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News: Book on Travel Agency Operations in Nigeria to bridge the knowledge gap launched by Elder Soji Amusan

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Travel Agency Operations

Former President, National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Elder Soji Amusan has said the newly launched book, Travel Agency Operations In Nigeria: Historical Perspective was written to address the knowledge gap in the sector.

Speaking at the book launch recently in Lagos, Amusan said industry stakeholders need to be abreast with happenings in the past to be able to adequate confront the challenges in the sector.

Amusan who spoke in an interview with journalists at the sideline of the book launch said people need to understanding the processes and changes the industry has undergone over the years to really appreciate how the Travel Agent has evolved.

Read the full Interview:

Tell us why we are here?
We are launching my book, Travel Agency Operations In Nigeria: Historical Perspective.

Why did you decide to write the book about the travel industry in Nigeria?
Travel industry is my constituency. I entered the airline industry in 1966, so I think I should have more than 50 years in the industry. So, I think I should be able to write something with my experience.

Can you briefly tell us the content of the book and the lessons that other travel agents can learn?
In fact, to me what is in it is to let people see how it was in those days, and how it has evolved. Because there are lot of differences, so they can compare and see what is good and copy and also see that which is not good, so that they can do better.

READ: Africa: NANTA Elder Soji Amusan to Launch book on Travel Agencies Operations In Nigeria

How would you describe the travel industry in Nigeria today compared to the way it was?
There is a big difference, in those days we were writing tickets with our hands, we are calculating fares by hand and there was no calculator at that time. So, all the trips that you are doing now computer is the one doing it for them, that is the bi difference. So, there are some skills that people don’t use any more like the HTU that we were taught in those days in school. So, to an extent, it makes the old school more active, working harder. Now everything is easy, you just punch the computer and you have your result. The problem is when the computer is not working, you run into problem.

READ: Africa: Nigerian Travel Agents Associations NANTA awards Ethiopian Airlines as the Best Airline of 2022

What motivated you in writing this book?
First of all, I noticed that most of our people don’t keep records and it is one of our problems here. If you don’t keep records, and you don’t know how you did something previously, you can not improve on it. so, the idea is to let people know what transpired before. Because most of us are academically lazy, we are not reading books, and this book is done in such a way that you will like to read it.

Looking at the travel agency, will you say you are comfortable with the what things are in the travel industry generally? What is your assessment of the travel industry?
Well, I am not comfortable because in those days, when we are faced with challenges, we deal with it. Now people just accept it. IATA has written to us, and that my agent is bad, and that is the end of it. People don’t go beyond that. You can query IATA, but because there is no record about this people just accept anything.

So, in my book, I have queried IATA, I have queried an agent that has been suspended and immediately IATA reinstated that agent. So, people don’t know where to go when they have problems. So, times when travel agencies have problems they go to IATA, but IATA is a body of airlines. We have a body of travel agencies, sometimes they are even going to NCAA. NCAA has no authority on those issues. So, when they know the right they have, of course they will see the need also to read, to know the industry in which we are. There are rules guiding this industry. And fortunately for us there are international regulations. So, my idea is to let people see the need to find what right they have in the first place and when this right is tempered with, what can I do?

Is the travel agency going into extinction because of technology?
I don’t see the travel agency going into extinction because there are lot of things you can do in this sector. For example, the issues of having a ticket, you have booked online, you are traveling and there is problem at the airport, who do you call? You can the travel agent, that is just a simple way to look at it. so, there is a lot that the travel agent can do.

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