Tuesday, February 24, 2015


The General Manager of Transcorp Hilton Abuja,
Etienne Gailliez has been named the winner of Hilton Worldwide 2014 Middle East and Africa (MEA) President’s Award. The award, announced at the Hilton Worldwide EMEA Operational Excellence meeting in Dubai, UAE recognises the leadership of hotels that exceeded expectations in terms of performance and guests satisfaction in the year 2014. The award plaque was presented by Rudi Jagersbacher, Hilton Worldwide President for MEA.
‘It is great to see the hard work and dedication of our team recognised by Hilton Worldwide leadership in what was acknowledged as a difficult year. The award makes a great start to 2015 and it is dedicated to the entire Team of Transcorp Hilton Abuja for the efforts invested daily in delivering world class experience to our Guests and living our vision’, said Etienne.
Winner of World Travel Awards 2014 for Nigeria’s Leading Hotel and Nigeria’s Leading MICE Hotel, Transcorp Hilton Abuja is the choice hotel for local and international conference and events. The hotel’s location, quality of accommodation and the level of service delivery all combine to make it the preferred venue for group conference and events.

Photo Caption
L-R: Valentine Ozigbo, MD/CEO Transcorp Hotels Plc, Etienne Gailliez, GM Transcorp Hilton Abuja and Okaima Ohizua, ED Transcorp Hotels Plc at a reception hosted at Transcorp Hilton Abuja in honour of the Hotel’s GM for winning the Hilton Worldwide 2014 MEA President’s Award

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Job creation and tourism: Countries performance

Jimoh Babatunde with agency reports

Tourism only becomes an important part of the economy when it directly supports and contributes to a country. One of the main factors that can be used to measure the industry’s impact on a community is that of job creation; a crucial area in any economy.
The tourism industry already accounts for 266 million jobs worldwide, and with global travel set to grow even more over the next ten years it is likely that this figure will only increase further.

There are of course other things one can use to measure the impact of tourism on a country, such as GDP growth and tourism revenues, but it is often employment and the opportunity to work that directly affects the general population.

With a great many destinations now releasing their tourism figures from 2014, we take a look at some of the strongest performers in job creation and the positive influence this has has on each community.


The National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) stated that the great potential of the accommodation and food services sector’s contribution to the Nigeria’s economy, specifically in the area of job creation, is yet to be fully embraced.

In its latest data released last month , the Bureau revealed that the total number of persons employed in accommodation and food services sector have been on the rise with the total number of people employed in the sector between 2010 and 2012 totaling 374,508.

“In 2010, the number of persons employed by the sector was 342,794 but the figure increased by 44,804 or 13.07 per cent to 387,598 in 2011 but reduced by 13,090 or 3.38 per cent to 374,508 in 2012.”

A breakdown based on sex category revealed that in the three years span, Nigerian male dominated with 200,061 employed in 2010, which increased by 33,693 or 16.84 per cent to 233,754 males employed in 2011.However, it declined by 26,482 or 11.33 per cent to 207,272 employed in 2012.

There was a steadier increase in the Nigerian female category, which ranked second highest with 111,201 employed in 2010, it increased by 9,555 or 8.59 per cent to 120,756 in 2011 and increased by 7,898 or 6.54 percent to 128,654 Nigerian females employed in 2012.


Spain had a remarkable year for tourism in 2014 and was actually the third most visited country in the world over that period, according to the Telegraph. Our own research shows that the European nation welcomed 65 million international tourists over the course of last year, which is a truly remarkable feat.

This influx of visitors has also had a tremendous impact on the job creation in the country, with one in every nine jobs being attributed to tourism. Spain’s unemployment levels dropped significantly in 2014, according to the Wall Street Journal, as the overall economy started to find its feet again. Although the recovery will continue tentatively into 2015, it’s safe to assume that tourism has had a positive influence in the area of job creation as the country begins to finally shake off the constraints of the last recession.

Spain’s prime minister Mariano Rajoy was awarded the UNWTO/World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) Open Letter on Travel and Tourism highlighting the country’s tremendous tourism record and the impact it has had on society, economic growth and job creation.

New York City, USA

New York had another record-breaking year in 2014 as the city welcomed a staggering 56.4 million people – an increase of visitors for the the fifth year in succession.

This huge influx of people had a huge impact on the city’s economy and generated $61.3 billion in revenue. Job creation was also significantly affected with 359,000 employment opportunities coming from the tourism sector alone.

The rise in working positions also coincided with a general drop in New York City’s unemployment rate which reached its lowest point in six years last October. In fact, the leisure and hospitality sector – an area strongly linked with tourism – was one of the biggest contributors in job creation over the 12-month period leading up to October and accounted for 4,000 new positions in this month alone, according to the New York Times.

Durban, South Africa

With Johannesburg and Cape Town to contend with, Durban certainly faces a number of challenges when it comes to attracting international visitors. However, 2014 saw the South African city attract 7.4 million people, according to Traveller24, a 12.4 per cent increase on the previous year.

