By Collins NwezeTheres a new dawn for the hospitality sub-sector in particular and the tourism industry generally in Akwa Ibom State. The recent appointment of Icon Hotels and Resorts Nigeria as the new managers of Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort in Uyo, the state capital, is a clear signal that great times have befallen the states tourism sector which has been waiting to be explored. Indeed, this development couldnt have come at a better time especially following the impact of the Covid 19 pandemic on the sector.The appointment of Icon Hotels and Resorts Nigeria, the local Nigerian subsidiary of Icon Hotel Group Africa (IHGA), a pan-African hospitality giant, for the arduous task of turning around the fortunes of Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort is one that has been hailed by industry players and commentators as a step in the right direction. This comes on the heels of the pedigree the Icon Group has in African hospitality management.The group is reputed to be one of the fastest growing end-to-end hospitality service providers on the African continent, offering high level consultancy on different aspects of hospitality and management of projects from foundation to completion. In just nine years of existence, the hotel group has become an industry leader with demonstrable expertise in the conceptualisation, actualisation and management of world-class hospitality projects in different parts of Africa.With a strong footing in East Africa where its name strongly resonates in the hospitality industry, IHGA has in recent times made inroads into the West African sub-region with Nigeria and now fast establishing presencein Benin Republic, Senegal and Burkina FasoCameroon.In Nigeria, The Group announced its entry grandly when it brought its expertise to bear on the successful turnaround of the former Best Western Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos, through its Nigerian subsidiaryIcon Hotels and Resorts Nigeria. The exercise saw a complete turnaround and rebranding of the hospitality facility to become BWCH Hotel, offering world-class best-in-class services that compare with any hotel in Lagos and, indeed, the world.Recall during the handover ceremony, Governor Udom Emmanuel underscored the high expectation of the management companys performance in the next 12 months. The governor, who was represented by his chief of staff, Ephraim Inyang-Eyen, pledged the support of his government to Icon Hotels & Resorts Nigeria in the discharge of their task in ensuring Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort becomes one of the leading hospitality brands on the African continent.Without a doubt, the hospitality giant led by the czar of hotel business, Fred Mainathe Group Chief Executive Officer of IHGA, pledged the companys commitment to ensuring a fully revamped and globally competitive hotel brand within the shortest possible time.According to Fred Maina, the IHGA & its subsidiary, IHRN have as well-crafted well-crafted and efficient business and operating on models that will set enable the hotel recording unprecedented boost in customer experience from service delivery, dinning and excellent cuisine and ambience with international standards and well-trained personnel.The Chief Executive Officer of Icon Hotels and Resorts Nigeria, Adetope Kayode, echoed the same sentiment at the prospects of the improved fortunes of Ibom Hotel and Golf Resort, which means a lot not just to the hotel, but the State in general.One of the stated objectives of the Icon Group is to transform the hotel into the undisputed premier destination for MICE in the country. Any fear of job loss occasioned by the change in the hotel management was allayed by Governor Emmanuel who advised the new managers against victimization of workers, but to work with existing staff, especially those that are good on the job. Click here to read full news..