The Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC)’s Director General, Otunba Olusegun Runsewe, gave the advice in a paper on ‘Developing a hotel brand within the hospitality industry in Nigeria’ at a conference organized by Hotel Investment World in Cape Town, South Africa last week.
CliveBennett,ManagingDirector,One&onlyHotel;OtunbaSegun Runsewe Dg (Ntdc) and Diana Romburgh,Guest Relations Manager at The World Conference on Hotel Investment recently in Cape Town, South Africa.
He noted that Nigeria is a tourism friendly nation and that the hospitality industry in Nigeria is quite vibrant and holds enormous potentials for investors.
“There are hotels of different classes all over the 36 states of Nigeria and the Federal Capital territory, Abuja. These can be classified into international hotels, National hotels, urban hotels, Motels and Guest houses, sub-urban hotels and rural hotels”
Runsewe explained that in establishing a viable hotel brand in Nigeria that adequate knowledge of the hotel industry in the country is important, adding “the point of departure would therefore be to conduct an in-depth research on the classes of hotels in Nigeria, the kind of clientele and services they offer.
He added “the level of patronage in relation to the different classes of hotels, the status of the consuming public, consumers’ behavior and responses to variations in tariff, the quality of services rendered, the level of customer satisfaction and above all what is specifically lacking in terms of service and overall packaging in the Nigerian hotel industry.”
Speaking on how to develop an hotel brand in the country, the NTDC boss said that, “every brand must have a reputation in an increasingly competitive world. Brand has come to assume a very critical position in the efforts of hotel owners and operators to gain advantage over others in the hospitality industry.
“A brand can make you have access to a facility you may not have requested for, despite the huge efforts and resources it requires to begin and sustain a brand in the hotel industry, most experts and professionals are generally of the view that branding is a worthwhile exercise”.
Runsewe said the question today is not whether branding is necessary in the hotel and hospitality industry but how individual organizations can develop and sustain a brand that could give them an edge over others.
He regretted however that the disconnection in branding remains the massive support and promotion foreign brands enjoy at the expense of domestic brands stating that, “the local brands are suffering either because they lack reputation or they lack loyalty and my appeal to these brands is to engage the services of brand managers.”