GEOGRAPHICAL ANALYSIS OF SMALL SCALE HOTELS
The purpose of this study is to gather information about geographical analysis of small scale hotels. The paper also highlights key actions taken by the owners/managers of SMSHs to manage their business in the competitive business environment. To avoid any bias associated with a specific method, a multi-method research approach has been used for data collection.With the characteristics of self-confidence, perseverance and independence, the motivations for the business ventures of the owners/managers include wanting to be financially independent, become one’s own boss, involvement in family business and the opportunities of the hotel business. Among the key business challenges highlighted by the owners/managers of SMSHs are stiff competition in the hotel industry, increased operating costs, reduced demand and lack of skilled employees. Several key strategies have been employed to face these challenges. These include offering competitive pricing, improving the marketing and channels of promotion, enhancing the quality of service and providing superior customer service. At the same time, the owners/managers of SMSHs also felt that the government and policy-makers should play a more proactive role in promoting the tourism sector. This research provides a useful insight into the activities in the hotel tourism business sector and the challenges they encounter while operating.
1.1 Background of the study
The establishment of hotels and recreational centers in Nigeria both small scale and large scale has ultimately helped in the socio economic development of the country. For this development that has been as a result of the building and establishment of these hotels to be lasting, the challenges confronting the small scale hotels in Nigeria has to be limited as negligence of these challenges may lead to the shutting down of the already existing ones thereby discouraging entrepreneurs from investing this this profitable niche of business known as the hospitality sector of Nigeria.
The Small and medium scale enterprises have long been recognized as an instrument of economic growth and development in Nigeria. This growing recognition has led to the commitment of World Bank group on Small scale hotels sector, as core element in its strategy, to foster economic growth, employment and poverty alleviation. The World Bank group in 2004 approved roughly $2.4 billion in support of Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (World Bank, 2001).The Small scale hotels have been given due recognitions especially in the developed nations for playing very important roles towards fostering accelerated economic growth, development and stability within several economies. Several researches have been conducted on the prospect and challenges of Small scale hotels in Nigeria and abroad as Small- and medium-sized enterprises (Small scale hotels) have long been believed to be important in supporting economics development within a country (see Akhtar & CDASED, 1999; Mazzarol, Volery, Doss, and Thein, 1999; Al-Shaikh, 1998) while others such as Chukwuemeka (2006), Agwu and Emeti, (2004), Arinaitwe (2006), Lundström (2005), Oboh (2002), Okpara (2000), Wale-Awe (2000), Ihyembe (2000), Bruch and Hiemenz (1984), Binks and Ennew (1996), Baumback (1983); and a host of others have observed various factors or challenges that impedes the performance of Small scale hotels ranging from inadequate finance, poor infrastructural facilities, inadequate managerial skill, weak and instability of government policies and other presumed factors and challenges causing premature death of Small scale hotels as Beckman (1983) classified the problems as internal and external. Many studies have looked at the respective factors that are germane to the success of Small scale hotels.