The fear of Ebola: Hotel patronage crashes in Lagos

by Emma Chidiogo

The outbreak of Ebola virus has led to a drop in the use of hotels in Lagos state.

According to the Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Financial Derivatives Company Limited (FDC), Bismarck Rewane, hotel occupancy in the Ikoyi area of Lagos, had deepened from 65 per cent to about 30 per cent, while in Victoria Island, where hotel occupancy is usually high, had also fallen from about 70 per cent, down to about 20 per cent since the outbreak of the Ebola virus Similarly, dinning and restaurant traffic in major hotels in the state has also declined by 50 per cent.

Rewane further disclosed that outbound and inbound load factors for air travel, which usually peaks at this time, has also suffered. Outbound load factor was still high at 90 per cent, while inbound load factor had dropped significantly to about 40 per cent.

Also, he said inter-regional aviation traffic in the West African sub-region, of which Nigeria alone accounts for 30 per cent of the flights in the region, had dropped by 75 per cent.

“The sub-region has a lot of tag-along flights because of its high level of intra-regional trade with Nigeria, a major commercial hub in the sub-region as a major trade destination,” he explained.

He cautioned the federal government not to underestimate the economic consequences of the virus in West Africa, insisting that it would be in the interest of the government to ensure that its neighbours effectively combat the virus.

Ebola Virus Disease is estimated to have killed over 1,500 people in Guinea, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Nigeria.

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