Strike suspension: Tourism operators count losses

Nnamdi Azikiwe Airport

Tourism operators in Lagos on Monday lamented that the just-suspended nationwide strike completely grounded the subsector.

They told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that none of the few international flights that landed in the country during the strike brought in a tourist.

Ahmed Ojuolape, Managing Director, Empire Travel and Tourism Ltd., said that tourists normally stay away from troubled spots.

According to him, tourism is all about movement of people from one point to the other and tourists only go to places that are safe, peace and secure.

“If as a tourist, you have been patronising a particular destination and all of a sudden there is a problem there, you will divert to other peaceful areas with comparative attractions. The money that visitors spend enhances the country’s economy, especially the host communities.

“For now, it will be difficult to quantify the actual monetary loss; to do this all tourism operators have to give feedbacks on their losses. Certainly, the loss will be in millions of dollars,” Mr. Ojuolape said.

He said if 30 flights came into the country in a day and there was one tourist per flight, who spent an average of 1,000 dollars a day, that would translate to about 30,000 dollars daily.

Ikechi Uko, Coordinator of The Seven Wonders Ltd., said it was unfortunate that the nationwide strike came when the hospitality sector was heading for the peak.

He told NAN that the various tourism exposures made by the government, through the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), had begun to yield positive results.

Ayodele Adebayo, a hotelier, who did not want his hotel named, said that bookings had dropped by more than 70 per cent.

He commended the government and labour for resolving the petrol subsidy stand-off.

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