Experts in the travel and tourism industry have stated that cooperation among the major stakeholders in the industry is the panacea for growth. This was stated at the recently concluded Tourism Summit organised by Jumia Travel, which had the theme, “Redefining the Roles of Industry Stakeholders in Shaping the 21st Century Travellers Experience.”
Speaking at the event, Ikechi Uko, CEO of Akwaaba International Trade Fair Market, said that government cannot single-handedly develop the multi-billion dollars industry. He therefore made a call to all stakeholders within the industry to collaborate for the country to attain its goal.
Similarly, the managing director of Jumia Travel Nigeria, Kushal Dutta, spoke on the potentials of the country’s tourism. In his remark, he enjoined all the key players in the industry to come together and support the government in building the sector. Kushal also pointed out that there are a lot of tourist destinations that people are choosing to spend their holiday in the country. He encouraged Nigerians to travel within Nigeria and explore the amazing tourist attractions in the country.
“80% of the travels within Nigeria is to Lagos and people are visiting places like Epe Resort, La Campagne, Whispering Palms; in Calabar, Obudu Mountain Resort is also a good tourism attraction but gets seasonal patronage. Outside Nigeria, people visit the likes of Kenya, Mauritius, South Africa, and Zanzibar,” he said.
While commenting on the most popular locations that Nigerians are flying to, the representative of Kenya Airways who was also on the panel, Abiola Bakare, revealed that Nigerians mostly travel to London and US, but not necessarily for leisure. He added: “There’s also a major preference for destinations in Dubai. However, the problem of the foreign exchange greatly affected the travel and tourism industry.”
Also, popular travel blogger and founder of Social Prefect Tours, Chiamaka Obuekwe, mentioned Ikogosi in Ekiti State and Olumo Rock in Abeokuta as some of the locations people are looking to travel to. “Ikogosi and Olumo rock have been the major tourist attractions because many want some kind of adventure. South West is beginning to enjoy tourism traffic because of the opportunities the region provided.”
Chiamaka advised the Nigerian government to do a lot more in promoting tourism and destination sites in the country, adding that Zanzibar and South Africa are doing a good job in promoting the tourism in their countries.