I was in Egypt for the first time a couple of months ago, when Arab spring part deux was on the cusp of starting up again. Despite all that going on I really enjoyed my trip. A big part of why it was so enjoyable was the quality of hotels they had on offer. I stayed at the Fairmont in Cairo and then proceeded to the resort town of El-Gouna where we stayed at a Movenpick. A major reason I enjoyed the trip so much was because everything worked as it was supposed to in all the hotels I stayed at.
For anyone who had stayed in a hotel in West Africa will know how difficult it is to get a room/hotel if everything functions as it is supposed to. So this got me to thinking why is it so difficult for hotels in West Africa to function properly?
The only answer that I can come up with is practice. I am sure the person reading this is wondering what on earth I mean by practice. Up until the mid to late 1990s there were only four or five internationally branded hotels in Nigeria. A country with over 100 million people only had a few Hawthorns and Hiltons. This lack of branded hotels provided people in the hospitality industry with limited chances of learning about hotel development/management.
As anyone who has been coming into Nigeria over the past 15 years can attest, the quality of hotels in the country has greatly improved because people in Nigeria have had a greater chance of learning the nuances of hotel development and operation with the influx of international brands. Now by no means should we in the hospitality industry here pat ourselves on the back and call it a day because as I mentioned earlier there is still a lot of improvement to be done for Nigerian hotels to achieve the level of quality and consistency as our Egyptian counterparts.
Paul Murry, GM, Hawthorn Suites Hotel