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This study examined the challenges and solutions to the development of hospitality industries in Nigeria. The study was limited to Selected hotels in Benin City, Edo state. The data for this research work was collected from both primary and secondary sources of data. Sampling population is used to avoid possible errors in dealing with population. The population size was narrowed down to determine the sample size. A statistical formula was used in determining the sample size. Sample size of 80 was adopted for this study. The analysis was represented in tabular form for easy understanding and it consist the number of respondents and the corresponding percentage and chi – square was used as the statistical tools used for testing more than two population using data base on two independent random samples. The study concludes that effective management is key to organizational productivity. The study further recommended that the operating environment of the sector should be made conducive enough to attract foreign investors who will improve the level of service rendered by the operators in this sector.




1.1     Background of the study

In recent times, the Nigerian economy has witnessed tremendous ‘growth’ in the hospitality industry leading to the emergence of hotels, fast food restaurant chains, night clubs and cruise lines. These positive trends in no small measure are clearly helping to re-define the face of the hospitality industry in Nigeria. Information on the street shows that the industry is booming (Davis, 2009).

The hospitality industry can be categorized under the service industry and refers to the provision of lodging services, restaurants, event planning, theme parks, transportation, cruise line, and additional fields within the tourism industry (Akogun, 2006). Hospitality industry has provided high yields in returns to investors. The hospitality industry is an important part of development and economic emergence and attractiveness.

Globally it is a multi-billion dollar industry with broad offerings, in Nigeria the best of hospitality development is found in accommodations and restaurants. The hospitality market is booming in Nigeria and with that boom comes new found diversification in range, quality and classifications yet there is much room for growth, diversification and standardization. The industry faces many challenges including instability in power supply, security, negative global publicity and the effects of the general issues facing the growth of tourism in Nigeria (Akogun, 2006).

The Hospitality Industry is a ubiquitous one which spans hotels, bars, restaurants, theme parks and a host of other related businesses. Globally, it is a money spinning industry with billions of dollars to its credit even though in this part of the world, we are still grappling with putting the industry on the right pedestal so as to wholly benefit like other countries (Davis, 2009). Just like any other business running in Nigeria, there are areas of concentration – accommodation and restaurants which seemingly, is the ‘honey pot’ for practitioners in Nigeria.

The hospitality industry in Nigeria is variegated depending on the location. Some of the outfits found in big cities boast of ‘reasonably’ high quality of service while those in the outskirts offer a lower standard (Omozuwa, 2011). It is therefore not surprising that since the industry has become an ‘all comers affair’, there is in reality, no true classification of restaurants and hotels as obtainable in other countries. Consequently, most hotels have taken a bold step of prescribing their own grading leading to confusion amongst their clientele.

The world over, the hospitality industry has provided high yield in returns on investments. Whether or not this has trickled down to the employees is a story for another day. Not long ago staff of about three ‘self-acclaimed’ international hotels embarked on a strike in Lagos State which disrupted the operations of the hotels (Omozuwa, 2011). According to them, this was owing to the poor working environment and employee packages of these organisations, although their employers were not in agreement with these claims.

The Nigerian market has seen an influx of international brands (Swarbrooke, 2005). However, this is still not reflected in the quality of services rendered. They seem to have fallen into the abyss of ideological quagmire by forgetting to recognise the fact that the industry thrives on service. Take away the services from the hospitality industry then there is nothing to build on. Even in Japan, where plans are ongoing to replace humans with robots. Practitioners have asked if robots will be as intelligent as humans. Others have tagged it as klutzy according to the Guardian UK particularly because humans still outperform robots in terms of dexterity on the job and balance. Although the hotels in Nigeria offer different services to all classes of customers yet they suffer from a culture that is alien to supporting good customer service.


1.2     Statement of problem

The Nigerian Hospitality Industry is faced with a myriad of challenges ranging from poor energy supply and insecurity to misconstrued internal perception, cynical global perspicacity, flawed hotel classification, poor customer service, little or no standardisation in operations, inconsistent regulatory environment and skilled labour shortages caused by a few entrepreneurs with little knowledge of the workings of the industry who hijack the process to perpetuate plans for their own personal aggrandizement (Hornby, 1995).

