Published on : Saturday, March 5, 2022
Today’s world is radically different from the one most of us grew up to know.
Since 2020, the world has witnessed a dramatic restructuring of the economic and social order in which organisations and individuals have traditionally operated. COVID-19 has pillaged the global economy, and the tourism industry, which contributes 10% to the world’s GDP, is the worst hit.
The World Travel & Tourism Council estimates that the hospitality industry accounts for 10 percent of global GDP and provides 1 in 10 jobs worldwide.
This suggests that one in 10 workers in Nigeria is directly or indirectly employed in the hospitality industry.
Price Waterhouse Coopers (PWC) also projected that between 2019 and 2023, Nigeria is expected to be the fastest-growing hospitality market with a projected 12 percent compound annual increase.
This projection is expected to significantly contribute to Nigeria’s economy, creating direct and indirect hospitality jobs.
However, the COVID-19 pandemic has altered this projection.
In 2019, the contribution of travel and tourism to Nigeria’s GDP was 5.1 percent. This number dropped in 2020 due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic but there is still hope.
The market already exists given the country’s growing middle-class, youthful population, and increasing internet penetration to project innovations that will force the world to pay attention to us.
Additionally, given that Nigeria remains the economic engine of West Africa, the hospitality industry will always thrive on supporting business travel.
The role of hospitality real estate providers in achieving this ambitious goal cannot be underestimated.
Uraga Real Estate, (A Real Estate development organisation of leading investment holding company, Honeywell Group Limited) as a luxury real estate provider addressed the issue of hospitality business development gaps with its Radisson Blu Anchorage Hotel.
The project was designed to advance leisure, MICE tourism and bring Nigeria to the forefront of tourism revival by building luxury hospitality infrastructure.
As a leader in the Nigerian hospitality industry, Radisson Blu Anchorage hotel, is contributing to the revival and development of tourism in the country through the deployment of various measures that include prioritising local content and building the needed infrastructure.
Since Radisson Blu Anchorage entered the Nigerian hospitality industry in 2011, we have seen an industry that has grown steadily, witnessed improvement in quality of service and a clientele with more choices and higher expectations. This has immense potential for any player in the industry.
But there are still hurdles, and the disruption caused by COVID has also joined the long list of limitations.
Putting the proper infrastructure in place is one thing but getting people to visit in a changing world is a whole new challenge.
A study on Monitoring Sentiment for Intra-European Travel released in January 2021 by the European Travel Commission identified health and safety considerations as the most important travel factor for consumer travel experiences.
46.6% of Europeans are likely to book their next trip via an online booking engine and 27.6% directly through the accommodation/airline websites, maintaining a positive sentiment towards digital travel platforms, the study says.
With a willingness to take deliberate actions, other stakeholders in the hospitality industry can also put in some level of commitment like Radisson Anchorage to drive the revival of Nigeria’s tourism sector.
The World Economic Forum has said, the crisis is likely to increase awareness that companies must consider societal needs and ethical standards, not just short-term profits.