With the Central Bank of Nigeria announcing a possible recession hitting the economy by 2016, analysts have forecasted higher cash receipts for the hospitality sector.
According to PriceWaterHouseCoopers, the global accounting firm, although the domestic market took a knock in the first half of the year, an increase in hotel bookings is projected to occur at a 6.6% compound annual rate to 2.2 million by 2019.
While the wider economy takes a beating, stakeholders are optimistic that with infrastructure investments in technology taking center stage, the ease of trade will turn the fate of the industry from peripheral to mainstream in the near future.
Kushal Dutta, Managing Director of Jovago, said: “The hospitality industry has faced a lot of challenges this year but it is a tremendously resilient sector. Despite a number of regional incidents, the industry has still grown faster than the GDP by about 1 percent.
“With this in mind, we are optimistic about its ability to compete on the international stage, adapt and succeed. There are more investments being made in the deployment of ICT and e-commerce is playing a key support role so although the yields may not be as high it has the capacity to be, but we are still likely to see some improvements in the sector,” Dutta said.
Although a slowdown in general growth is expected to hit the country, a report released by the Nigerian Bureau of Statistics, showed the accommodation and food services industry outperformed the wider economy raising its contributions to GDP by 5.24 percent in Q3 of 2015, giving investors some reprieve.
In spite of the positive outlook, the government emphasizes the need for better preparedness for long economic headwinds.
Speaking to newsmen recently, Godwin Emefiele, governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria said at the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) meeting that “the overall economic environment remains fragile. The economy further slowed in the second quarter of the year, making it the second consecutive quarterly less-than-expected performance.”
As the new administration promises a revamp of dormant sectors, hopes are high that the nation will begin making tangible progress in line with global objectives.