PLAYERS in the tourism subsector have decided that there is need for deliberate patronage for inbound tourism as well as deliberate intent to capture proceeds from those patronages to be able to measure how successful domestic patronage is.
In a Webinar on Saturday titled “Post Covid-19: A Fresh Start for Tourism in Nigeria – Tourism Services” organised by Nigeria Travel Week the stakeholders also called for synergy between tour operators, travel agents and policy makers from the government to enable the industry have a unified front to grow from.
Organiser of the webinar, Efetobo Awhana who set the ball rolling said domestic tourism is a tool to drive socio-economic activities emphasizing that with the tourism potential in Nigeria it is sad to see more outbound tourism than inbound, despite all the major attractions the country has to offer.
From SJ Tours, Mrs Abiola Ogunbiyi who gave the opening address explained that the mindsets of Nigerians who want to use tour packages are most times outbound and due to that most travel agents have been selling packages for outbound tourism.
Ogunbiyi said,” For most users their minds are outbound and based on that you find that domestic tourism is deliberately patronized, it is there but we are not deliberately capturing the proceeds or we are not putting up the statistics.
“ Travel agents have been selling packaged tour for outbound operations but domestic operators should be interested in selling Nigeria based on certain Key Performance Index (KPIs) as must impact the economy.”
She also said the agency has developed the TREES concept which if implemented could change everything as it is meant to Transform policies, Rally volunteers, Enlighten people; Enrich the society as well as be Sustainable and all inclusive.
Also speaking, Mark More of Motley Travels called for synergy between travel agents, tour operators and policy makers stating that there are over 6000 travel agents in Nigeria and the synergy between all parties will enable them reach far more tourists.
He said that the Act establishing the Nigeria Tourism Development Council (NTDC) states that National Association of Travel Agents (NANTA) and the National Association of Tour Operators (NATOP) be part of the development process but because of the unhealthy wrangling that has not been possible.
More also submitted that tour operators cannot tell people how to spend their holidays but have certain push and pull factors that would make people want to spend their holidays abroad instead of Nigeria.
He said, “There are some tourists that would give you one thousand and one reasons why Nigeria is not travelable they say it is not secure, roads are bad and everything. What we do is to get security operatives for our tour buses that would give these tourists some form of insurance.