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Protea invests N11.13bn in Nigerian hospitality industry

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IMAGE: Protea Hotel »



Protea Group’s investment in Nigeria amounts to N11.13 billion (in excess of US$70 million), Arthur Gillis, chief executive officer of the Group has said.

Gillis said in an interview with BusinessDay, that Nigeria has huge potential for growth in the hospitality industry . This perhaps explains the influx of foreign hotel brands into the country.

Controlling over 30 percent of the hospitality business in Nigeria, Southern African hotel brands and hospitality management companies are big contributors to the sector. Leading the Southern African hotel brands is Protea Hotel Group with over 10 hotels across the Nigeria and five more in the pipeline. The group’s successful berthing in the Nigerian hospitality sector attracted others brands such as Sun International, Southern Sun now acquired by Tsogo Group, Radisson Blu, African Sun, among other hospitality management companies.  It also attracted skilled professionals from across the world who works as expatriates with the hope of transferring skills to the indigenes.

According to Gillis, the 2000 The Economist’s which referred to Africa has the hopeless continent but 13 years on, so many things have changed on the continent.

“The Africa we see today is not the Africa we saw 30 years ago, 20 years ago, or even 10 years ago. For most of sub-Saharan Africa we are looking at greater political will than ever before to create wealth for countries rather than cronies and actively work towards eradicating poverty and re-establishing essential industries like the agricultural sector. This is not going to happen overnight because we have a way to go catching up on infrastructure development in some areas, but we’re standing on the brink of something great.”

According to the McKinsey Global Institute, Africa’s collective GDP was already more than $1.5 trillion four years ago. With continuing rapid urbanisation, by 2030 that figure will account for the combined spending power of only Africa’s top 18 cities and will ignore the major economic drivers such as the energy sector.

While much of the development in the hospitality industry so far has been on Lagos, the regional economies are also becoming tremendously exciting. This year Protea opened its first Protea Hotel in Benin City named Protea Hotel Select Emotan.

Ogbeni Tope Awe an expert on tourism and hospitality says the entrance of international hotel brands into the country is a welcome development as it will give room for growth of local brands.

“All over the world, tourism and hospitality contribute to gross domestic products of economies,” he says. “This is possible because of the presence of big players in the hotel business in this country. The presence of international hotel brands in the country signifies the next step for the Nigerian tourism and hospitality industry.”

Since opening its doors 30 years ago, Protea Group has grown to become the largest hotel group on the continent by a significant margin. The Protea Hospitality Group comprises two brands, namely the 5-star African Pride Hotels, Lodges and Country Houses, as well as the 3- and 4-star superior Protea Hotels. There are presently some 130 hotels in nine African countries, namely Nigeria, Malawi, Zambia, Tanzania, Kenya, Namibia, South Africa, Uganda and Protea Hotels’ first property in Ghana is currently under construction.

Article Credit: BusinessDay Newspapper

Updated 5 Years ago

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