AKWAABA: Tourism destination marketer advises tour operators on professionalism


A Tourism Destination Marketer, on Monday advised Nigerian tour operators and travel agents to seek for knowledge to be professionals in their choice of careers.

Adeleke, also the Managing Director, Travel with Sam, gave the advice at the 17th AKWAABA Africa Travel and Tourism Market in Lagos.

According to him, one of the problems confronting the travel and tourism industry is the challenge of unprofessionalism and indolence on the path of tour operators and travel agents.

“All tour operators must be conversant with the destinations they market to prospective tourists and as well guide their clients on the appropriate knowledge.

“The challenges pulling the industry backwards are unprofessionalism and laziness on the path of tour operators.

“Most tour operators do not want to go extra mile to acquire knowledge and skills to be better at what they do, thereby misleading intending tourists.

“One of the things I do as a tour operator is providing people with consistent information on happenings across the world.

“This has to do with political and economic news which would go a long way to boost their confidence to travel and explore, and this will also guide them on where to visit,” Adeleke said.

Also, Mr Gbenga Onitilo, Head, Airline Services and Destination Management, Wakanow, said the cumbersome process of visa procurement remained one of the challenges confronting the travel and tourism industry.

Onitilo said to address the problem of visa procurement, tour operators must unanimously work together to speak with one voice and refuse to market destinations where visa procurement process remained cumbersome.

He harped on collaborations among operators within the tourism value chain to achieve common goals of advancing the industry.

“We need to work together if we must change the narratives,” he said.

Commenting, Shallom Asuquo, the Managing Director, Travel Lab Tours, urged Nigerians working as tour operators, who were not fully registered with the association to do so, to guide against unprofessionalism in the industry.

Asuquo said that with this, such tour operators would be updated at the association level on the latest development in the industry.

In his remarks, Chiamaka Obikwe, the Chief Executive Officer, Social Prefect Tours, said that stories of kidnappings, terrorist attacks and insecurity generally had hindered the growth of tourism.

Obikwe urged the Federal Government to intensify efforts in upscaling security across the country.

She said that unknown to Africans, most international tourists were waiting patiently to explore the cultural and tourism assets within Africa as the continent was immensely endowed.

Bolaji Seun, Managing Director, Naija Explorers, who had explored various social media platforms, during the post COVID-19 pandemic, urged tour operators to work on packaging tours to safe areas within the country.

“Tourists sites within Lagos are more safe and affordable, as people can explore the South-West generally,” he said.

Dr Onifade Eedris, Chief Executive Officer, Universal School of Aviation, said the institute was all out to support the society through addressing the problem of  youths restiveness.

Eedris said that the institute focussed on training Nigerian youths on the potential in Nigeria travel market as the industry was capable of engaging the youths positively.

“Visiting tourists’ sites across the world help to spur students to develop interest in the tourism industry,

“What we have been doing since 2008 is to bring in more youths into the Industry,” he said. (NAN)

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