The emerging 4th Industrial Revolution (Digital Economy), might just be the biggest disruption element that will engineer the heavy Re-Skilling of the hospitality and tourism workforce. This underscores the urgent and growing need for the emergence of ‘new hospitality mindsets’ among industry actors in Nigeria.

No doubt, part of the challenges facing the hotel industry is that of innovation and development. And I have spoken about this on several occasions and at the last IHTEF Conference we featured a special session on Digitalizing the hospitality industry.

In truth, there is increasing demand by Guests, travellers and fun seekers to find the right locations that meet with their changing tastes and hospitality needs. Hospitality Design’s Shoemaker Rauen says- “travel’s hard, it messes you up and you get out of your own cycle. Hotels that can try to help people when they travel by being a guide and elevating that experience are the ones that will stand out.”

The above captures the true essence of our hospitality future. The question then is how are we as professionals working towards developing products and services that inspire both the traveller and the fun seeker?

The reality is that beyond 2020 things will look differently and its now a matter of urgency to begin to think differently. Don’t focus on the problems with the Nigerian economy or the headaches of property owners, you would rather, focus on how to Reinvent and Re-Skill yourself. This is very important

On Wednesday, October 23, 2019, the FGN renamed the Fed Ministry of Communication to Ministry of Communications & Digital Economy. Yes! The new ministry will coordinate activities leading to digital economy.

According to the Minister of Communication, Dr. Isa Ali Pantami, the Ministry was renamed because “digital economy today is about to dominate the world and even in Nigeria, if you look at it critically, the contribution of ICT to Gross Domestic Product(GDP) is increasing by the day.

“If you look at the second quarter of 2019, you will find out that oil and gas contributed 8.82 per cent to our GDP while non-oil sector collectively contributed 91.18 per cent while ICT contributed 13.85 per cent to our GDP.

*“So, even the contribution of oil and gas is only 8.82 while ICT 13.85 per cent*

Without rhetoric, the 4th Industrial Revolution is a Digital Economy and its going to impact the world including the Hospitality and tourism sectors in very massive ways.

As we progress speedily to the 4th Industrial Revolution (Generation) which is the digital revolution, it is time for us all to begin to rethink and reskill ourselves and our workforce.

At Sustainable Eco6tem our mindset is that being a hospitality professional/investor is no more enough. Rather being ‘the worker’ is the thing. That simply means understanding the future of work, re-skilling and applying same for productive and excellent purposes. We know this will be the biggest driver of revenue in the coming years.

Investors are interested in returns and by that interested in a creative workforce. Workers are also interested in a creative future, an exciting workplace and rewarding experiences so owners and investors must be up to speed to create/ provide such tools as are needful. We all have a role to play. Just don’t sit down. Take the step!

The question then is, what are you doing to be part of the emerging #HotelHumanCapital in the 4th Industrial Revolution. Your future as industry player, worker, manager, owner or investor is bright if you don’t remain stuck in your closet. You must do the following:
1. Renew your mind – Think Differently
2. Get fresh digital skills – Re-Skill and Diversify Your Skill. This is in addition to your existing skill.
3. Apply/Introduce Digital Tech in your Hospitality/Tourism Business
4. As a worker, look for new opportunities ( especially if your current place does not have plans to improve its services (digital and others)
5. Wherever you find yourself within the Hospitality/tourism value chain, there are innovations to be made. Just find your space.
6. Act Fact and Wisely.
7. Even if you can’t be digital, employ some digital guys and be part of the new economy.
8. Finally, Read, Read, and Read Books. Read widely (Most Hospitality people don’t read). I always encourage the staffs in my hotels to read one book a day including 2 chapters a day for those who are Christians. The outcome will blow your mind.

Welcome to the 4th Industrial Revolution.

Chibuikem Diala, MIH
Workforce/Sustainability Consultant at Sustainable Eco6tem (Hospitality, Human Capital & Workforce Devpt.)

He is also Executive Director at the International Hospitality, Tourism and Eco-Sustainability Forum (IHTEF)


  1. Great piece Chibuikem, I have read so much about you as a Green expert, Hospitality and tourism professional and a sound Sustainability consultant. The need for all and sundry to re-think and re-skill towards exploring the opportunities in the digital economy most be given desired attention.


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