Home News Dover Hotel Boss Predicts Bright Future For Nigerian Hotels

Dover Hotel Boss Predicts Bright Future For Nigerian Hotels

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… as Dover upgrades Lekki facility to a choice centre


Despite the terrible hit of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the travels and tours sector by extension the hospitality industry, the Chairman, Dover Hotel Limited, Barr. Jackson Abbah, has revealed that the pandemic also brought a positive impact of growth on indigenous hotels.


In a chat with newsmen in Lagos,’ Abbah disclosed that a new trend has emerged were people are reluctant to travel overseas for vacations because of the frustration of COVID-19 protocols that entail undergoing a period of quarantine once you travel to another location.


In view of this, he explained that most people now embark on internal travels where they lodge in a hotel with their families for of one week to a month.


This, according to him has opened the eyes of many to the fact that there are indigenous hotels in Nigeria; Lagos, Owerri, Kano and Abuja with standard competitive facilities obtainable with what they have abroad, adding that it is equally cheaper as travel cost has been considerably reduced.


His words: “Now because of COVID there’s a new trend going on, because people are frustrated by the protocols of quarantining when they travel to other countries. What are they doing then?


“They now embark on internal travels; people are now taking themselves from the East to the West, from Abuja to Lagos, etc and they lodge in hotels, it’s more like a vacation for them whether it is one week or one month.


“It is also cheaper for them in terms of cost; they save cost, air ticket going abroad and most travellers are now realising that the facilities that they could enjoy in hotels abroad can also be found in hotels in Lagos and Abuja, Owerri and Kano; quality hotels at rates that are far cheaper.”


He said that upsurge hotels all over the country even with high patronage is expected as long as human beings travel from one point to another, because they will definitely need a place to lodge to transact their businesses.


“To answer why you have a large number of people using hotels my response is always simple, as long as human beings travel; leave their location whether for a business or leisure the fact remains that they will continue to consume hotels.


“You do not carry your accommodation to the next travel place and it is not all the time you go to a location that you’re going to see a relative or friend that can accommodate you so you are forced to patronise the hotel which is created mainly for that purpose.


“So what you see happening is that people get into a town for a burial ceremony, naming ceremony or business, they need a place to stay and depending on their budget they will look for a place that is relative to their budget.


“That is why you see a person who has a hotel charging N3, 000 he’s in business, a person who has a hotel charging N100, 000 he’s in business.


“Some people travel from West African countries to come and buy stuff in Nigeria; in Lagos, Aba, Onitcha, Kano, and wherever in Nigeria.

When they come they have to pass the night and they might not be concerned about how beautiful the hotel is but they have to pass the night relative in a place to their budget. So when you realise that you’ll know that everybody is in business and that makes the hotel business competitive,” he explained.


Continuing, Abbah pointed out that the increasing number of hotels in Nigeria is a plus to the economy as the sub-sector makes a huge contribution to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the country.


He explained that hotels create a chain of employment to the masses; ranging from farmers to transporters and market sellers because a greater percentage of agricultural products are consumed in hotels.


He said: “People have never really bothered about where the agricultural products that we produce are they consumed? They are consumed more in the hotels.


Hotels are the outlets for most of these things – garri, tomatoes, onions, potato, plantain, rice, and yam, whatever it is; hotels are the main outlets for their consumption.


“What happens? Hotels go to the market to buy those things and the market people go the farms to buy those products and they are able to patronise the transporters who transport them from the different farms to the cities.


“So the farmers are employed, they keep the transporters employed and market sellers as well. Don’t forget that each of them from whatever they make they’re able to pay their children’s school fees – the farmer, the transporter and the market seller.


“So the contribution of the hotel is huge, part of what people consume in the hotel most times they don’t consume it in their homes. So the contribution of hotel to the GDP is huge.”


On foreign brands trying to take the market from the local ones, Abbah said though there about two indigenous hotel associations that help to fight the battle, he was of the view that it was not wise doing so.


He opined that the customers should be able to do the fighting because over time people will get to realise that indigenous brands can offer far better services even at cheaper rates.


The hotel operator noted that most people who patronise the international brands do so because they see them as ostentatious not that they actually get the value of their money.


He was not also of the view that the government should impose any policy or tax to weigh down the internationally managed hotels.


“I think there are two different hotel associations and they help to fight in different ways but I ’m not sure it is wise to fight international brands.


“For me it’s not, let the customers do the fighting, let the services that we provide do, because over time people get to realise that for half of the price of what the international management brands are offering that local brands can offer something better in terms of services or even lesser than half the price. With that I think customers will begin to shift.


“We must also realise the nature of the human mind, there are some goods called ostentatious or giffen goods; goods that are consumed because apparently they are expensive. It doesn’t mean that the value that is intrinsic in them is commensurate with their price, people patronise them just because they’re expensive.


“It makes the consumers of those brands to feel they belong to a class; you have to belong to get to that point, that space, so you must allow such people. That’s the essence of competition, that’s the essence of variety and that’s the essence of choice,” he stated.


The Dover Hotel boss stressed that the local hotels would not be kicked out of business but that he thinks that in a few years most of the foreign ones would be forced to adopt whatever policies that the indigenous brands have.


Commenting on the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), he simply said it will impact hotels in the sense that certain cluster of industries will come up and hotels will naturally spring up.


On the state of Dover Hotel on resumption after the COVID-19, he said the hotel is thriving very well with an encouraging patronage that goes up every day.


He announced that the entire workforce of Dover Hotel has taken the COVID-19 vaccination adding the management ensures that it meets all the protocols approved by the Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) in terms of spacing and non-pharmaceutical protocols.


He also added that they advise and encourage guests at every opportunity to observe all the protocols.


“We’re quite grateful to the federal government for its policies and our guests for having that confidence to come back,” he said.


Abbah hinted that the hotel’s outlet in Lekki has been upgraded in such a way that in the next 10 years the facility would be able to meet the standard of any other facility in Lekki and Victoria Island, Lagos.


Photo caption:

Barrister Jackson Abbah, Chairman Dover Hotel Limited.



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