By Obinna Amaobi, Abuja
The Nigerian hospitality industry can look forward to exciting developments nationwide with the opening of over 22 hotels in major cities and towns.
In an event to announce these latest developments in Abuja on Friday, BON Hotels International said new hotel developments are set for major city routes, the northern regions and the old trade routes in the south, while hotels can be expected in major cities like Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt, as well as Kano, Yola, Kebbi, Ekiti, Ibadan, Warri, Enugu, Asaba, Owerri, and Awka amongst others.
The Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer, BON Hotels International West Africa, Mr Guy Stehlik said since inception of the hotel group that BON Hotels have always advocated for investment in Africa by Africans.
He said being able to work with talented groups of people across the continent makes the international hotel group not only hopeful, but assured of the exponential growth of the hospitality industry throughout Africa.
Stehlik said BON Hotels currently have 10 operational hotels in Nigeria and will open another 22 hotels and residences in the next few years, pointing out hotels in Kano, Ibadan, Warri, Asaba and Port Harcourt are coming first and opening within the next four months.
He said these properties/hotels will focus on not only local and international business travellers, but keen leisure travellers too.
Guy Stehlik who has a rich pedigree in the hospitality explained that the tourism landscape of Nigeria has long been dominated by business travellers with many of these travellers having to stay in traditional, multinational hotels with a run-of-the-mill approach to hospitality.
“BON Hotels has set sights on this area a few years ago and has changed the approach to hospitality expansion in Africa”.
Mr Paul Umoh, Executive Director of Operations in West Africa said it would be recalled, BON Hotels first acquired a quaint 28-roomed hotel back in 2015 and transformed the previously struggling boutique hotel into a flourishing business-focused space, determined to provide loyal clients with reliable conferencing facilities and outstanding hospitality.
Umoh noted that BON Hotels is an international hospitality company that owns, manages and markets hotels throughout Africa and now operates 16 hotels across the African continent, including hotels in Ethiopia, Namibia and South Africa.
The West African arm, BON Hotels International West Africa, oversees the operations and management of hotels throughout Nigeria, he explained.
On his part, Executive Director, Mr Bernard Cassar, said BON Hotels ethos has always been to add value, create tourism circuits, and expand the hospitality sector into all regions holistically and, in so doing, extract value.
“That’s been my mission and goal,” Cassar says
BON Hotels, he added, manages and owns hotels, lodges and resorts throughout Southern Africa, as well as West and East Africa, including hotels in Enugu, Asokoro and properties in Abuja. The growth since then has been exponential”, he explains.
According to him, the hospitality industry in Nigeria has previously focused on major cities like Lagos and Abuja, with multinational companies copying and pasting their approach of launching large hotels in the capitals of African cities, and ignoring the potential of venturing into smaller but as important cities.
This, he said, has resulted in limited options for both local and business travellers, who would not always be stationed in major cities.
“This is where BON Hotels seeks to fill the gap and provide visitors with quality accommodation and outstanding conferencing facilities run at international standards in cities like Warri, Asaba and Apo”.
Cassar said the hotel is driven by their ethos of “Good people. Good thinking. Good feeling,”, and believes in creating loyalty among guests, suppliers, hotel owners and stakeholders by bringing a relevant and fresh approach to every aspect of hotel management and operation.
“BON have developed a reputation for challenging the norm and raising the bar – all in the name of creating exceptional experiences. Developing “Africa by Africans” remains front and centre of our growth strategy and commitment to Africa.