The history of the hotel industry in Nigeria cannot be told without the mention of the Lagos Airport Hotel and the attainment of the 80-year mark is a testament to the resilience of both management and board at various times.
Over the last decade, the hospitality industry has faced various challenges. Notable amongst them is the COVID-19 pandemic which decimated the tourism and hospitality market. Despite all, Lagos Airport Hotel has remained true to its values as an Odu’a Investment company, resilient, proud of its history, heritage and committed service.
“It is that enduring legacy of trust and consistency that made notable personalities
converge on the Oranmiyan Hall of the hotel to celebrate a legacy of trust and consistency.
In the presence of the representatives of all the Southwest governors, and traditional and religious leaders, the Odu’a Investment Company Limited (OICL) said it was set for robust years ahead and returning of the hotel to its past glory.
The celebration afforded the management of the hotel an opportunity as a business to retrospect, review and look forward and think about what can be done to sustain the gains and protect this heritage for the generations yet unborn.
Group Chairman, OICL, Otunba Bimbo Ashiru, said the parent company remained resolute in its vision for Lagos Airport Hotel, to make it one of the top five hotels and conferencing destinations in Lagos.
“We are committed along with the backing of our shareholders to use the strategic partnership with credible investors to unleash massive infrastructural remodelling and redevelopment of our hospitality businesses with acclaimed brands of global recognition.”
This we believe is the right strategy as it avails us access to capital and global hospitality expertise to make our hotels world-class.
“We have made a breakthrough with Premier Hotel in Ibadan recently and we will vigorously pursue a similar strategy for Lagos Airport Hotel.
“We, as a board, remain committed to the long-term future of Lagos Airport Hotel as a sustainable business entity that will hold its own for many more years to come.”
Giving a lecture on the theme, Culture, Tourism And Hospitality As Agents Of Economic Growth, President, Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators of Nigeria (ICSAN), Gbenga Owokalade said changes had become particularly marked over the past decade with respect to the range of products and services offered within hotels and restaurants and these, in turn, have had significant implications for workplace practices and relations.
“In 2019, travel and tourism contributed 4.5 per cent (N8 trillion) to Nigeria’s GDP, however, it plummeted to 2.8 per in 2020 as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The future of Nigeria’s tourism industry would however appear to be bright.
“The global tourism body’s report also provides optimism for the short-term recovery, as the sector’s contribution is set to reach near pre-pandemic levels by next year, just 3.5 per cent behind 2019 levels.
“There is good news even in the short term as the report states that by the end of this year, the Nigerian travel and tourism sector’s contribution to GDP is expected to grow 10.4 per cent, to reach more than N7.2 trillion (3.9 per cent of the total economy), while employment in the sector is set to grow by 4.3 per cent to create more than 2.5 million jobs.
“The southwest region has a population of about 47 million people which is about 22% of the total population of Nigeria. By population size, Yoruba land would rank roughly with the European countries of Spain, Ukraine and Poland all of which will be 40 million population.”
In his request, he said the Nigerian government must lead the way by creating a sustainably conducive environment to support the private sector in tourism development for economic growth and development. Nigeria must strive to improve her ease of doing business profile as there is a direct correlation between auspicious business and growth in the tourism and hospitality business.
“The nation needs to embark on accelerated infrastructural development to attract tourism with all attendant benefits. Deliberate, purposeful and sustained efforts must be made by the government to develop many of the huge tourism potentials of the country that are yet untapped.
“Government should also make efforts to reduce visa bureaucracy with a view to promoting visitations to the country. The more complicated the bureaucracy, the less inclined people are to embark on tourism to such destinations, and there should be collaborative efforts among all stakeholders in the Nigerian project to improve the image and brand of the country while efforts should be sustained to inculcate in the people’s psyche the national ethics and ethos. This will lead to positive national transformation.
“The nation must not only sustain but must continue to improve her partnership with other countries and international organisations like World Trade Organisation (WTO) to promote international understanding and cooperation and thus position herself as a strategic partner in the global economic parlance.”
In her remark, Chairperson, Board Of Directors, Lagos Airport Hotel Limited, Princess Olufunnke Olugboji said: “Lagos Airport Hotel Limited is one of the legacies left behind by the founding fathers of the Yoruba race.
“Many hotels have come and gone. Many businesses and their owners are already forgotten. Our hotel is still standing and providing exceptional hospitality services to its numerous clients.
“At 80, the owners (Ondo, Ekiti, Lagos, Osun and Ogun State) are happy to see the company grow, the clients want to identify with the greatness of the hotel and the staff is very proud to say that they are part of this celebration of greatness.
The Lagos Airport Hotel started with five rooms and has grown over 80 years of doing the same business through the resourcefulness, creativity, and innovation of its handlers.
“With 277 comfortable rooms within three major blocks and a Monarchial Suite, the Lagos Airport Hotel is popular for its location on over 10 acres of land with a standard hospitality setting. Hotel signature items like its luxurious rooms, conference halls, restaurants, bars, and an Olympic-sized swimming pool, inspired by its unique colour and imposing blocks, make this hospitality icon stand out from the crowd.”