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NANTA hinges bilateral cooperation, unity on tourism

By Benjamin Alade
14 April 2023   |   4:04 am
The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) has said tourism is capable of ending the xenophobic issues between Nigeria and South Africa.

President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Susan Akporiaye

The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) has said tourism is capable of ending the xenophobic issues between Nigeria and South Africa.

NANTA President, Susan Akporiaye, said this in Lagos, at a media conference to announce the association’s 47th yearly general meeting holding in Abuja, and on the Africa tourism conference powered by the association in partnership with Tour Operators Union of Ghana, (TOUGHA), slated for South Africa.

Akporiaye said if there is unrest in a place, it is not a reflection on tourism. “In as much as the association is big on promoting Nigeria, in every crisis, NANTA chooses not to join but to sell a different story.

“There are two sides to every coin; I was in South Africa when the xenophobic attack first started, it was not exactly how it was seen, we went out to the marketplace, and there were a lot of side stories.

“We want to use tourism to change the narrative that is what we are doing. Xenophobic attack, they don’t like Nigerians, we would use tourism to make them like us. This issue of they don’t like Nigerians is contestable, we have to prove it. It can be seen from any perspective. Africa must unite and if we are going to use tourism to do that, I will stand by it,” she said.

Speaking about the conference, she said the 47th yearly general meeting would be held from April 25 to 27, and the association will use the opportunity to learn from experts about areas of its business that must be addressed and improved upon.

According to her, there is no doubt the travel world is incredibly interesting, but there are also areas of concern; such as trapped funds, monopoly, unfair practices, border and visa issues and a whole lot of emerging complexities.

With the conference tagged, ‘Professionalism: A key to surviving aviation downstream turbulence and its exploitative effects,’ she said the Executive Vice Chairman of the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission, (FCCPC), Babatunde Irukera, would speak to professionals, not only on how the association can confidentially protect businesses and clients but also on how to navigate challenges of foreign airlines trapped funds and its impacts on businesses.

She also spoke about the association’s involvement at the International Travel and Tourism Conference (ITTC) holding in South Africa from May 4 to 7, stating that for the first time in Africa, two industry associations, NANTA and TOUGHA endorsed by South Africa Tourism (SAT), will be hosting a hybrid multi-layer tourism industry conference in Johannesburg.

She said both bodies assembled the best faculty from the University of Johannesburg on tourism enterprise and related businesses, to help define and determine the immediate and future drive of the industry, its profitability, and challenges.

According to her, the unique conference, which will be certificated, is open to individuals, organisations and agencies in Nigeria and Ghana, particularly those with eyes on impacting positively on the growth and sustainability of the various value chains in the African cultural tourism economy.

“We must appreciate and commend the management of SAT, particularly their teams in Nigeria and Ghana for the special interest in our growth through knowledge-based exposures and assistance to our clients wishing to visit, trade, and immerse in South African hospitality and culture.

“We no doubt hope to sustain the west coast tourism collaboration between Nigeria and Ghana after the South Africa outing,” she said.