The demand for luxury hotel rooms in Nigeria is increasing mainly in Abuja and Lagos, according to a Nigerian Tourism Intelligence Report.
The report released Wednesday by Jovago, an online hotel booking portal, stated that Lagos has the biggest online market share in Nigeria, followed by Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan, and Calabar.
“Last year, Nigeria was the country that got the biggest number of contracts signed by all international hotel chains together to build new hotels in Nigeria,” Marek Zmyslowski, Managing Director, Jovago Nigeria, said at a press conference to unveil the report.
“So basically, last year defined Nigeria as the fastest growing hotel market in the world.
“We’ll see a lot of mergers and acquisitions in Nigerian private owned hotels part of the market. Because for the Nigerian owners to compete with big international hotel chains, they need to start working together. They need to start building their own local hotel chains.”
The Nigerian tourism sector directly contributed N1.56 billion and 1.7 percent to the GDP in 2014, according to the National Bureau of Statistics.
The hospitality industry is projected to show 2.4 percent growth in GDP by mid 2015 and to rise by 5.8 percent per annum in 10 years.
Also, business and leisure travels are expected to grow by more than N1.4 trillion annually.
A rating of the hotels in the report showed that Lagos led the pack with 21 five star hotels; Abuja has 6; Port Harcourt, 4; Ibadan, 2; and Calabar, 1.
Mr. Zmyslowski noted that Nigeria’s hospitality industry would follow the upward trend of expanding e-commerce transactions and economic growth.
“Africa’s economy is growing a healthy rate of 7 percent per annum and this is good for business because with a better economy, there is higher capital available for leisure and business travel. So it is expected that the trajectory for the hospitality sector will rise with the economy,” Mr. Zmyslowski said.
“The Nigerian online space is also going through this phase especially in undeserved regions separate from the major cities but Jovago has begun its role in driving awareness for these parts of the country and the outlook is positive for us.”
Jovago was created in 2013 by the African Internet Group and has MTN, Millicom and Rocket Internet as principal shareholders.
In her presentation, Titilayo Omojola, an Assistant Director at the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation, said that the agency maintains an open door policy with other public as well as private organisations.
“To promote tourism in Nigeria, one of our achievements is in the field of collection of statistical data,” said Mrs. Omojola, who represented Sally Mbanefo, Director-General, NTDC.
“Realising the importance of reliable statistical data for national planning, NTDC in partnership with Central Bank of Nigeria embarked on periodic frontier survey at various entry points in the country, like Seme border, Idiroko border, Murtala Muhammed International Airport, and so on.
“In addition to this, NTDC always collect statistical data at some prominent religious gathering like Redemption camp, and so on. The essence of this data collection is to determine the contribution of tourism to the national economy.”