As Africa’s giant, Nigeria’s economy, just like most in the continent is burgeoning and promising despite the recent oil crisis and economic slowdown. We are determined to support the economy through our platform by attracting both domestic and foreign tourists to discover the country’s new and exciting tourist destinations. The potentials of tourism in the country are yet to be fully developed; to this course we’re committed to use the internet to grow the sector, and change people’s lives.
Paul Midy - CEO Jumia Travel
In 2016, Nigeria ranked 1st among African economies
Tourism indirectly accounted for 4.8% of Nigeria’s total GDP 2016
Travel &tourism contribute
1.6% of the total employment
52% of Nigerians have internet connection
How can you define/ describe the hotel industry in Lagos in 2016? How did the hotel business fare in the past year?
The industry was under extreme pressure as a result of a reduction in foreign visitors, and local corporate expenditure. The price war between many hotels undermined the hospitality industry’s perceived value, and also created a lot of degradation in so far as the quality on offer. Reduced services, and ill-maintained facilities contributed to the latter due to the price wars. The hotels that kept with their product, promise, and standards, as well as having and continued to promote the hotel to the local market, instead of only chasing foreign clientele, fared better than those taking the route of playing the low-price game to attract guests. These guests were simply opportunistic, and disloyal.
What is the profile of your customer today? Where do they come from?
Our customers are more demanding and aggressive. They want attention 24 hours a day, and are intolerant of what hotels can and are able to offer. The supply outweighs the demand and thus customers are exploiting this to the fullest, where possible. Because travelling out of Nigeria or even around Nigeria is now extremely expensive or cumbersome, elite, middle-class, and corporate customers are now looking more locally for quality and suitable accommodation.
Top 5 trends in the hospitality business to watch out for in 2017?
1. More recreational facilities and services will be required.
2. Better reservation systems that are 24 hour, and easy to action will be the deal-breaker.
3. Ease or disease of air travel will affect everything.
4. Renovation and maintenance will make a hotel, and the lack thereof will break a hotel.
5. Social media is, and will be even more so the most powerful marketing tool.
Any noticeable change in hotel culture and style for business travelers?
Yes, clients are spoilt for choice, and are easily bored. Hotels have to innovate and adapt their products to ensure they retain customers. In addition, the clients are now more price savvy, so where hotels are abusing rates by charging unreasonable rates for inferior products, the clientele are simply going elsewhere. One noticeable thing is that customers have become more abusive, even malicious in their dealings with hotel personnel.
|Port Harcourt||5%||62 USD|
|Benin City||2.5%||48 USD|
What would you recommend as the fastest route to growing the Nigerian hospitality industry?
I would recommend a revamping of the aviation sector to provide the necessary perception and easy gateway for tourism. Without a sound aviation industry, the tourism section cannot grow or live up to expectations.
What are your top 4 quick fixes for the travel & tourism industry to grow beyond its current state?
1. Government endorsement of policies that favor the industry in terms of forex request from CBN.
2. Aviation fuel supply to ease operations within the industry
3. Improved infrastructure at airport terminals
4. Privatize the aviation industry
How have NANTA’s contributions impacted the hospitality industry and what are main request destinations for Nigerians in Nigeria and outside Nigeria?
NANTA’s position has been on serious advocacy to draw the government’s attention to the aviation industry and help look into the dwelling fortune that would contribute to the GDP of the country. The role of the association is that of a serious pressure group, ensuring the government listens to the yearning of the people and policies that favor the industry for the desired growth are endorsed. An example of such policies is the Aviation Intervention Fund to stabilize and assist domestic carriers to increase their competitiveness in the industry.
Some of the popular request destinations include: Calabar, Badagry, Dubai, Zanzibar, Kenya, South Africa.
3% Foreign visitor spending
97% Domestic spending
54% Leisure spending
46% Business spending
|Percentage of search||Time before|
|6%||2 to 3 Days|
|11%||1 and 2 weeks|
|10%||2 weeks to 1 month|
|6%||1 month to 2 months|
|6%||More than 2 months|
How would you describe hotels interaction with the RM team?
Hotel managers now look forward to our calls and face to face meetings (both at the hotels and our office) to hear the advice we have for them to make more businesses. The biggest challenge right now is that majority of our hotel managers prefer face-to-face meetings to phone calls/e-mails and having meetings with our hotel partners outside Lagos to strengthen our relationship e.g. Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Owerri etc.
Can you outline the innovations and technologies that Jumia Travel has adopted for seamless revenue management process and how is this improving the hotels automation?
Because of our massive growth in booking volume, it is imperative to provide better experiences to our customers and partners. The extranet (app+web) is one of the easy to use tools designed to achieve this. With this, hotel managers can:
- Take full control of their profile online (access to update their rates and availability)
- Beat competitors (adapt rates to demand and occupancy level )
- Analyze data (View statistic of visits and booking conversions made)
- Read customer's review early enough
- All these can be done at their convenience anywhere in the world
- Other technologies adopted is the acquisition of channel management like SiteMinder and RateTiger
Are there specific processes your team follow in designing great packages for the customers? And how did hotels react to our Black Friday operation?
Yes, the process is very simple: provide varieties of packages for the customers to choose from to meet their different needs. Apart from this, we have the holiday packages designed for leisure travel and the Special Wednesdays Dream deals (discounts you will never get elsewhere). Hotels reacted positively to our Black Friday, the sales were massive, publicity top-notched and this prompted the extension of some deals by hotel managements beyond the earlier agreed dates.
With the significant growth seen in the percentage of internet penetration and smartphone users in the country, the Nigerian hospitality industry will witness unprecedented growth in the coming years, as seen from its contribution last year. What more? With increasing access to the internet, more and more people will have access to select their choice holiday destination with ease.
IMF, World Bank, WTTC, UNWTO, W Hospitality Group, CIA Worlfacts, Statista.com, National bureau of Statistics, World’s top exports, Jumia Travel Business Intelligence, Shutterstock.