Notwithstanding the potential of the tourism sector in the country, prevailing security challenges continue to undermine the growth of the sector, even as operators develop new solutions to mitigate the problems.
The Managing Director, Transcorp Hotels Plc, Dupe Olusola, acknowledged the prevailing challenges but noted that the company, through its recently unveiled solution, Aura, plans to expand the nation’s hospitality industry.
She noted that the tourism industry is still largely unexploited.
The slow growth in the hospitality sector is despite reports by PwC projecting Nigeria to be the fastest-growing market by 2026 with a projected 12.0 per cent compound yearly increase with new hotels scheduled to open in the next five years.
Olusola, at an online conference to introduce the firm’s new digital platform, Aura through which people can book accommodation, restaurants and experiences, stated the challenges presented by security and the pandemic have thrown lots of opportunities open in the tourism sector.
She added that Transcorp has invested so much in Aura by partnering with local technical partners to verify security situations in all areas of its operations.
“We have gone the extra mile to verify every single accommodation on our platform, because we place priorities on safety, hygiene and comfort and we understand the market so we will be better than any other competitor in the industry,” she said.
According to her, the platform would showcase all the nation’s leisure places to attract both local and foreign tourists, saying that plans are also underway to expand the platform across Africa.
She noted that the app is part of the company’s asset-light model leveraging technology to deliver true hospitality, exciting experiences and boosting shareholders’ value.
Earlier, the Director, Business Development Aura by Transcorp Hotels Plc, Ifeoma Okafor-Obi, said the app would go a long way to democratise access to Nigeria’s hospitality industry while also providing opportunities for people to showcase their skills on the platform.
In her words:” Aura is for everyone and it is a platform that creates a level playing field for people to come on board to showcase their skills and talents riding on the pedigree of Transcorp Hotels.”
She said Transcorp is working with thousands of partners across Nigeria as it is building the continent’s largest platform for people-driven hospitality.
She added that the app connects people to quality accommodation, great food and experiences to treasure.
“It is now easier for you to choose from an array of verified homes, carefully selected restaurants and specially curated experiences from your mobile phone or tablet running on Android,” she added.