The Chairman of Bon Hotels International West Africa, Mr. Otto Stehlik, has appointed Mr. Paul Umoh, the first African to be in charge of an international hotel group.
Umoh, a veteran and ex Protea management staff was recently promoted as the Executive Director in charge of Bon Hotels International West Africa Operations.
According to him, the group will continue to be in the forefront of the efforts to ensure that Nigerians have the right skills that would drive the nation’s tourism and hospitality sectors of the economy.
‘’Whatever challenges Nigeria is facing in terms of making tourism and hospitality a national revenue earner, will become a thing of the past, when basic issues that slows the economy are resolved.
Speaking in Lagos when the Board and Management in partnership with African Alliance Group, (AAG) hosted Corporate Nigeria in Lagos, Stehlik said the special dinner invitation was part of the group’s effort to ensure that Africans and Nigerians in particular have great competitive advantages against European and American in terms of managing world class hotel groups.
He said though Africa remains a challenging, interesting and exciting place to operate a hotel business, that Bon Hotels International West Africa sees itself as a continental operator that will create unlimited opportunities for Africans in the industry.
Stehlik who is the founder of the famous Protea Hotel Group before selling it to Marriott and joining his son Guy Stehlik to found the Bon Hotel International Group said the group presently has 12 hotels in Nigeria with more hotels already in the pipeline.
“I have concrete reason to believe that by early to mid-next year, we would have 20 hotels operating in Nigeria. So that will give us a beautiful network which will make us easily the number one operating hotel company in Nigeria”, Stehlik said.
He added that in terms of tourism and hospitality potential, that Nigeria was investment viable as a developing country with over 180 million people population.
“With an economy that is fortunately starting to grow again, just like in South Africa where we had a bit of a recession, Nigeria, in order to grow its full potential in the industrial and manufacturing side will need to expand its hotel base with considerations on important factors such as the kind of hotel and how it is being set up from the foundation”.
On his part, the Chairman of African Alliance Group, Mr. Gregory Ozegbe, said his company has worked together with the Bon Hotel group to successfully develop a protocol of documents that guides the processes and procedures of the hotel’s operations across the value chain.