Stakeholders and operators in the tourism industry have been advised to think outside the box in devising survival strategies in the face of the devastating effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the tourism industry.
Handing down this advice was the Director-General of the Ekiti State Council for Arts and Culture, Ambassador Wale Ojo-Lanre, while speaking in an interview with a News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, correspondent in Lagos at the weekend.
Lamenting that the COVID-19 pandemic has dealt a heavy blow on tourism globally, Ojo-Lanre said that a blueprint for survival was needed to reactivate the industry.
He predicted an upsurge in travelling post-COVID-19; adding that tourism operators needed to put in place measures that would make the industry boom again.
Reiterating the need for a significant tariff reduction by airlines, hotels, restaurants and other players in the industry to repair the damage done to the industry by the deadly disease, Ojo-Lanre said, “I empathize with tourism practitioners, hoteliers, restaurant owners, travel agencies, tour operators, airlines and other companies directly hit by COVID-19.
“We have never had it this tough in the history of Nigeria. It is our worst moment, but I encourage everyone not to lose hope, because post COVID-19 holds lots of hope for the tourism industry.
“After this era, people will indicate huge interest in traveling, because they have longed for it. A reduction in various forms of tariff will encourage more people to travel.
“So we need to plan a low budget traveling regime, because the higher the number of people who want to travel, the more profit each operator makes.”
The Ekiti Arts and Culture Director-General also advised tour operators to showcase exotic local and international sites, where they could easily generate money from, to serve as benchmarks to jump-start their businesses in the post-COVID-19 era.
He added, “I advise tourism practitioners to prepare and plan ahead of the expected upsurge in traveling after COVID-19, because it will be another beautiful experience for the industry.”