‘Exchange Rate Stability Has Improved Business Travel’


Nume Ekeghe

The Chief Executive Officer of the American Express Global Business Travel, Mr. Louise Van Zyl, has said that the exchange rate stability achieved by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) has helped in revamping the travel industry.

He said this on Tuesday at the executive client forum held in Lagos, with the gathering of the firm’s prominent customers from all sectors.

The firm, a franchise from American Express, is an integrated travel management company catering to international and regional business travelers with vast international network, stressed that Nigeria travel and aviation industry, is resilient and has recovered due to the improvement in the economy.

Van Zyl added: “There are a number of analytics that are affecting the corporate travel industry. Significant fluctuation in the exchange rate is part of it. At some point, on the parallel market, we saw the exchange rate got to about N520 and we are unfortunately players in the parralel market for all intensive purposes because it is really not possible for us to have access to foreign currency through the formal or Central bank because it comes with a huge amount of delay and a huge amount of difficulties.

“However the good sign is that it is now in the region if N360/$, against the official rate.”
However, he said the positive signs outweigh the negative in terms of international travel, the nigerian economy and travel business in general.

Furthermore, he said oil price stabilisation was a good development for the economy.
“Previously airlines were selling tickets in dollars, but the trend is moving back to purchasing tickets in naira. The stabilisation of the exchange rate has improved. The differential between the official rate and the parallel market is probably going to continue to reduce which has helped the travel industry,” he added.