Emma Okonji

The Nigerian hospitality report 2017, which was officially launched by Jumia Travel, has shown that the country generated 97 per cent of its tourism revenue from domestic travel in 2016 while foreign travel accounted for only 3 per cent.

Analysing the report in Lagos recently, the Managing Director, Jumia Travel Nigeria, Kushal Dutta, said despite the security challenges in the country and the fall in dollar exchange rate, a lot of Nigerians preferred to travel within the country to spend their holidays at exciting tourist destinations.

“This is a good sign that we need to encourage a lot more travels within the country by designing attractive holiday packages that will be exciting enough for Nigerians who want to spend money on tourism within the country. As a company, we are interested in collaborating to encourage more Nigerians to enjoy their holidays within Nigeria”, he added.

The 2016 report, which is the 2nd edition, captured the development, impediments, and impact of technology on the country’s travel industry between January and December 2016.

“We have captured relevant data on the percentage of online booking over offline; most used tool for hotel searches; most preferred payment method; average price of hotels from highest to lowest demand in cities; percentage of hotel bookings by star ratings, as well as percentage of hotel bookings by amenities,” Dutta said.

Similarly, a renowned hospitality consultant in Nigeria, Mr. Bruce Prins, who was featured in the published report stated that the hospitality industry in 2016 suffered extreme pressure as a result of a reduction in foreign visitors and local corporate expenditure. The price war between many hotels undermined the hospitality industry’s perceived value, and also created a lot of degradation in so far as the quality on offer is concerned. Reduced services, and ill-maintained facilities contributed to the latter due to the price wars.

According to Prins, “In 2017, there will be more recreational facilities, and services will be required; better reservation systems that are 24 hours, and easy to action will be the deal-breaker. Ease or disease of air travel will affect everything; renovation and maintenance will make a hotel, and the lack thereof will break a hotel; and social media is, and will be even more so the most powerful marketing tool.”

The 2017 report essentially provided data and insight on the Nigerian travel industry vis a vis the local sector with its counterparts on the global map.

According to the report, the tourism industry contributed N 1.7 billion to Nigeria’s GDP, which is about 4.8 per cent of the country’s GDP in 2016. This contribution was a major boost for the economy especially since the country’s GDP shrank 2.24 per cent year-on-year in the third quarter of 2016, following a 2 per cent decline in the previous period, and compared to market expectations of a 2.5 per cent decline.

The report added that even though Nigeria might not be the first choice as a tourist destination in Africa, there were fewer international arrivals in 2016, due largely to the ravaging effect of terrorism in the Northern Nigeria, which really impacted negatively on the inbound tourism as a lot of international tourists wrote off Nigeria as a tourist destination.

Despite the threat posed by terrorism, the country still managed to generate N88.2 billion from International visitors, the report said, but warned that by 2017, the figure drop by 7.3 per cent if the security challenges in the country still persist.