The global hospitality industry is a trillion dollar industry. This is because everyone at some point in their lives has been part of contributing to the fastest growing industry in the world – tourism. Whether you’ve stayed in a hotel, hopped on a plane or paid to go on a tourism tour, you have made a contribution to the global hospitality industry.
Understandably, a large chunk of the contributions is being scooped by the so developed nations. The 2018 edition of the UNWTO report reveals the top 10 countries that make the most from tourism. The countries: USA, $299 billion, Spain: $96 billion, France: $86 billion, Thailand: $81 billion, United Kingdom: $72 billion, Italy: $62 billion, Australia: $59 billion, Germany: $57 billion, Macao (China): $51 billion and Japan: $48 billion.
Where is Nigeria?
In monetary terms, the sector contributed approximately N2.3 billion to the GDP as a direct contribution and N6.2 billion as a total contribution to the GDP. This is according to the Nigeria Hospitality Report published by Jumia’s Hotel and Flight Services.
In Africa, Nigeria is number 4 in terms of earnings from the hospitality according to the UNWTO report. South Africa, Egypt and Morocco hold the first three positions respectively.
This is not surprising as the African Hospitality Report discovered that Africa only received 5% of international arrivals.
Regardless, what is stopping Nigeria from earning the most income from tourism in Africa with all her ‘hospitality goodies’? The answer is because we have not fully explored the diverse and innumerable opportunities in the hospitality industry.
The opportunities in Nigeria’s Hospitality industry
There is a good number of travel agencies that can serve not only the Nigeria market but also the international market. Indeed, one of the popular travel agencies is Jumia‘s hotel and flight marketplace where you can book hotels, flight and packages at the best available rate.
Nigeria has so many tourism destinations; some are yet to be explored while others are yet to be discovered. In-between, the attractions that have been discovered are barely toured or visited in the past. This is no longer the case. With the emergence of tour businesses like Tour2Nigeria, Irinajo, Social Prefect and TVP adventures, managed by young and vibrant Nigerians, more and more Nigerians are visiting these destinations.
Museums, festivals and other cultural venues
Museums are located in all of Nigeria’s geopolitical zones. Some of them are Badagry Museum (Lagos), Gidan Makama Museum (Kano), National War Museum (Abia) and Slave History Museum (Calabar) among others. These museums have to be repositioned to attract visitors because they can be a source of income for the government. For festivals, the country is blessed with a potpourri of festivals. From the Osun-Osogbo festival in the West to Calabar carnival in the South, Mmanwu & New Yam festival in the East and the Durbar in the North; Nigeria is home to colourful festivals and other cultural valuables.
Concert and theatre venues
The Lagos Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Mr Steve Ayorinde, revealed that the tourism sector recorded major success in the last quarter of 2018. The state earned an excess of N50bn in cash transactions, especially in weeks preceding and following the Yuletide season. If you were in Lagos, you would be aware that a lot of concerts were held. If other states in Nigeria can earn as much as what Lagos is earning from the hospitality industry, then the contributions of the sector to the GDP will be doubled.
Other opportunities: conferences and conventions centres, spas and wellness centres, cruise companies, event management, food tourism, medical tourism, religious tourism, theme parks, fitness clubs and sports organizations (such as gyms, golf clubs, and tennis facilities), hotel development and construction and manufacturers and suppliers of hospitality equipment.
To ensure that these opportunities are fully explored so that Nigeria’s hospitality industry will attract both local and international visitors, the government have to be committed to boosting tourism infrastructure and supporting businesses in the sector.