Lagos is unarguably the most developed and most sophisticated city in Nigeria. Normally, the over 20 million Lagos population should explore places of interest in the commercial nerve centre of Nigeria. Surprisingly, this is not the case as Lagosians do not explore Lagos.
This concern was expressed by Omolara Adagunodo, the Managing Director of Jumia Travel, the leading online travel agency, at the meetup put together by Funmi Oyatogun, the founder/CEO of TVP adventures at the ongoing Social Media Week Lagos.
Adagunodo who spoke on the theme, “Help! Can Nigeria Meet My Travel Needs?” stressed that, “There is no single state in Nigeria that has fully maximised the potential of tourism. If you stay in Lagos for two days as a tourist, there are many places to visit like Nike Art Gallery, Terra Culture, and Hard Rock Cafe. Unfortunately, Lagosians don’t explore Lagos. How many people have been to Omu Resort or Epe Resort?”
While responding to how Jumia Travel is contributing to meet the travel needs of Nigerians, Adagunodo said the company is doing this in two ways: democratising travel and allowing tour operators to sell and market local packages.
“For democratising travel, we reached out to the hotels to lower their prices. They were sceptical at first but they gradually embraced the idea and bookings went up. Consequently, customers travelled more because they can now afford to pay for hotels. As for tour operators, we opened up our platform for tour operators to sell their local packages after being vetted,” Adagunodo said.
On the lack of data in the hospitality and tourism sector, Adagunodo stressed that Jumia Travel is doing its bits to provide reliable and verifiable data by publishing a yearly report on the Nigerian hospitality industry.
In his contribution, Dikko Nwachukwu said that Jetwest Airways is tapping into technology, innovation and creativity to cut the prices of air travel. He said, “Travelling by air is extremely expensive for most people. In the last four or five years in Nigeria, 10 million people travelled by air while over 70 million travel by road around the country. Although the environment is very unfriendly, we cannot allow this to stop us from actually trying to find solutions through innovation and creativity to lower the cost of air travel.”