WEDNESDAY, 30 JUNE 2010 01:20 BADEJO ADEMUYIWA
In its bid to become the largest hospitality chain in Africa, Transnational Corporation of Nigeria Plc (Transcorp) has made a major investment in the 146-room Metropolitan Hotel, Calabar.
This investment paves the way for Transcorp’s strategy to grow by acquisition, in its quest to become the most dominant conglomerate in Africa over the next 5 to 7years. Transcorp, with this investment, will create a “new” hotel, with strong international management and branding by Hilton, and the relationship that will be formed with the Abuja property that Hilton operates.
Metropolitan Hotel Calabar has potential to meet standards for a Hilton branded hotel. The rooms are spacious enough and meet the Hilton average room size of 28 square metres. It also has a nicely decorated and spacious lobby, the minimum standard two restaurants, adequate service areas, and meeting and conference facilities. The location of the Hotel affords it excellent visibility from all directions, due largely to its corner position on the bend in the highway. The building’s height gives it presence, and it is easily identified.
Transcorp Corporate Relations Manager, Yinkha Okotore, gave reasons why Calabar and the hotel were the choice of the corporation in its drive to being the largest hospitality chain on the continent. ‘’The Metropolitan Hotel which is a premiere destination hotel in Calabar, has a long, romantic history with both the citizens and government in Calabar, and remains the destination hotel for Cross River state government, who guarantees referrals for everyone doing state business. It also boasts of the only conference facility in the city, so it is used for most conferences and banquets’’.
Cross River State is one of the fastest growing states in Nigeria today. Besides agriculture which accounts for approximately 40 percent of State GDP, its natural beauty has helped to make tourism a leading sector that continues to grow.With Transcorp’s Hilton branded hotel in Calabar, it will truly make this the main vacation and conference destination for every Nigerian.
With the addition of the enhanced quality product proposed for the Metropolitan Hotel by Transcorp and Hilton International, and the major infrastructural projects being sponsored by the State government, demand levels will reach historic levels, if not exceed them.
The initial projected demand for the Hotel has been based upon its envisaged performance in the market, having regard to the extent to which an internationally-branded hotel such as the Transcorp Hilton product, in this location, will penetrate the market, attract displaced demand, and create demand. It is envisaged that the Hotel will achieve 10 per cent above its fair share of business, leisure, and other demand in the first year of operation, increasing to a 20 per cent greater than fair share market position in the second and subsequent years of operation, due to its location and product quality. It is anticipated that the Hotel will achieve its fair-share of demand in the conference sector in the first year of operation, rising to 20 per cent above fair share in the second and subsequent years of operation.
A globally recognized, internationally branded hotel in Calabar, such as this, that offers quality products and facilities, together with superior services, will increase awareness of both the destination and the property itself. The Hotel will also attract demand from loyal guests, particularly those familiar with Transcorp Hilton Hotel, Abuja. In return, it will create a potential for revenue generation for the company, and returns on investment for our shareholders.