Africa: A Nigerian Hotel, Ibom Golf Resort flipped the Covid19 lockdown into a profitable tourism business

Resort

Ibom Hotel and Resort voted as one of the best resorts in Nigeria located in the capital city of Uyo, Akwa Ibom state is a destination for both business, conference and leisure.

And aside from the 163 luxury rooms, restaurant, bars and the banquet hall, there are other visible and appealing things to see at the destination like the Marina, Slave Trade boat, world class 18 hole golf course and the quiet nature of the resort but It was not just the facilities that boosted occupancy rate from 30% to 80%.

The General Manager of Ibom Hotel and Resorts, Brian Efa spoke at length during a zoom conference organized by Naija 7 Wonders team on how he was able to move the establishment to a greater height especially during the covid-19 pandemic when many business ventures were struggling to keep their head above water. The effect of Covid-19 on travel and tourism industry is a huge one but that did not stop Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort from emerging Top 3 best resorts in Nigeria.

Speaking at the virtual meeting, Brian revealed some of the strategies he implemented for the purpose of growth.

According to him, while every other business managers went to sleep during the pandemic, he and his team were busy generating ideas on ways to uplift Ibom hotel and resorts. Among the strategy he implemented are: the formulation of a zero energy policy which saved 100 million energy cost and boosted productivity rate, a social media collaboration geared at promoting and repositioning the brand, an upgrade of safety and hygiene guidelines and lastly, constantly budgeting for growth.

In terms of comfort and hygiene, he said new guidelines were implemented for the interest of occupants and other stakeholders in line with federal government and National Center for Disease Control (NCDC) directives to mitigate the spread of Covid-19. At the entrance of the hotel, proper temperature check, hand sanitizer and a free nose mask is given to guests to make sure they are ready to enter the vicinity.

Being the first hospitality facility to put in place safety and hygiene guidelines after the pandemic, foreign expatriates and oil workers who wanted comfort and safety for their staff patronized Ibom hotel. Little wonder why it is referred to as the most preferred destination if you’re looking for a safe and hygienic destination to stay.

“The most challenging year was the most productive year.” Brian stated. The last time Ibom resort made profit was in 2014. Return of asset was very bad at the time. The occupancy rate was low during that period: with less than 45% and that was what prompted Brian to change the narrative at the time and now with over 80% occupancy rate, Ibom hotel has been repositioned. Thanks to Brian’s dedication and 15 years’ experience in the hospitality business.

When asked what his plan for the resort is, Brian said that his motto is to change the hotel to be called a Destination. Frankly, he is on the right track as the facility is world class. Who would have believed that a Nigerian could drive such change? He has obviously changed the status quo.

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