It has been just one 12 months because Icon Resorts and Resorts Nigeria was appointed as the new administration firm for the Ibom Resort and Golfing Vacation resort by the Govt of Akwa Ibom Condition, Kayode Tokede evaluates the journey so significantly and how the present management has repositioned the state’s primary hospitality resort into a profitable venture and earth-course leisure hub
October 2020 marked the official takeover of the hotel’s management by Icon Inns and Resorts Nigeria, the Nigerian subsidiary of the Kenya-primarily based Icon Resort Team Africa (IHGA) to take care of the 5-star Ibom Icon Motels and Resorts.
The goal was to reposition the hotel, expand its fortunes and undertaking the state’s tourism and hospitality possible.
The lodge commenced functions in September, 2007 less than the identify, Le Meridien Ibom Hotel and Golfing Vacation resort, and is managed by Starwood, an intercontinental hospitality brand.
Nonetheless, the marriage in between the Point out govt and Starwood ended in September, 2017 and with the exit of Starwood, the identify of the lodge was transformed to Ibom Lodge and Golfing Resort that very same year to reflect its comprehensive ownership by the Federal government.
Adhering to the non-satisfactory overall performance of the hotel’s administrators in excess of the several years, the point out governing administration deemed there was a need to have interaction the solutions of reputable and skilled hospitality administrators with not only a established observe record of general performance but highly regarded in the international hospitality sector.
The vital of possessing these types of a manager with these credentials derived from the truth of the Governor Udom Emmanuel administration’s setting up of Akwa Ibom State as the industrial, financial, and tourism hub in the South of Guinea and not just in Nigeria.
IBOM ICON Lodge and Golfing Resort’s standing as the symbol and flagship of the Akwa Ibom hospitality industry indicates that the state wanted a manager with the ability and skills to switch around the hospitality brand without the need of shedding its cultural essence in building it the pride of the people today as effectively as the condition.
It is significant to mention that in the quest for managers that would fit the monthly bill, the state government gave priority thing to consider to an indigenous model with deep know-how and experience of classic African hospitality, which it preferred to be infused in the sort of nearby society in company shipping whilst maintaining international charm.
The lot fell on ICON Inns and Resorts Nigeria, a subsidiary of a hotel team that has carved a specialized niche for itself as the most sought right after hospitality model of African origin in the continent by stakeholders like governments, people today, buyers, and companies desirous of a progressive turnaround of their existing hospitality facilities or setting up new ones.
The ICON Lodge Team is a rapidly-increasing conclusion-to-conclude African-developed hospitality hub that serves as a useful resource foundation for varied main hospitality competencies across Africa and beyond.
Presenting large-stage consultancy and hospitality management alternatives to many clients across Africa, the ICON Resort Team stands as an marketplace leader in the conceptualization, actualization and management of profitable hospitality initiatives throughout Africa.
Considering that having in excess of the resort and Resorts, developments relating to Ibom Icon Lodge and Golfing Vacation resort in a single year have vindicated the government’s conclusion to hand around administration of the hospitality facility to the third supervisor.
ICON Resort and Resorts Nigeria has applied its nicely-regarded expertise in fusing community cultures into provider shipping and delivery on the African continent to introduce new initiatives in just one year which has impacted on profits technology and quality of expert services shipped to new and current friends.
One year Immediately after
Very first, the existing administration has remodeled the Hotel’s company shipping and delivery and outfitted staff members with new information and skills in hospitality, environment high-quality benchmarks some others are attempting to emulate.
There is a thing of a consensus that if ICON Resort and Resort Nigeria could achieve the degree of accomplishment it has recorded in just one calendar year of taking care of the Ibom Resort and Golf Resort, then more yrs on the saddle could significantly change the fortunes of the hotel and also assist in boosting the overall economy of Akwa Ibom condition.
A renewal of the a person-yr contract by the govt to enable for additional several years of stewardship by the present-day administrators would certainly be a phase in the appropriate direction.
Providing account of his stewardship, Chairman of the Board of IBOM ICON Hotel & Golfing Vacation resort, Mr. Udeme Ufot said that the IBOM ICON Hotel and Golf Vacation resort in the last one calendar year has been a reference stage in terms of typical of assistance supply and purchaser gratification.
He preserved that the transformation at present going on at the resort has additional improved the hospitality market in Akwa Ibom, thus producing the resort a product for other individuals.
Ufot maintained that the 1 calendar year, has been a pretty hoping period of time for the world wide tourism market, Nigeria inclusive, on the heels of COVID-19 pandemic that wreaked havoc on the industry, pretty much grounding actions and causing unquantifiable losses through the period of the various lockdowns about the globe.
