Brian Efa: Once we Open, Celsius Hotels Will Challenge International Brands
TRAVEL AND LEISURE
At the 2015 edition of the Nigeria Hotel and Tourism Investment Conference (NHTIC), held at the then Intercontinental Hotel Lagos, a young and passionate convener of the conference tasked government, speakers and participants on more concerted efforts at making the tourism and hospitality sector count in the nation’s economy.
He pushed for all to go beyond paper presentation at the three-day conference to offering practicable solutions for the growth of their businesses.
Today, the man, Brian Efa has gone ahead to implement his own solutions with value for money offerings for hotel owners, investors and guests.
With over two decades of experience across many brands and sectors within the industry, Efa created Celsius Hotels, an indigenous hotel brand, to offer quality beyond comfortable beds, to helping hotel owners invest more due to his profitable model and also to help the sector optimize its potential in revenue generation, job creation and talent development.
As he envisaged, Celsius Hotels is competing with international chains, while providing better returns on investments for owners.
Efa’s Celsius Hotels is showing strength with Courtyard By Celsius, a pioneering short let apartments chain in the country.
Beyond Celsius Hotels, Efa has many other feats. He restored Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort after the exit of Le Meridien and also took over Victoria Crown Plaza Victoria Island, Lagos from the Swiss Hotel brand and has been managing it better as the general manager since early this year.
Speaking on his career success so far, he said, “There are three guiding principles that drive success in my career; these are commitment, commitment and commitment. Commitment to success is my driving force. I believe, once you have a responsibility, you should see to it that this responsibility is given the required attention to achieve the expected results.
“This is the reason I always produce results wherever I find myself in any hotel. Furthermore, I am in the industry out of passion; very serious passion and that is why you will see that beyond managing hotels, I also contribute to the development of this industry through research papers, speaking in conferences and in other ways.”
Efa recognises Celsius Hotels brand as one of his biggest success stories.
“When we started Celsius Hotel Brand in 2020, our vision was to create an indigenous hotel brand that will compete favorably with the international brands.
“Also, we wanted to provide an alternative that will help investors/owners make better return on investment, reduce the need for purchase of forex to pay management fees, among others.”
For him, that vision is paying off. “Today, we have two hotels under development, one in Abuja and the other in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State. We are also in discussion with a couple of 4-star hotel developers on Victoria Island Lagos. When our hotels open in the first quarter of 2023, we will be adding 135 rooms to the inventory of hotels in Nigeria,” he said.
While the progress he has made is very encouraging and he is grateful to Nigerian investors that have kept faith with the Celsius Hotels brand, on the back end, his company has developed well-tailored SOPs and other standards to make Celsius compete and stand out from the crowd.
“We have also signed agreements with various technology companies/providers that will support our brand, we are working on the backend to support our owners during the development stage, and we are helping in critical designs, procurement and installation of critical infrastructure.
“On the soft side, we are developing and improving on our brand standards, policies and procedures, SOPs, technology requirements, training manual, among others. We are also discussing with technology providers, our technical support systems, central reservation system, booking channels and loyalty programmes,” Efa explained.
He insists, “Once we open our first hotel in March 2023, we will give the international brands a run for their money as we will be providing a very credible alternative in a more cost-effective way.”
On the current portfolio of Celsius brand and the anticipated ones, Efa disclosed that the brand is in talks with two different hotel investors in Lagos State.
“We are in talks for a 150- room hotel development project on Victoria Island, Lagos, which is expected to commence construction in the second quarter of 2023. We are hopeful that by 2028, we will have five hotels under our management,” he concluded.