ward, Managing Director of the W Hospitality Group “the feedback from hotel managers is encouraging. The hospitality industry is a good indication of the performance of the economy as a whole. Stronger demand for hotel services is a good marker of increased investment and of economic growth. The problems we experienced of security issues, the oil price crash, and the recent recession are, we hope, behind us”.
A negative finding from the survey is that fully 50 percent of hotel executives complain about multiple taxes and other levies charged by State governments, on an industry which is seen as a cash cow to fill governments’ coffers. “This is an increasing issue for the hoteliers” says Ward. “Hotels already incur high operating costs, exacerbated by the depreciation of the Naira, and these ever-increasing government charges are an unfair and threatening burden, especially when we provide so many job opportunities, especially for young people”.