Lagos Hotels Lost N8b To Ebola


Kazeem Ugbodaga

Hotels in Lagos State lost N8 billion as a result of the outbreak of the deadly Ebola Virus Disease, EVD, in the state last year, says the Lagos State Government.

Commissioner for Tourism and Inter-Governmental Relations, Oladisun Holloway, disclosed this Wednesday at a ministerial media briefing in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

Holloway disclosed that in 2014, hotels lost about 75 percent patronage as a result of the Ebola crisis in the state, adding that the turnover of hotels in Lagos was about N46 billion.

He said within the period, hotels lost about N8 billion due to low patronage arising from the Ebola scourge.

“The impact of Ebola on hotel patronage was significant. The patronage fell from 76 percent to 35 percent for a period of four months that the disease lasted. It really affected the turnover of the hotels. The hotels lost about N8 billion within this period.

“The hotels were losing about N2 billion per month. This was only applicable to big hotels. We did not factor in what smaller hotels lost. Again, until we have a return from all the hotels, we can have accurate annual turnover of the hotels. Without information from the hotels, it is difficult for us to analyse. But we did simulation exercise.

“We believe the industry made N46 billion per annum. Tourism contributed less than one percent to the state budget. We get less than one percent when we remove the contribution of hotels. Once we have infrastructure in place, tourism can contribute 15 to 20 percent. Our economy is large. For us to contribute 15 to 20 percent, tourism needs to be large.

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“I see us achieving this feat in few years. We can accomplish this by 2025 once critical infrastructure are put in place. But we are right now below one percent if the contribution of hotels is not factored into it,” he said.

Holloway also disclosed that the Lagos State Film and Video Censorship Board, during its monitoring activities arrested 162 offenders who engaged in piracy, illegal distribution of films and uncensored materials.

The commissioner added that out of the 162 offenders arrested, 98 of them were prosecuted and sentenced to varying terms of imprisonment from one month to six months while some had options of fine.

“The board distributed demand notices to defaulting cinemas in some parts of Lagos State and the effort yielded positive results,” he said.

On the proposed Lagos film city, Holloway stated that the project is conceived to meet the growing demand for quality film production in Nigeria and that it is envisaged to create employment, boost revenue while also catalysing the developement of tourism in line with the policy thrust of the Lagos State Government.

“The arrangement approved for the development of the film city is Public-Private-Partnership with the provision of land as the State Government equity. In this regard, we are currently in discussion with some credible organisations that are willing and prepared to develop the project while the modalities for the engagement are being worked out by the PPP Office,” he said.

The commissioner also lamented that out of the over 3,200 hotels enumerated in the state, only about 400 had been duly registered and given license to operate, adding that over 2,800  hotels were operating illegally in the state.

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