He mentioned that through the tricky period of time of the pandemic, IBOM ICON Lodge and Golfing Vacation resort demonstrated resilience and means not just to face up to the storm, but has adapted very well to what is now recognized as the new ordinary in its functions.
In accordance to him: “The lodge was ready to maintain the fragile balance in between retaining the small business managing optimally although ensuring general public safety.
“We bought our employees specifically experienced to be equipped to present the typical providers in the midst of a pandemic of the scope and magnitude of COVID-19, which has remained a thriller even to authorities until now. The lodge released contactless providers that enabled the employees to provide friends with no bodily speak to. This innovation gained for the lodge the commendation of our company.”
He stated that the current management of the Hotel is pleased with the progress recorded in a person 12 months and at this time negotiating with the point out federal government on a contract extension.
He described further more: “I can’t be precise on extension problems but It will unquestionably be more than 5 several years deal to manage the resort.”
He was optimistic of a new IBOM ICON Hotel and Golf Resorts likely forward, stating that every little thing was been put in location to assure a 5-star experience to new and existing visitors that take a look at all through the yr.
In a comparable vein, Ufot counseled the state governor, Udom Emmanuel for his tireless energy to provide peace to the condition. He pointed out that the peace in Akwa Ibom is a component that has built a state a major location for organization and leisure.
“Let us give honour to whom it is due. Individuals want to visit Akwa Ibom because there are specific features that make the state interesting and also simple to check out. As at these days, Uyois probably the best put to take a look at from Abuja and Lagos, many thanks to Ibom Air”
“Why do persons want to stop by Awka Ibom? The cause is that they can arrive below and truly feel safe and sound. Thanks to our governor for earning the state tranquil, risk-free to take a look at for conferences, and chill out with spouse and children associates. We may well have a great hotel and golf study course, but if folks do not come to feel safe and sound, they will not come” he extra
The Lodge around the several years has not witnessed significant renovations as regards painting, indoor home furnishings transformation and some other infrastructures to match its 5-5 standing.
The Hotel’s board chairman, Udeme Ufot observed that there are options for the renovation and facelift of the hotel’s constructions and amenities. The purpose is to make improvements to provider supply and increase client experience.
Corroborating this, the Chief Executive Officer, ICON Hotels and Resorts Nigeria, Adetope Kayode explained even further that: “Over the previous 1 calendar year, we have been handling the motels, we have challenged ourselves aggressively at reconceptualising, arranging, funding and structuring of the overall transactions necessary to fund the refurbishment of the resort.
“We have been busy with the engineers, technicians, between some others teams, on the lookout at ways to refurbish the assets optimally. We have taken an entrepreneurial strategy to the refurbishment of the lodge in the fascination of the persons of Akwa Ibom condition. To guarantee efficiency are recognized in the course of action.
“We hope in the initial quarter of 2022, entire activities on the refurbishment hard work will begin. Our intention is to finish the refurbishment in 12 months.”
Relationship with host communities
ICON Motels and Resorts Nigeria previous 12 months commenced an intensive a single-yr human cash advancement programme at IBOM ICON Lodge and Golf Vacation resort, aimed at converting semi-competent people today to expert staff that can take up chances in hospitality and operate at managerial ranges anywhere in the earth.
The administration coaching programme, with the objective to ensure a constant provide of talented foreseeable future leaders for sustainable expansion in the hospitality sector, has its trainees drawn from the Hotel’s host communities, ICON workforce and contemporary graduates with management qualities, excellent communication expertise, caring attitude and a observe document of really hard function.
Commenting on the programme aimed at building indigenous abilities and preparing them to get up opportunities across the world, the Main Government Officer, ICON Hotel and Resorts Nigeria, Mr. Adetope Kayode mentioned that the hotel began the management enhancement programme as a way of giving youths of the state, especially those in the host communities’ an opportunity to master and expand in extremely specialised hospitality small business.
According to him, “It is meant to expose them to finest methods, train them on the job around an intensive interval of just one calendar year and give them an chance to get a foothold in the marketplace.
“When we discuss about the prospect for employment, ICON Resort team Africa in all its managed attributes throughout the continent has numerous alternatives for employments for superior students of that program which is merit-dependent and subject matter to effectiveness.
“The whole plan is to inspire them to give their finest and as they have adjudged to have executed at the end of programme presents them opportunities the two in IBOM ICON Lodge & Golf Vacation resort and also in other attributes management by ICON and other qualities with other lodges managers in East Africa, Nigeria and across the continent that are associates to ICON.
“The opportunities are intensive in phrases of what we can carry to the table for graduates of this programme and this hotel, certainly has opening for graduands of that programme.”
The state’s Commissioner for Tradition and tourism, Mr. Orman Esin expressed delight that the Hotel’s administration has taken up the initiative of instruction youths in the host communities, stressing that the state would advantage from the growth programme.