A leisurely walk across the coast of West African countries leaves memories of white sandy beaches with the coolness and freshness of the ocean breeze. In response, numerous tourist facilities have been built to profit from this gift of nature.
However, further inland, especially in Nigeria’s capital city Abuja, very few luxury resort facilities can be found. The bulk of the hospitality industry revolves around 3 and 4-star hotels in the city center catering primarily to corporate and diplomatic clients.
Yet, the middle and high-income residents of the national capital would gladly welcome an opportunity to escape the hustle of the capital and spend time in a quieter and more natural environment. In addition, Abuja plays host to more than 50 embassies and these expatriate staff and other foreign visitors also seek premier luxury facilities near the capital city.
While Abuja is located in the center of Nigeria and barely has any major water body, three neighboring states play host to major waterfalls and rivers. These are the Gurara falls in Niger state; Farin ruwa falls in Nassarawa, and the confluence of rivers Niger and Benue in Kogi state.
These three natural sites are on average 90 minutes’ drive from the capital city. Further, these sites are located in relatively underdeveloped parts of the state thus making land acquisition costs more affordable. While each site is unique in its makeup as well as the tourism opportunities it presents, we believe a premier luxury resort close to any of these water bodies is a commercially-attractive gap that needs to be filled. A combination of aesthetically-pleasing buildings and well-structured marketing campaign should pay off on the initial investments.
However, these sites are not without their challenges. Considering the current spate of insecurity in the country, a well thought-out security strategy is a necessity. This would be a combination of relationship with both the conventional security forces like the police as well as local indigenes. If done well, this challenge could in fact be turned to a selling point to attract clients. Finally, inadequate electricity supply remains a major problem in the rural parts of the country. Hence, this has to be factored into construction cost.
In conclusion, we believe that these three sites present enormous opportunities to capture an untapped niche in the hospitality industry. The huge wealth of the capital city residents coupled with the large presence of resident and visiting expatriates looking for premier relaxation outlets makes this niche particularly attractive.
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