Report predicts growth for Nigeria’s domestic tourism

Christian Iwarah, Corporate Communications Manager – Air Peace (left); Muda Yusuf, DG, LCCI; Ikechi Uko, Founder & Publisher – Akwaaba Travel Market; Omolara Adagunodo, MD – Jumia Travel Nigeria; Chris Odor, GM – Westwood Hotel; Olukayode Kolawole, Head of PR – Jumia Nigeria at the launch of the 3rd edition of the Nigeria Hospitality Report in Lagos.

Africa’s leading online travel agency, Jumia Travel, has released it’s 2018 Hospitality Report, with available statistics showing that travel and tourism is on a fast track to becoming one of Nigeria’s major contributors to the country’s GDP and one of the largest employers of labour. The report, which is third in the series, was presented to stakeholders recently in Lagos.

While making the report public, Omolara Adagunodo, managing director at Jumia Travel said there is no doubt that the industry is gathering the needed momentum that would scale up the tourism and travel industry in Nigeria.

Citing from the report, she noted that travel and tourism sector was directly responsible for 1.9 percent (N2.3 billion in actual numbers) of the country’s total GDP (estimated at $1.118 trillion) and predicted to rise by 2.9 percent by end of 2018.

“But from a wider perspective, it’s estimated that between 2018 – 2028, travel and tourism will contribute 4.3 percent to the country’s GDP (N3.61 billion) year-on-year.”

Aside from the economy, the reports also shows that the labour market (employment market) also benefited from the little dividends that the sector contributed.

“The number of direct jobs created by the sector peaked at 1.2 million compared to 651,000 in 2016 (1.6%), that’s 1.8 percent of total employment in the country. This is estimated to rise by 4.7 percent by end of 2018 to approximately 1.3 million jobs (1.8% of total employment). Out of the N2.298 billion contributions by travel and tourism to the country’s GDP, leisure travel – both inbound and domestic – contributed 51 percent of the entire sum (N1.92 billion). On the other hand, business travel contributed 49 percent of the entire sum (N1.86 billion),” she said.

In his remarks, Ikechi Uko, founder of AKWAABA African Travel Market, commended Jumia for doing a thorough work that will help practitioners in the industry to drive travel and tourism profitably. He also observed that the 2018 Jumia Hospitality Report is an improvement from the 2017 edition.

“Last year, I questioned the 2017 Jumia Travel Hospitality Report but there is a tremendous improvement in what I have seen today,” Ikechi said, adding that data remains an invaluable tool for the industry.

“This kind of report needs to be periodical. At least if we can be having this report every six months, it will give operators the amble information to make certain decisions and to know the position of things.

He lamented that paucity and inaccurate data are challenges to the industry. “I see some of the figures and as a stakeholder, I know they are falsified. In many cases you cannot marry some of those figures due to mismatch.”

The report also highlighted Wi-Fi as one of the criteria that define a customer’s choice of hotel. Reacting to that, Ikechi advised hotel owners, irrespective of the difficult business environment to see Wi-Fi as an asset instead of cost.

“In fact having a Wi-Fi is a plus to any person running on hotel business. Before a customer has access to the Wi-Fi, redirect the customer to a landing page which adds to the visibility of the business in terms of website visit. So, every hotel should have a Wi-Fi,” he said.

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