Nigeria 2018 | TOURISM | COLUMN

TBY talks to Bernard Cassar, Executive Director West Africa, Bon Hotels International, on the sector.

Bernard Cassar

What is your strategy to expand your footprint in the country?

We currently have seven hotels operating in the country and another nine that are under construction. Four hotels will open in the coming months, and there are approximately between 60 and 80 different negotiations to build hotels within Nigeria. Our real target is to have 25 hotels fully operational in the three- and four-star international standard categories by end 2019. Tourism in Nigeria is in its infancy stage.

What is your outlook for 2018?

Most notably, we will diversify our hospitality offerings. We will launch a new brand, Bon Hotel X, a funky, edgy, different brand as it is time to bring that offering to Nigeria. We will also break into another brand, which will be apartment hotels for short, medium, and long-term stays. 2018 will be the year that the first international hospitality group breaks into the northern market, which will be extremely interesting and exciting for us. Finally, we will be the first African hotel group to launch a new, purely African five-star brand.