Home » Africa: Akwaaba -When COVID-19, Insecurity Dwindle Hospitality, Travel And Tourism Industry Potential

Africa: Akwaaba -When COVID-19, Insecurity Dwindle Hospitality, Travel And Tourism Industry Potential

by Atqnews
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The fear of insecurity in Nigeria and the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic have created a huge hole in the profit margin accruing to the travel and tourism sectors.

According to independent.ng, since the highly contagious and deadly disease surfaced in the country, in the first quarter of 2020, several organisations, especially hotels have closed shop, while their employees lost their means of livelihood.

In 2019, World Travel and Tourism Council (WTTC) in its statistics said the travel and tourism sector contributed 10.4 per cent to global Gross Domestic Product (GDP); a share which decreased to 5.5 per cent in 2020 due to ongoing restrictions to mobility. In 2020, 62 million jobs were lost, representing a drop of 18.5 per cent, leaving just 272 million employed across the sector globally, compared to 334 million in 2019.

READ: Lagos Day Returns to Akwaaba African Travel Market on Tuesday 30th November.

Until the outbreak of Covid-19 in Nigeria and the subsequent lockdown, there had been some improvement in the protection of Nigerian culture, tradition and historical legacy.

The significance of tourism development thus in protecting both natural and manmade context cannot be over-estimated especially in the preservation and protection of several historic, archaeological and cultural destinations from destruction due to its positive utilization in such areas.

Tourism was gradually expanding the country’s economic baseline and assets of foreign exchange.

But, the cost of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) tests for outbound and inbound passengers – at least three of such tests, has added additional burdens on tourists.

However, apart from the Covid-19 pandemic, the recent insecurity across most states in Nigeria is another stumbling block to the growth of the sector in the country. Many potential tourists stay back because of fear of being kidnapped or attacked in Nigeria, while the prospects continued to dwindle.

At the two days event of the 17th Akwaaba Africa Travel Market held recently in Lagos, speakers and stakeholders from the hospitality industry, tour operators, travel agencies, airlines and destination marketers, deliberated on the threat of insecurity to tourism and travel growth in Nigeria and proffered solutions to the epidemic, which has turned Nigeria to the then Iraq and Afghanistan in the eyes of the world. They also bemoaned the impact of Covid-19 on the sector.

Chiamaka Obuekwe, the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Social Prefect Tours and one of the panelists at the first day of the two days event, lamented that security challenges in the country was crippling tourism in all parts of Nigeria.

She canvassed that for the safety of tour operators and their clients, tourism activities should be restricted to each region within the country until the situation changes.

According to her, domestic tourism still required more developments from all stakeholders in the industry, most especially the tour operators and called on the Federal and State governments to make tourism attractive to all and sundry.
She said: “The security challenges in Nigeria are enormous.

Tourists cannot even go to Idanre Hill in the South West for instance. As it is, no one can guarantee safety on the road. With the current situation, I can only advice that tourists should only do tourism within their regions. For instance, if you are in the North, tour the tourist sites in the north, while those in the West should do likewise in their locality.

By Olusegun Koiki

 

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