Jumia Travel (formerly Jovago), the hotel booking service of the Jumia group, released a 2017 Travel Report for Nigeria. Although 2016 was marked with an economic slowdown, the travel company continues to see development potential in the country’s tourism sector, and potential growth in domestic and foreign hotel demand.
2016 was a tough year for the hotel industry – the sector faced external pressures including reduced inbound foreign travel and domestic corporate expenditure. Bruce Prins, a hospitality consultant, remarked that the price wars between hotels had a negative impact on the industry’s perceived value and led to reduced quality of service and product. Kushal Dutta, the Managing Director for Jumia Travel Nigeria, however sees the “huge potential for international non-Africans traveling within Africa…and the potential of the domestic travellers traveling within Africa.” 62% of the revenue share of the travel market in Africa comes from within the continent, and Nigeria being a major market contributes a large portion of this revenue from its urban centers. Lagos was the main destination, with 58% of the country’s demand. Abuja, Ibadan and Port Harcourt each constituted 13%, 6% and 5%, respectively.
Infrastructure is a main challenge facing the Nigerian hotel and travel industry, and the firm also cites shifting consumer behavior from off-line shopping to online as another challenge.
Notable 2017 travel trends to look for include increased domestic and intra-Africa travel, more emphasis on recreational facilities, a focus on hotel renovations and maintenance, social media as a powerful marketing tool, and 24-hour reservation systems.