Marriott poised for quick expansion in Nigerian hospitality market
Barely two years after setting foot on the Nigerian hospitality market, Marriott International, a leading global hotel brand, has seen more local partners willing to deliver its world-class offerings than other international hotel brands operating in the country.
With three ongoing five-star properties (two in Abuja and one in Lagos) expected to open before the end of 2015, and more in the pipeline across the country, Marriott hopes to usher in competitive offerings anticipated by hospitality stakeholders to crash average room rates from $300 to $200.
Expectation is also high that the coming of Marriott into the Nigerian market will bring about a paradigm shift which industry analysts expect is going to drive improved service delivery and serve as an industry benchmark.
Marriott, a leading hospitality company with more than 3,800 properties, 19 brands and associates at managed and franchised properties around the world, is headquartered in Maryland, USA. It reported revenues of nearly $12 billion in fiscal year 2012 and has been known since 1927 for a culture that puts people first, offering advantages of a strong balance sheet, sound management and a record of industry leadership.
Already,? the pace of its acceptance in Nigeria, the willingness of more investors in the partnerships it offers, and ongoing developments across the country are taken very seriously by already established international brands who are now seeking more partnerships to deliver more hotels across the country. Marriott?s recently concluded purchase of the Protea Group, a regional hotel brand based in South Africa, is a further signal of its willingness to do real hotel business in Africa.
At its launch in Nigeria, Alex Kyriakidis, president and managing director, Marriott International, Middle East and Africa, said: ?In Abuja, we have already signed and announced our 250-room Courtyard by Marriott Abuja, along with our 100-room Marriott Executive Apartments Abuja, in the Central Business District on Samuel Ademulegun Avenue.?
Kyriakidis said that Marriott was delighted to establish in Nigeria because of the strong economic indicators, strong hospitality sector indicators and demand generators, along with a very small existing supply of hotels, adding: ?These give us confidence that this market and country, along with the rest of Africa, are ripe for development.?
Close industry watchers are quite excited with Marriott?s coming into the Nigerian market.
?We are going to see an improvement in service delivery that has been one of the drawbacks in the hospitality industry where hotels ascribe ratings; for example, you see a five-star hotel but it is not certified with services that are of world-class standards,? said Chudi Ejekam, director, real estate, Actis Nigeria.
?With these new brands coming into the marketplace, it becomes more structured in terms of what one can expect when you walk into hotels like a Marriott.?
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