The National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA) said travel load factor on international routes has declined by 15 to 20 per cent since the outbreak of Coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19.
The association said the air travel industry had been the worse hit as many airlines had halted flight operations to certain parts of the world and that this had significantly affected the tourism sector.
At a news conference in Lagos Friday to announce its 44th Annual General Meeting in Kano, the NANTA President, Mr. Bankole Bernard said they were collaborating with the airlines to ensure that intending passengers were guided on their travel plans.
Bernard stressed that NANTA was in full support of the systematic approach of the health organisations and the aviation agencies at the airports, adding that it had concluded plans to set up a special call line to help those who want to reach out to the association on the issue, as it affects their travel to high-risk countries.
“We are still selling tickets but not as much as before the corona Virus came in and we thank all those who have made donations to help government address any impact and prevention of the outbreak.”
While commending the federal government’s efforts at curtailing the spread of the virus in Nigeria, the NANTA president said, the association hoped to launch an awareness programme driven by the World Health Organisation and the Nigerian Center for Disease Control to disperse information which is critical to managing the situation.
The NANTA boss stressed that as the drivers of the downstream sector of the aviation industry and critical facilitators of tourism end posts, it was committed to supporting the government in the establishment of a national carrier that they believed would be a remedy to tourism and economic development.