Recession forces hotel occupancy to 10 year low, ebbs below 40%
Operators of the nation’s hospitality sector have opened up on the impacts of recession on their business.
Checks by our correspondent across mega hotels in Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt showed serious drop in overnight patronage in the last seven months.
A senior official with one of the five star hotels in Abuja who pleaded anonymity said “Patronization started dropping even before the federal government came out openly to agree that the economy was in recession”.
The senior manager who pleaded anonymity added that “Unlike by this time last year, many of our presidential suites and business class had been booked away, but the situation now is very critical. Even night clubbing has dropped and night live here in Abuja is no more what it used to be.
He was quick to add that “In fact, since October ending, we have devised a strategy to be calling on our known heavy patronizers not to forget us and they keep telling us that things are not clicking this time”.
However, he revealed an emerging trend in the industry, saying available markets now seem to have been taken away by middle class hotels that used to get patronage when hotels like ours have run out of rooms.
In Lagos, whereas night life in key joints like Surulere, Opebi, Apapa and some select points in Victoria Island have faded away, some top five star hotels hardly get occupancy patronage.
A sales manager in one the popular hotels in Ikeja told Business Hilights that if the trend continues, “we may be forced to cut service rates in order to fight for the retainer-ship of our big time customers who may be tempted to look the other way because most of rooms are paid for in dollars”.