Southern Sun Hotel Chief Rolls Out Upgrade Plan

SouthernSun-1-08-CopyThe General Manager at Southern Sun hotel Ikoyi, Mark Loxley, has highlighted the agenda to upgrade the hotel in order to stand up to competition, which appears to be getting tougher with the arrival of new hospitality establishments in the Lagos metropolis.

Southern Sun Ikoyi, a four-star hotel, opened for business in June 2009 with rooms now numbering 195. Within those years, it has catered for high-end customers from government to corporate world and diplomatic circle.

But the dynamic of the hotel market is changing: Customers’ taste is becoming more sophisticated due to experience, their choice sets are growing wider as more hotels come on stream, and market externalities are becoming more unstable.

One of the uncontrollable factors presently affecting the fortunes of businesses in Nigeria including hotel industry is the global crash of oil price. The crude price presently hovers between $ 45 and $50 per barrel with effect that diminishes earning inflow into the Nigeria economy.

To keep its position in the lead, Southern Sun has therefore begun upgrading exercise, which according Loxley, will span about 18 months.

“We have completed the soft renovation on our ground floor areas. We changed carpet of the entire ground floor, the restaurant, and bar among others. We’ve also brought in new furniture, upgraded droplights. We also refurbished some of the furniture downstairs as well as the upstairs. 
We intend in the next 18 months to look towards rooms, upgrading refurbishment.”

Loxley assured that his organisation would continue to add values to its offering in order to beat the unwavering competition that defines the nature of hotel business.

“We shall focus on our basic service identity and make sure that the facilities and services are kept and well maintained,” he said.
The manger expressed hope that the change of leadership in the Nigerian government will inject new life into the economy and create attraction for tourists.

“I think second half of this year is going to be stronger for the hotel industry and we are going to see a lot of people coming back in to the business environment.”

He said Southern Sun Ikoyi would look at new markets, which are different from regular areas by paying more attention to local events, sports and cultural events. “We want to make sure that we remain aligned with activities within Lagos. Anything on the sporting cultural and side we try to partner and we continue to seek new business ideas because that is what everyone is looking for.”

And with the Lagos State grading exercise, which recently classified Southern Sun Ikoyi as four-star hotel, Loxley said the recognition “gives the general public a better idea of the true value of the hotel.”

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