The Nigerian hospitality space is set for astronomic performance in the coming decade. Years back, the U.S., UK and France were among top destination sites. Today’s reality is different.
There are now more Nigerian startups like Hotels.ng, wakanow.com and others who are actively building the new tourism ecosystem. Ghana as an example now has a total of 1,523 hotels in addition to its preferred conference destination facilities.
The hospitality industry in Nigeria has become an available bride for many business owners. There has been a whooping annual growth of 17 percent between 2006 and 2014, arising from the number of hospitality businesses dotting the Nigerian landscape. Now you may look at 17 percent as a tad small but I’d help you understand its practical implications a bit more.
The 17 percent reflects in a UN report that stated that Nigeria is gradually outperforming its peers as an hospitality industry unicorn. I’m talking 3 billion dollars as at 2014.
How then can more business owners get into the value chain? Many entrepreneurs can position themselves to take advantage of the huge and dizzying opportunities that this industry promises? This article will answer this question and provide a comprehensive guide.
1) Tourist Accomodation And Services
Local entrepreneurs can now invest in single-hotel resorts at beach sites, motels on major tourist routes and even close to universities for use by both tourists and even indigenes visiting those localities.
Whenever any site is billed to host any event, be sure that there’s a lot of money to be made as the most frequently asked questions will be: is there a place to lodge? What’s the proximity?
Also, having meeting facilities, multi-purpose convention/exhibition/ conference centers is sure to be an added bonus for the entrepreneur.
To better increase chances of patronage, entrepreneurs should strive to improve their online presence so that they can be top on the minds of visiting tourists. Appearing on search and inquiry pages almost guarantees increased patronage hence the need to pay attention to online impressions.
Local entrepreneurs aside from providing accommodation can also liaise with locals to help take the guests on tours for a fee.
Creating a tour operator and guide services is a good way to position your business to cater for the transport needs of tourists.
This will help provide a complete and memorable experience as most tourists would love to feel the sites and sounds of the area. Care should be taken to prevent cases like extortion, theft and the rest.
2) Food, Fun And Finance
There is no successful tourism activity without the local cuisines. I haven’t heard of a tourist giving his account of a place he visited without making mention of the food.
For the entrepreneur, this is big bucks. Providing local delicacies with the necessary appeal is sure to improve the profile of such business establishments.
It also helps when such restaurants or eateries are located inside or close to souvenir shops, supermarket chains, duty free shops and malls.
Most tourists are usually aware of franchise outfits like KFC, McDonalds and lately Shoprite. Due to the short time most have to spend, they usually opt for one stop shops where they can do and get most of their needs. Businesses located in and around these areas have no other choice but to thrive if they apply the right strategies.
There will also be the need to constantly change hard currency to local currency and perform other cash transactions. Setting up a forex bureau, discount shops or having credit card agents will definitely buffer tourist patronage.
Partnering with the relevant local authorities will help give your brand and business the needed credibility. There is also room to set up travel insurance companies and HMOs to take care of emergency situations.
There has to be fun right? It makes sense then to have services that can cater for the fun cravings of tourists.
Setting up high class entertainment centers, pubs, discotheques and nightclubs as well as organizing periodic live shows and concerts especially during holidays is a huge revenue earning strategy.
There are possible drawbacks mitigating against smooth sail. Some of these opportunities require huge capital outlay to setup.
This will necessitate the partnership between local entrepreneurs and foreign investors. Most of these foreign investors are usually skeptical about parting with their hard-earned cash given the issues with:
- Forex and repatriation of cash woes
- Big data availability and access to credible local Intel.
Entrepreneurs who are able to weave through these seeming drawbacks have no reason not to grow their businesses into 6-7 figure hospitality enterprises.
Finally, whatever your interest is, there’s a ton of money in hospitality to go round. I’m certain these ideas will cause you to see what you’ve not been able to see till your reading this post.
Starting with your what you have and where you are will be uber good for your business. There are no fastest routes to generate money in the hospitality niche.
In Zero to One, by billionaire investor Peter Thiel who was the head of the famous PayPal mafia, he said that businesses that are bent on saving the world via an interplay of innovation and uniqueness, do eventually save the world. One characteristic theme of such businesses is that they start within a set or subset before they scale massively.
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