Nigeria can take over the world’s tourism – JetBlack boss
A US-based Nigerian travel group, JetBlack Travel Group through its founder, Dr Alexander Oladele has averred that Nigeria can be the bride of the world in travel and tourism. He said the country needs to do just two things to make the country more attractive to foreigners.
“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.
JetBlack Travel had curated travels to countries like Cuba, Colombia, Jamaica, South Africa and Ghana but never to Nigeria as a result of some certain drawbacks.
“I think there are logistical things that travellers have to be mindful of when travelling to Nigeria as against travelling 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 travellers. 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. Travellers 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,” Oladele explained.
“ But we have been discussing opportunities in Nigeria as we think it would be a good experience for travellers if we are able to identify the right partners. Southeast Asian countries are very popular right now. We put out a post for Bali and within 4 days the trip sold out. Not only did we sell out, but we were also over capacity by 12 travellers. We even had travellers from previous trips (South Africa & Ghana) that made serious inquiries about visiting Bali.
“Thailand also sold out quickly which we anticipated due to the proximity of both countries. We believe the reason these countries are so popular right is based on social media influence. These are countries that have very picturesque scenery which looks very attractive to potential travellers. These countries are also relatively more affordable compared to other countries which we believe help to convince more potential travellers,” he added.
“This was done with the help of Mr Nicholas Owen who helped connect us with key contacts both in Cuba as well as Colombia. Following Cuba, we visited Medellin, Colombia with 45 professionals in early 2019 by working in close collaboration with Reseau Docteur, a well-known minority professional network where most of the travellers came from. To date we have organized trips to Cuba, Colombia, Jamaica, South Africa and Ghana For 2020, we have countries we are visiting with half of those trips being sold out. Some of those countries include Bali, which to our surprise sold out in four days, France, Morocco, Spain, Thailand, Brazil, South Africa and Ghana. The goal of JetBlack Travel is to curate life-changing travel experiences for members of the global community. We have a team dedicated to helping us execute our trips. The beauty of everything is that many of these individuals don’t live in the States, Oladele added.
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