Nigeria rated fastest air travel market in Africa


Nigeria has been identified by travel and hospitality experts as the fastest growing air travel market in Africa recording 1.5 million visitors last year.

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Experts  told THISDAY  that studies   done on the industry have  indicated that Nigeria’s hospitality industry has overtaken that of South Africa, Mauritius and China.

According to them, while growth in the hospitality and travel industry in Nigeria is phenomenon, the market  in the other countries have been saturated.

And travel expert, Ikechi Uko attributed the growth in Nigeria to the emerging middle class, in spite of the seemingly economic stagnation.

“The middle class is growing at incredible rate and that explains why the economy cabin of many airlines operating into Nigeria record load factor. Those who will tell you that the economy is not growing are those who board business class. They don’t know what is happening at the economy class.”Uko said.

He noted that many new international hotels are extending their operations to Nigeria, especially Lagos and the rates have not come down because of high patronage.

“Lagos is the fourth most visited city in Africa and Nigeria is an environment that rewards efforts and when people travel to new places they see new things and they do business. Nigeria is rated the biggest destination in West Africa,” he said.

Uko said one of the reasons Akwaaba travel market is growing is because more people are eager to come to Nigeria and the market provides face to face marketing, which makes business to be done faster.

“It is believed that it is Nollywood that has changed people’s impression about Nigeria. It inadvertently became a marketing took as the films paint real and idyllic picture of the country,” he said.
An aviation expert, Nick Fadugba has once described Nigeria as the fastest air transport market in Africa, saying that the country should reposition its airlines to benefit from this viable market.

“An important distinction between Nigeria and most other countries in Africa is that Nigerian air traffic is almost inelastic, the high demand will still be there regardless of most crises. In contrast, North African countries depend on foreign tourism for most of their air traffic. In that environment, once there is a political crisis the foreign tourists flee, the aircraft are empty, revenues are down, airline staff laid off and aircraft are parked, it is a catastrophe. Fortunately, Nigerian air traffic is very resilient. Not many foreign tourists come to Nigeria and air traffic is driven primarily by business and Nigerian travellers. Hopefully, more foreign tourists will visit Nigeria in the future but at the moment, if there is crisis in Nigeria, people still tend to fly there for business,” Fadugba said.



[This Day]

Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola
Babatunde Akinsola is aNaija247news' Southwest editor. He's based in Lagos and writes on the Yoruba Nation political issues, news and investigative reports

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