“Not understanding the target market is one of the challenges faced by hotel administrators in Nigeria’’ – Ijeoma Ugamah, General Manager, Maison Fahrenheit
In this exclusive interview with Jumia Travel, Ijeoma Ugamah shares some insights on challenges faced by hotel administrators in Nigeria and some useful advice for students and upcoming hotel administrators in the hospitality sector.
Tell us a little about yourself, as it relates to your function in Maison Fahrenheit?
My name is Ijeoma Ugamah and I am the General Manager of Maison Fahrenheit Hotel. Being the general manager means I oversee the day to day running of activities in the hotel and ensure that all works as it should for the pleasure and comfort of the guests.
What amenities can guests hope to enjoy from a hotel like yours? Any idea on some of the fun activities they engage in while they lodge here?
The lobby of the Maison Fahrenheit is an architectural delight and a poignant source of admiration for guests. The LA Spiga restaurant is a nice private spot in the hotel where guests can enjoy diverse and exotic drinks, as well as mouthwatering local and continental cuisines like Lamb Curry etc. Maison also features a private outdoor pool perfect for water aerobics and tropical Pinacolda, as well as the ever popular outdoor rooftop lounge.
In a few words, tell us what makes Maison Fahrenheit unique compared to other hotels and suites?
Well, first of all, Maison Fahrenheit is the first lifestyle hotel in Lagos, meaning we are more than a boutique hotel. Maison has an Eat. Play. Stay culture embedded into the hotel’s operations to ensure guests enjoy their stay from the moment they walk into the door. Our service culture is also unique, as we are willing to go above and beyond to ensure that we offer guests impeccable service all through their stay in the hotel.
What can you say are some of the major challenges faced by hotel administrators in Nigeria? Any words on possible solutions to these challenges?
Not defining their hotel’s USP (Unique Selling Proposition) and not understanding who their target market is. Hotel administrators need to be able to define their USP and understand their target market, otherwise they are going to get it wrong and fall short in the delivery of impeccable and satisfying service to guests.
As a manager of this hotel, can you share one or two of the lessons you have learnt on travel and hotel management that can useful to students and upcoming hotel administrators in the hotel and tourism sector?
An important lesson I have learnt is the importance of defining your target market as a hotel. It simply boils down to the fact that as a hotel, not everyone can be your guest. The sooner you understand that as a hotel administrator, the easier it’ll be to keep your guests happy and deliver exceptional service to them. Also, it is also necessary to invest in marketing. After spending all that time defining your target market, how are you going to reach out to them or connect with them if you don’t market? Investing in marketing can help take your hotel out of obscurity and bring it into the ‘line of sight’ of your target market. Additionally, you should be strategic in your thinking. As a hotel administrator, you should always have a plan because anything can happen and you have to be prepared for it.
For those looking to work in the hospitality sector in Nigeria, what will be your advice to them?
I’ll say they should have a passion for service. The hospitality sector is a service industry and you need to have a passion for service to thrive in it.