Nigeria can be the bride of the world in travel and tourism if its tourist destinations are given the utmost attention it deserves.
According to the founder of JetBlack Travel Group, Dr Alexander Oladele, a US-based travel firm, the infrastructural facilities in the country need to be improved to make it a destination of choice for tourists.
Oladele in an article published by guardian.ng, said Nigerian artists are well known and exert some level of influence abroad, saying that they could be used to drive traffic to destinations in the country.
“There are two things that can make Nigeria travel destination of choice and they involve media activity as well as improvement in some of the logistical challenges in the country, Oladele said.
Continuing, he added, “Artists have made their mark in the US and abroad and have a significant influence on people. If they started promoting tourism in Nigeria, there is no question that the interest levels will rise immensely. The second thing is to improve the logistical challenges, which begins at the airport. Having systems in place to increase the efficiency of airport navigation, engagement with customs and even baggage claim would be a significant step forward. Nigeria already has a wealth of things to do and places to go so the issue is not necessarily the excursions. It all comes down to logistics.
Improving road conditions would also dramatically shift the experience. I believe a big opportunity awaits if the government prioritizes something as simple as better roads as tourism can truly help to stimulate an economy and bring positive exposure to a country.
Because the truth is Nigeria can take over tourism like any other country. We have too many things to do. We would just need support from artists and the government to improve things like roads and airport experience. It would bring so much money into the country.
Also, Oladele, in a publication by atqnew.com stated that there are a lot of logistical challenges inhibiting travellers from visiting the country which the government need to tackle head-on saying that it is much easier to travel to other countries than Nigeria.
He said: “I think there are logistical things that travelers have to be mindful of when traveling to Nigeria as against traveling to a country like Ghana. The airport for example. Oftentimes, just obtaining your luggage upon landing can prove to be difficult in Nigeria as opposed to Ghana.
This can create frustration for many people and as you can imagine travelers.
“Ghana on the other hand is a bit different from what I experienced. The airport is very efficient and I didn’t notice too much of a difference compared to my domestic travels in the US. Another thing is interaction within the airport. I can get through with no problem because I know what to say and how to conduct myself when stopped in a Nigerian airport as a Nigerian. Travelers coming from abroad may not understand how to navigate that space so they can be stuck going back and forth with customs and other people within the airport.
This isn’t the case for Ghana. Ultimately, I’m not saying it’s impossible to curate trips to Nigeria. With everything it’s all about knowing the right people so you can navigate easier,” he said in an interview with our reporter.
Speaking further, he stressed conditions under which Nigeria could come under their consideration as a travel destination, adding that there is actually a plan in place to include Nigeria in their itinerary soon.
He said, “I plan on curating trips to Nigeria with help from the right partners. We initially began with large group trips around 45-50 people but scaled down and only travel with 20 people now. Nigeria is a place where you have to have a lot of things in place logistically to ensure that the travelers have a great experience. I’m not opposed to it, I just have to feel confident that the experience we will provide the travelers is worth it, which I believe comes with knowing the right people.”