With a need for improvement in the hospitality sector, the Josto group of hotels has stepped up the game with its quality services of ensuring customer satisfaction during their stay. The hotels are beautifully and centrally located in serene areas of the Capital City of Abuja with easy access to other parts of the city.
In this exclusive interview with ABUJA FACTS, the CEO of Josto Hotels and Apartments lets us in on what his hospitality brand is doing to improve the sector;
Q: Can you introduce yourself to us?
CEO Josto: My name is Mr Joseph Steve Oziegbe. I am from Ewu in Esan – Central local government area of Edo State. I have lived most of my life in America. I am the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) of Josto Hotels & Apartments ( Josto’s Place 1, Josto’s Place 2 & Josto Hotels & Apartments.
Q: Tell us an overview of the hotel
CEO Josto: Josto Hotels & Apartments is geared centrally on exceptional customer service. We go the extra mile and derive great satisfaction in providing our guests with the most relaxing and comfortable stay.
All our facilities and areas are exquisitely designed and structured to give maximum satisfaction; from our extremely spacious rooms to our beautifully structured pools. All these and more are put in place to leave our guests with the best most unforgettable stay possible.
Our three hotels conform to and exceed the three- star standard. These outlets are Josto Hotels & Apartments, Josto’s Place 1 and Josto’s Place 2.
Our facilities include:• Extra-large rooms• 24 hour concierge service• Free Wi-Fi• Cable / Satellite TV Channels • Television• Restaurants• Pools • Relaxation space • Security and more.
Q: What inspired you to invest in the hospitality business?
CEO Josto: First and foremost, it has always been my dream to put a smile on the faces of people around me; thereby making the world a better place for the people around me. I decided after giving it great thought; what better way to fulfil this desire than to set up a hotel. This will be a place where people will come to relax and make merry. It will also cater for the needs of the society by providing job opportunities for individuals of the society at all levels.
This was my greatest inspiration.
Q: We understand that there are 3 hotels under the name ‘Josto’, kindly tell us the difference?
CEO Josto: This is an interesting question I recall mentioning earlier that my main goal was to appeal to all individuals at various levels emotionally, physically and financially.
Josto’s place 1 was established to meet the need of the average earners. People that like to live comfortably and on a slim budget. It also provides maximum comfort and satisfaction at that level.
Jostos Place 2 was also established to meet the needs of people at the average level and also on a budget.
Josto Apartments and suits was established for people of higher financial capability and great desire for serenity and luxury.
Q: What type of guests does your hotel attract? Who are your target audience?
I try as much as possible to attract people at every area of life. My target audience is everyone looking for great comfort and maximum satisfaction.
Q: What is unique about your hotels? Why should people choose Josto hotels over any other?
What makes Josto hotel unique is the fact that no matter who you are or where you come from we treat you with high regard and extreme respect. At Josto hotels and Apartments everybody is somebody. We guarantee maximum satisfaction we don’t just promise it.
Q: What are the challenges facing the hospitality sector in Nigeria and what do you think should be done?
❖ Hiring and retaining the staff
The growth and success of the hospitality industry / sector depends majorly on the state of both the local and global economies. As the industry continues to bulge, retaining and attracting top talented staffs will be a priority. For companies to standout hotels wills have to ensure that employees possess top skills. However, it is not news that employee retention is a significant challenge not only in the hospitality industry but also in every sector.
As increase in international travels grow dramatically every year the hospitality industry will have to focus on offering visitors a unique experience for both local and foreign visitors. This requires the staff to have a better idea and information on different expectations. It is a challenge that most hotels will face, especially the small ones. ❖ Sustainability this remains a big issue that can affect hotels in many ways.
• Improving brand image: customers and employees are more drawn to environment – friendly companies.
• Improving cost efficiency by implementing better working procedures and environmentally- friendly technologies.
• Higher customer expectations: hotel guests are increasingly demanding and also more likely to give negative feedback on online rating sites when something goes wrong during their stay. It is important for hotel managers to focus on improving guests’ satisfaction by making sure nothing goes wrong.
❖ Marketing and reputation management:
Online review websites, such as Expedia or TripAdvisorcan both help hotels secure new guests if they have quality ratings and reviews or drive every potential guest away if the reviews are bad/ poor.
❖ Change in marketing trends and dynamics
❖ Operational issues
❖ Rising cost of daily consumables
❖ Housekeeping issues
❖ Irregular cash inflows
❖ Maintaining online reputation
❖ Losing loyal customers
❖ Change in technology
❖ The growth of local hospitality hosts and rising competition.
❖ Restoring business post natural calamities and crisis (COVID 19 outbreak).
Q: How did the hotel fare during the COVID19 Pandemic?
This recently faced challenge in the hospitality industry was an eye opener. The whole world shutdown traveling during the COVID 19 outbreak, of which the hotel industry also had to shut down its operations. Cancelled reservations, indefinite lockdowns, shut down hotels; this was definitely the worst hit times for the hospitality industry.
While it remains a huge challenge to survive these times, it is even a bigger challenge to come out of these times a winner. It is the hardest to restore the business in these uncertain times. We however took this opportunity to evolve and innovate thereby preparing ourselves for the future. While these are all natural calamities not in our control, we continue to work on optimizing our operations and making sure our business stays alive amid the chaos.
In the trying times you just have make good use of the information mentioned in the COVID 19 survival kit for hotels.
Q: Your story went viral online about your humanitarian act towards your host community, can you give us a brief on what inspired this?
Like I earlier mentioned, it has always been my greatest desire to put a smile on th faces of people around me. I thought it efficient to put a tap on the fence of my establishment to provide clean drinkable water to the community behind my hotel as they didn’t have one. I knew this would make life a bit easier for the people of that community. Providing comfort and satisfaction is my ultimate goal.
Q: With a need to work this hard almost all the time, how do you relax?
A always look forward to my morning walks as I find it rather relaxing and enjoyable. I also go on vacations to rejuvenate and get back lost energy.