August 26 (THEWILL) – Janefrances Chibuzor meets the senior director of a Dubai destination management company, Flyzone, which provides tailor-made solutions to the challenges faced by Nigerian travel agencies.
For five years, Dubai’s leading destination management company in Nigeria, Flyzone, has successfully processed thousands of Dubai visas for over 4,000 travel agencies. Previously, these agencies faced a lot of difficulty in obtaining a Dubai visa in Nigeria.
This was revealed during a recent meeting with this reporter by the General Manager of Flyzone Tourism, Awomoyi Ayodeji.
Ayodeji, explained that Flyzone offers services that bridge the gap between Nigerian travel agencies and Dubai.
To substantiate this claim, Ayodeji described in more detail the high quality of services provided by Flyzone, while emphasizing the overall positive experiences of the company, which cut across travel and tourism related activities. According to him, “It’s like having Dubai at your back door.”
Flyzone services include tour packages, hotel reservations, obtaining visas for travel agencies on a business-to-business basis. He noted that “packages like these have solved delivery issues, which makes our customers happy.”
Continuing, Ayodeji said, “Dubai has evolved over the years to become one of the most prestigious and popular tourist attractions in the world, enticing visitors from different sectors to experience what the ‘must see’ destination has to offer. .
“According to research, more than 11.95 million people traveled from all over the world to the emirate in 2014, up from 11.12 million in 2013 consistently, demonstrating that Dubai’s appeal as a tourist destination is growing. is further increased.
“As a place famous for its superlatives, such as the world’s tallest skyscraper and largest shopping mall, it’s no surprise that people flock to its shores to witness its great feats and achievements. Some of the new attractions include Ain Dubai, Madame Tussauds Dubai and Museum of the Future and some of the hotels have taken their time to refurbish and new hotels have opened.
They also have attractions such as world-class shopping malls; variety of hotels: lots of tourist sites and western lifestyle mixed with local culture.
He recalled that “in 2019, Nigeria was one of our best performing source markets with a 33% year-on-year increase in visitors, supported by increased capacity in Emirates Airline seats between Dubai and Nigeria in the summer”.
Explaining further, ‘It is important to note that travel and tourism does not just include leisure travelers seeking vacation destinations. It also involves those who visit various destinations for various purposes including business and investment, professional meetings and conferences, social events, visiting family and friends, etc.
Ayodeji said supporting travel agencies in Africa is a major concern for Flyzone. He also said, “Nigeria has so much to offer,” “once the insecurity is settled. Ninety percent of our partners are in Nigeria.’
The visa procedure for the United Arab Emirates (UAE) was so far straightforward for Nigerians visiting the country until some unfortunate events that led to violence resulted in visa restriction for some people aspiring to stay to Dubai. “There are so many Nigerians living legally and doing good business in the UAE. And there are so many requirements now, from bank statements to hotel reservations and so on.
Moreover, according to him, the company is still struggling with the problem of fraudulent agents, as there are many of them in all sectors.
However, it is worth recalling that on October 28, 2020, Nigeria Guardian Newspapers published an article on how the National Association of Travel Agencies (NANTA), Lagos Zone has set up a Committee on Policies and Standards for review existing measures and suggest ways to verify tampering.
Also, our reporter recalled that the problem of bogus travel agencies and soliciting at Lagos airport is not new. The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) Guiding Act prohibits agents and agencies that are not recognized by NANTA from operating in the industry.
In this regard, NANTA rolled out the Nigeria Travel Professional Identification Card (NTPIC) in 2018, as a common means of identification for all genuine travel agents. However, enforcement of the rules against unregistered operators has been problematic.
To deal with the same, there was also a publication on THISDAY, ahead of World Tourism Day 2021, in which the International Air Transport Association (IATA), warned Nigerian travel agents to stop broadcasting airline tickets to people who buy them to use and buy Basic Travel Allowance (BTA) and later cancel their flights after getting foreign currency from banks.
In doing so, the management of NANTA continued to ensure that all credible travel agencies register with it with the aim of compelling them to comply with the rules and regulations governing the business of the travel agency, in accordance with Federal Government rules as set out by the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).
Unfortunately, despite the best efforts of NANTA management, many bad eggs, which refused to be registered, are those who engage in criminal activities such as issuing fraudulent BTAs to their co-conspirators.
Part of the challenges observed by Ayodeji include the tendency for Nigerians to get 30 or 90 day visas to insist on spending more days than they are allowed. While advising travel agencies to build trust among their customers, he added that Nigerian travel agents were known to scam each other. Ayodeji said he has worked in the aviation industry since 2019.