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Sandra Ogbahor explains how safety and security may increase hotel business revenue.

Sandra Ogbahor has appealed to investors and other critical stakeholders in a hotel and the entire hospitality value chain in Nigeria to consider safety and security with utmost priority to meet their expected goals particularly in boosting revenue and also in sustaining customers' confidence in the industry.

During an interactive session with senior correspondents covering Tourism/Travels in Ibadan, Sandra, a hospitality expert and General Manager of Ebon Hotels Nest Bodija-Ibadan, emphasized the crucial role of tourism in the economic development of a nation. She highlighted that countries that have tapped into the tourism industry have reaped significant benefits, and Nigeria should not be left behind.

Sandra expressed her belief that Nigeria must adhere to best international practices and follow the rules of the hospitality business to attract positive and desirable results. Safety and security are essential aspects that customers value, and hotels must prioritize them to ensure a better guest experience. Despite having strong security policies in place, hotels are still vulnerable to various threats such as cyber attacks, theft, and fraud. Therefore, precautionary measures and continuous evaluation of security programs are necessary. Inadequate security not only results in guests losing their belongings but also exposes hotels to legal liability for third-party criminal acts. Sandra urged investors to mitigate these risks sincerely and intentionally.

To enhance safety and security, Sandra suggested that hotels should conduct safety meetings and allocate time to discuss guest safety during regular meetings. Training videos produced by safety and security experts can educate employees about recognizing suspicious activities. Monitoring activities with software and closed-circuit television, along with utilizing third-party monitoring systems, can provide better surveillance and timely alerts.

Sandra emphasized the importance of excellent interpersonal skills in safeguarding hotel facilities and ensuring customer safety. Engaging with customers, asking about their stay, and offering assistance can help identify potential threats. Additionally, employee theft and fraud are significant concerns for hotels. Creating a sense of ownership among employees through profit-sharing initiatives and empowering them to solve safety and security problems quickly can contribute to tighter security throughout the property. Conducting drug screening and background checks during the hiring process, implementing controls and monitoring systems, and promoting dual sign-offs for critical processes like handling cash bags are recommended measures. Utilizing video surveillance and new technologies that match transactions with video footage can further enhance monitoring and reduce potential criminal activities.

Sandra’s session aimed to redefine and innovate the hospitality industry, positioning it within the realm of sustainable tourism. She addressed the multiple steps and advantages of tourism and travel in economic growth and explored various components of the sector, presenting it as a viable opportunity for success.

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