Carlson Rezidor, one of the hotel companies in the world and which is confident about the Nigerian economy expects to invest about $400 million in Nigeria’s hospitality industry in the next four years.
The company which has Radisson Blu, Park Inn Radisson and other brands plans to open additional six hotels in Nigeria under its various brands. It already has three hotels operational in Nigeria out of which two are in Lagos.
Andrew Mclachlan, Senior Vice President, Business Development, Africa and Indian Ocean for Carlson Rezidor who was in Nigeria recently for the opening of 155-rooms Radisson Blu Hotel in Ikeja Lagos, anticipated that in the course of the year, the group would add three more properties in Nigeria believing that the country has the capability to give real scale of growth.
“We have identified Nigeria as a key country for scaled growth and the addition of our second Radisson Blu in the megacity of Lagos perfectly complements our development strategy”, Andrew said.
He said that Nigeria’s economy is turning positively and there are a lot of green shoots. “We are quite bullish about Nigeria because hotel business is a long term project. Most contracts are in to 20 years agreement, so we are not looking at Nigeria of today. We think Nigeria has all the right fundamentals over a 20 year period to be a great place to do business. In Africa, Nigeria and S/African are the two markets that have great growth potential”.
With the opening of the Ikeja Radisson Blu Hotel in partnership with Avalon Intercontinental Nigeria Limited, an international independent hotel group, Carlson Rezidor now has a portfolio in Africa of 85 hotels and over 17,800 rooms in operation and under development.
Answering questions on why Carlson Rezidor is interested in and managing already built hotels instead of building its hotels, Andrew said in the group’s development strategy, it has 50% new build and 50 % take up of existing hotels for management.
“In Nigeria and some parts of Africa, we take up most of the hotels but for our new built hotels we start from scratch. This is a very unique opportunity for us to step in and take over a brand new hotel. Looking forward, we would like to have a combination of take-over of some existing hotels and new built. Why we won’t focus on take- over alone is that in certain parts of the country, it is proper to locate a new build from scratch”.