Indeed, the industry operates in a country whose growth rate is estimated at about 7.4% per annum. The challenges cascades from the ineffective top echelon in government down to the least of employees in the industry. Arguably, the industry has not recorded much progress in terms of achievements from its past precedence (Hornby, 1995). Notwithstanding, more than ever before, it has become more lucrative depending on which side of the divide you find yourself i.e. employer or employee.

Owing to the sudden but expected boom in the tourism and hospitality industry worldwide, every country is on the lookout on how to improve their tourism and hospitality industry so as to achieve their desired aim.

Hospitality industry account for a large proportion of individual (quest in this country and are faced with numerous problems. These problems hinder the growth and development of hotel industries in Nigeria and Edo State in particular, thereby limiting their potential contributions to the development of this nation’s economy.


1.3     Objectives of the study

The following forms the objectives of the study;

  1. To investigate the challenges facing the tourism and hospitality industry in Benin City, Edo state.
  2. To investigate also the causes of these challenges found in the sector
  3. To suggest a possible means of minimizing or stopping the challenges faced by this sector.

1.4     Research question

The following forms the research questions of the study;

  1. To investigate the challenges facing the tourism and hospitality industry in Benin City, Edo state.
  2. To investigate also the causes of these challenges found in the sector
  3. To suggest a possible means of minimizing or stopping the challenges faced by this sector.

1.5     Significance of the study

Considering the impotence of the problem in this research the findings are expected to be of great importance to guide hotel managers and proprietors on effective hotel management and to enhance their performance it will also be of guide on how to handle complex matter. However, the hotel industries have many roles to play in the economic development of less development country like Nigeria  of course they remain important in the  economies.

It is the expectations of the researcher that at the end of this research work, the researcher will have been able to establish the various challenges facing the hospitality industry in Nigeria especially Selected hotels in Benin City, Edo state and devise possible means of solving or overcoming these challenges.

1.6     Scope of the study

The scope of the study covers the challenges and solutions to the development of hospitality industries using some selected hotel in Benin city as a case study.

1.7     Limitation of study

There is no research or study without its own unique limitations, therefore the short comings of this research are:

  1. Due to the novelty of this study, there was insufficient relevant materials (journals, books, etc) for the literature review. Some journals are not accessible online and acquiring them could prove impossible considering the tedious procedure involved especially through online purchase.
  2. There was also reluctance and lack of cooperation on the part of the respondents in answering the questions in the questionnaire appropriately. This of course proved a serious limitation to this study.
  3. The fact that the method of study was survey and focus group discussion, means that it was mainly the opinion of the respondents that was elicited, the sincerity of the respondents may not be known or determined.

1.8     Definition of terms

To fully comprehend the topic under discussion, the researcher believes that definition of the following terms will be of a great help;

CHALLENGE: the situation of being faced with something that needs great mental or physical effort in order to be done successfully and therefore tests a person’s ability.

DEVELOPMENT: grow or cause to grow and become more mature, advanced, or elaborate.

GUESTS: These refer to personalities that patronize the hotel industries for  a purpose they are also customers to the hotel.

HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY: The hospitality industry is a broad group of businesses that provide services to customers. It’s focused on the satisfaction of customers and providing specific experiences for them.

HOSPITALITY: The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

IMPACT: the action of one object coming forcibly into contact with another.

LTF: (International training funds) this is a recognized the workers, they also invest money into industries for upliftment of the industrialization of the country

MANAGERIAL INCAPABILITY: This refers to the incapability to manage property by managers. The causes of this many be as a result utterance or inadequate funds.

NBTE: National board for technical education this is a certificate of recognition awarded by technical colleges and commercial school the above body specializes in man power development.

TOURISM: The commercial organization and operation of holidays and visits to places of interest.

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