The boom in the hotel industry in Nigeria is alarming and the presence of accommodation outlets on almost every street in key cities in the country calls for strategies that can give hotels more competitive advantage in the industry. The competition is not just with international brands but also with local hotel brands. Here are five simple things every hotel can do to be attract more guests
Some hotels have a problem with brand identity so as a result, marketing is a problem. There are different types of hotels in Nigeria – business hotels, family and leisure hotels, conference hotels and resorts or just basic guest houses. Just having rooms for sleeping is not sufficient in today’s market. Guests want to have a reason for staying in your hotel and find that reason and then sell it. Figure out what facilities you have in the hotel apart from the usual small gym and swimming pool. Is your location to your advantage – is it close to an airport, a conference facility, a beach or a shopping center? then sell it. If you do not have the space for many facilities the capitalize on what products and services you provide in the rooms – high speed and reliable internet, comfortable reading table and chair, meeting rooms that may be small be properly equipped etc.
With the help presence of online booking sites like Hotels.ng, Jovago, Slim Trader and the likes of them, making reservations has been simplified for Nigerian hotels to a large extent. However, it is nothing compared to having your own website where you can sell yourself the way you want to do it. On your site, you can update your guests on your products and services, showcase your room types, your food and beverage offers and other facilities. You can also advertise your promotions and guests can share their feedback on the hotel website. Note however that content on the websites have to be updated frequently.
Our industry has a lot of demands related to very personal issues like hygiene, safety, security, privacy and comfort as well as enhancing productivity of your guest during his or her stay in your hotel. As a result, everything matters and our five senses have parts to play in the whole scheme of thing. How do things look, feel, smell, taste and what do you hear while in the hotel? We are in 2016 and anyone bold enough to have a hotel in this country with so many market challenges should be willing to go the extra mile. How do your tables look? How does the room smell? How does the bed feel? How does the food or drink taste, how noisy are your generators and air conditioners?
Nigerians can be quite tolerant and may not complain about anything while they are in -house but that does not mean that they have not made their decision regarding whether they will ever return to your hotel or even recommend your hotel to anyone else. Service delivery is a key issue in our hotels and it is good to note that we are in the service industry. How are problems resolved? Do we follow up with guest feedback? How do we present our products and services? Do we offer good value for money? This is 2016 and every hotelier should have an idea of what a hotel is expected to look like especially if you want to stand out.
These are the 2 major challenges facing the hotel industry in Nigeria and unfortunately, they are very important to the guest. A guest may not have power consistently at home but it a necessity in a hotel. The highest percentage of hotel operational cost is usually power as the general electricity supply in the country is almost non-existent. However, guests want a good night sleep in this hot country and their lives as well as the safety of their property are equally very important
Nigerian Hotels need to step up to meet up with basic international standards and not all of standards are capital intensive. Until hotel ratings and certifications can be properly done in the country by the required organisation, make an effort to excel and the reward will be encouraging
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