According to Wikipedia, online information warehouse, InterContinental Hotels Group Plc, informally InterContinental Hotels or IHG is an English multinational hotels company headquartered in Denham, United Kingdom.
IHG has over 710,000 rooms and 4,800 hotels across nearly 100 countries and opened its first hotel in Nigeria in 2013.
Founded on April 15, 2003 with an estimated $1.803 billion USD 2015 and operates subsidiaries like; Holiday Inn, InterContinental, Hotel Indigo, Kimpton Hotels & Restaurants, Even Hotels and IHG Army Hotels.
When in 2013 InterContinental Lagos opened, it made history as the tallest hotel in Nigeria and in West Africa.
The 358-room hotel located on Plot 52, Kofo Abayomi Street, Victoria Island, is a 23-storey hotel that offers stunning panoramic views of Lagos.
With four restaurants and stylish bars on offer, Ekaabo, the hotel’s all-day dining restaurant, serves up a blend of Nigerian and international cuisine and overlooks a majestic waterfall, while Milano offers contemporary Italian cuisine.
Despite the impressive and sophistication described above, like a typical new brand still finding its feet, it has sometimes lacked the creativity and elitism of the likes of Starwood, Hilton and Marriott.
In spite of its passive international status, its operation and public relations templates left much to be desire.
Unlike most reliable and sophisticated chains, IHG has a terrible and despicable public relations unit. The management seems not to even understand what public relations is all about at Intercontinental Hotel Lagos.
Recently, the hotel recklessly sent mails, which they followed up with phone calls inviting some selected tourism and event journalists, which included the Publisher/Editor of this publication that the hotel was organising a dinner with the hotel’s general manager and a possible night stay.
On arrival, I walked to the check-in area to get my room, the lady over the counter asked me to wait and put a call across to the lady in-charge and shortly a lady walked up to me and said who my friend from vanguard newspaper introduced as the new media contact for IGH.
She pleaded I wait few minutes and on her return, she said in a low voice, “sorry we are fully booked”. With a smile, I said to her I have not been here before and my suspicion of a hotel with terrible public relations unit has just been proved right.
Meanwhile, on her own, she sent me a mail and followed with phone call. Walking away from her, she looked helpless, incompetent and dazed.
Without waiting for more embarrassment, I put a call through to Eko Hotel & Suites where I have barter running into several millions of naira to spend the night.
For my colleagues that I left behind, they were treated like beggars and denied meals.
Yet when the journalists, most of whom have travelled the world in the name of tourism were checking out, IHG was still asking to see front page story and possibly free pages of features.
For intercontinental to enjoy any favourable mentioning in any newspaper or media which publicity is all about, the hotel must learn the rudiments of public relations or else, they would be endangering the owner’s investment.
Just for the benefits of our readers, no International chain in Nigeria; the likes of Hilton, Sheraton, Meridian, Protea and the many franchised properties have any investment in the hotel they manage in the country.
InterContinental Lagos is the sixth InterContinental hotel in sub-Saharan Africa and it rumoured that in five years, two more additional InterContinental hotels would be opened in Senegal and Uganda.