Some 95,396 jobs were created as a result of this, which were largely sustained throughout the year, with the positive growth spilling over into 2015 already. Indeed, 15,492 jobs have already been generated by the tourism sector from December to January this year, although some of these will most definitely be seasonal and more temporary in nature.

It seems that Durban’s stock will further increase this year, after the destination was named as a New7Wonder city of the world. Hopefully, this will translate in to yet more job creation and further benefit the community.
- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/02/job-creation-and-tourism-countries-performance/#sthash.2F83g4bO.dpuf

INDABA 2015, a platform to optimise African tourism business growth

South African Tourism CEO, Mr Thulani Nzima: “Every single INDABA element must give exhibitors an unrivalled and effective platform to showcase their products and services, and to do business. INDABA belongs to them”
South African Tourism is working to make sure that INDABA 2015 exceeds the business expectations of both exhibitors and buyers.
South African Tourism Chief Executive Officer, Mr Thulani Nzima says: “INDABA is the single biggest platform for African tourism businesses to come and meet global buyer delegates. This tradeshow attracts the cream and the best cross section of the African tourism and travel trade which in turn, attracts the best buyers in the world to INDABA.”
INDABA 2015 takes place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre from 09 to 11 May, 2015.
 INDABA Early Bird registrations for exhibitors closed on 30 November 2014. Over 400 exhibitors have confirmed their places on the tradeshow floor. Applications for the INDABA buyer lounge have opened, and registrations are now open for both hosted- and non-hosted buyer applicants. For more information, visit: www.indaba-southafrica.co.za/.
 The already very useful online diary system will be refreshed to ensure INDABA 2015 delivers an optimal number of exhibitor and buyer connections. INDABA 2014 saw increased use of the matchmaking system, with 4.4 meetings per participant scheduled as opposed to 3.3 meetings per participant in 2013. In 2015, there will be better matching of exhibitor offerings to the individual business interests of buyers. The system will also incorporate search filters to help exhibitors easily and quickly identify buyers of most relevance to them.
 Nzima also says: “Every single element of INDABA will give exhibitors an unrivalled and effective platform to showcase their products and services, and to do business. There would be no INDABA if it were not for the exhibitors, and the larger African and South African travel and tourism trade. INDABA belongs to them. This is the biggest team of African trade exhibitors in the world who come to Durban each year to do business.”

Sheraton Abuja Hotel hosts UPIN, partners on SELMA Movie screening

Recently over 1,000 high profile guests converged at the expansive Ladi kwali conference Centre of the Sheraton Abuja Hotel to witness the grand movie screening of the Historical Movie- Selma.
The organizers/promoters of the movie screenings in Nigeria-Bishop & Rev.Mrs. Bob Alonge collaborated with the Sheraton Abuja Hotel through the UPIN movement (United for Peace in Nigeria) to bring to the Abuja community the non-violent movement of the Life and times of America’s Foremost Civil Rights Activist, Dr. Martin Luther King Jnr.
 The SELMA event commenced with a red carpet reception on Saturday the 7th of Feb 2015 and a second screening with symbolic UPIN sign up for peace on the 10th of February, 2015.
 The 2 events attracted top notch members from Government, CEO’s from Multinational organizations, notable Entrepreneurs, Ambassadors and other Diplomatic envoys as well as School Children. 
 The Highlight of the event unfolded with a grand raffle draw initiated by representatives of the Management of Sheraton Abuja Hotel; The Winners emerged with prizes which ranged from a weekend for two, a dinner for two and swimming for two.
 A considerable representation of VIP stakeholders in a touching and motivational move; joined hands for peace during the event.
 The General Manager of the Hotel-Ably Represented by Mr. Emad Rizk the Deputy General Manager remarked “We are proud to collaborate with this generic initiative, a worthy cause which puts Nigeria in the Hall of fame of greatness”. He further stated “Sheraton Abuja Hotel is a landmark Hotel that has often historically hosted many of such classical events and we are happy to be a part of this for the good of the Nation.” 

British Airways Thrills World Traveller & World Traveller Plus Customers with Special low Fares

Lagos, Nigeria; February 10, 2015: British Mega carrier, British Airways recently announced that it will be offering special low fares to air travellers on its World Traveller and World Traveller plus cabin from Lagos & Abuja to select global destinations including London, Europe and North America.

The special fares, which went live from Friday, 30 January, offer customers great value for money with return flights to the UK and Europe starting from as low as $309.

Announcing the offer, British Airways Country Commercial Manager for West Africa, Mr. Kola Olayinka, said with $309, customers travelling to London can book on British Airways World Traveller cabin and $341 to Europe.

For customers going farther, Olayinka said they can book via Terminal 5 to New York from $722 in World Traveller and $1585 in World Traveller Plus.

“At British Airways, we are always looking for opportunities to provide our Nigerian customers excellent value for money with an unparallelled service that they have come to expect from us. With these great fares we are hoping that our customers are spoilt for choice when choosing their favourite destinations.” He said.

He, however, advised customers to hurry to confirm their bookings, as these amazing return fares are limited. Fares exclude taxes, fees and surcharges.