W Hospitality Group, Managing Director
42 years industry experience
In a few words tell us about yourself.
Born and raised in the UK, gained a Bachelors degree in hotels and tourism from the University of Surrey
What inspired your interest in the hospitality and tourism industry?
It is a complicated, challenging industry, very people oriented, an interest in food and wine – once I did my first work experience, i was 100% hooked!
What’s your vision for the hospitality & tourism industry?
To continue to grow and to create jobs for the rapidly increasing population, particularly in Africa. To be recognized by government for its contribution to economic growth and job creation, and not to be continuously taxed, licenced etc.
In what ways has your company contributed to the growth of the hospitality industry and it’s stakeholders?
I and my partners have been part of the success of over 100 hotels in Africa, including over 40 in Nigeria. Through our own companies we have created several jobs, and contributed to the knowledge and skill set of our current and former employees. we also write extensively in magazines and on-line, and publish research, adding to the corpus of knowledge of the industry at large.
What are your major challenges in your business?
None that aren’t faced by any business operating in Nigeria – finding good people to work in the business, high operating costs especially energy, but we deal with these challenges, and they do not hold us back in any way!
What are your thoughts on the state of the hospitality & tourism industry in Nigeria?
Considerable improved on 25 years ago, when i first got involved in a project here, but with a long way to go, in terms of improving the supply of quality, well run hotels, and improving the skill and knowledge base of the human resources. we desperately need more training schools!
How do you intend to join in the campaign of changing the game and perception of the hospitality & tourism industry in Nigeria?
I believe I am already part of that campaign, through my business, and being an active part of the Institute of Hospitality Nigeria Branch, and HOMAL.
Words of wisdom for intending and current industry stakeholders.
It is a great business to be in, with endless opportunities for young people to learn and progress. For investors, the profits are there if they do it properly.