FOR clients and practitioners in the travel and tourism trade, given the recent outbreak of Covid-19 also known as Corona Virus, having also, recently confirmed one case in Lagos, Nigeria where it was said to be conveyed by an Italian business traveler from Milan, a lot seems obviously out of place.
So, please what is your take on the effects and opportunities for travel practitioners in the travel trade amidst these challenges?
From my point of view, though, I do foresee prospects for the travel business being undermined with reduction in sales of travel products and services, not only in Nigeria but having an adverse effect in global tourism.
At the moment, recreational parks are getting scanty, some hotels are getting locked down, sport tourism are being postponed, large gathering that involves arrival of pilgrims or foreign observers are presently put to a halt and many more around the world at large; in Nigeria, weeks before now, business travelers were requesting refund on flight tickets to destinations with confirmed cases of Covid-19.
And just recently, foreigners are putting pauses here and there in their travel arrangement into Nigeria. If you haven’t experienced one, ask a colleague. And If it’s not curtailed in time, who knows, obviously the worst could hit our sector and many others.
So now, should we start selling “guguru” and “epa” (popcorn and peanut) or introduce other travel products that do not relate so much to events and occurrences to our business or maybe relax for a while let time give us directions?
I need an answer! You need answers!
Our businesses can be so affected by events – Security, weather, natural and non natural occurrences can really slow up things.
A case in point. Recently, Lagos experienced a foggy weather and most airplanes couldn’t fly in and out of Lagos for days leading to many international and more of local flight cancellations with Arik, Air Peace, Azman, Aero, AWA, Emirates, and the likes.
I was at VFS few days before the confirmed Covid-19 case in Nigeria and heard someone was refused visa to an undisclosed country because of fear of Covid-19 outbreak.
With all these, I think our business are in for an unfortunate event as we all have to put our supports for global health organizations like WHO as well as our country’s national & state health care administrators, follow their directives, adhere strictly and share safety measures.
Fellow Travel Practitioners, like Ebola, this too will pass regardless.
Christopher Ezekwe is the Travel Solutions Executive at Dip Tour Ltd Lagos