#OpinionSunday Fixing the Challenges Frustrating Tourism in Africa

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The United Nations designated the year 2017 as the International Year for Sustainable Tourism for Development due to tourism’s capacity to enhance economic growth through job creations, attraction of investment, fostering entrepreneurship, preservation of ecosystem and biodiversity, protection of cultural heritage and promotion of empowerment of local communities. Even at the international and national levels, policy makers have come to recognise the potential of tourism and this knowledge is reflecting on the laws and policies being formulated.

Beyond just enhancing inclusive growth and economic development, tourism can complement development strategies aimed at fostering economic diversification and structural transformation within the right policy context. Tourism has the potential to significantly contribute to a nation’s GDP, employment and export earnings. The sector is fairly job-rich, employing comparatively high share of women and youth. On a global scale, women make up between 60 and 70 per cent of the tourism labour force, and half of its workers are aged 25 or younger. It thus has the potential to foster more inclusive growth (United Nations Conference on Trade & Development (UNCTAD), 2017).

Also, considering that globally most international travel takes place within a traveller’s own region and that, with a rising African middle class, if continental disposable incomes increase, there is a greater scope for boosting continental and intra-regional travel in Africa. Tourism helps to generate and spread incomes and has strong spillover effects for poverty reduction through stronger linkages. These stronger linkages propel a multiplier effect that can generate economic benefits at the national level; employment opportunities and poverty reduction at the local level. Sadly in many countries, tourism linkages remain weak and underexploited. As a result, the foreign investors, international tour operators and foreign airline companies are benefiting mostly from the value added of the sector while very limited benefits are available to the destination country and very little flow to the poor (UNCTAD, 2017).

Promotion of peace, justice and strong institutions are necessary in achieving any economic development or goals. Most African nations, however, face tough challenges and constraints in leveraging the benefits of tourism services in trade and economic development. To this end, Jumia Travel, Nigeria’s leading online travel agency examines some 4 major challenges preventing the continent from unlocking the potentials of tourism.

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Intersectoral Linkages

If linkages between tourism and other productive sectors are enhanced, tourism can then promote economic diversification and structural transformation. Unlocking the potential of intersectoral linkages will contribute to structural transformation, aligning of cross-sectoral issues, and included into policy frameworks at the national, regional and local levels.

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Enhancing the capacity of tourism to foster more inclusive growth

Critical to playing an important role in the global fight to reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development goals is tourism. No doubt, it will generate economic benefits and boost productive capacities. Beyond these, tourism can foster inclusion by creating employment opportunities among vulnerable groups such as the poor, women, and youth.

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Tapping the potential of intra-regional tourism through deepening regional integration

Because of the increase in the continental and intra-regional tourism in Africa and the opportunities it offers for economic and export diversification, African countries are bound to benefit if they made significant progress with the free movement of persons, currency convertibility and liberalizing air transport services. This would enhance greater access to tourism destinations and boost the competitiveness of destinations. Regional economic communities and countries therefore need to comprehensively plan for intra-regional and continental tourism.

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Harnessing peace and stability for tourism

The development of tourism can foster peace; so is peace essential for tourism. African countries with tourism potential should therefore implement policies that can strengthen the sector. There’s a bi-directional causal relationship between peace and tourism and the effect of peace on tourism is much greater in magnitude than the impact of tourism on peace.



Culinary Tourism: Enugu Hosts Nutritious Food Fair 2017

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People travelled for different reasons in the past. Some travelled to visit families, others to attend a ceremony such as a wedding or birthday or a religious programme, while some others travelled to enjoy a few days of quiet and relaxation at some place far away from home. In the last decade, people have started traveling for a different purpose: to discover and taste the food in cities, rural areas and countries throughout the world. This type of travel has become what is now known today as culinary tourism or food tourism. Its purpose is to visit destinations primarily to taste and experience different foods that are popularly growing in different countries.

From November 28-30 2017, mega livelihood and income generating opportunities will be facilitated for 3000 participants during the Nutritious Food Fair holding at the Michael Okpara Square Enugu. This will ultimately pave the way to success for a new generation of micro-, small- and medium-scale businesses and investors in the nutritious food sector.

HarvestPlus conceived the Nutritious Food Fair (NFF) as an umbrella advocacy and enterprise platform to drive the production, marketing and consumption of nutritious foods in Nigeria. The Food Fair has as primary objective to strengthen public and private sector partnerships to increase and sustain the production and consumption of more nutritious foods, promote and encourage investment in the nutritious food sector and stimulate government’s policy support for nutrition interventions.

7 Cities in 14 days and all by Train! – Jubilian Ngaruwa Shares her Exciting Travel Adventure

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Jubilian Ngaruwa (JubiTrip), a Nigerian Travel Documentary Content Creator, talks about her exciting adventure across seven cities in the country in 14 days by train. She shares some details of the trip, talks about some of her fun and challenging experiences and eventually, based on her adventure, gives some sound advice to the government and other travelers or travelers on tourism in Nigeria. Enjoy!

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Please tell us a little about yourself, your name and what inspired you to become a Travel Documentary Content Creator?

My name is Jubilian Ngaruwa. I am from Delta state. I am a travel writer who loves the creative world, loves to travel and tell stories. In 2015, I started writing for Hangout Nigeria. I would visit places and write reviews about them; it was from doing that that I developed an interest in travel documentary content creation. I have a vlog on youtube, Jubtrip, where I share some of my content. My interest in travel, love for creativity and love for motion picture inspired and continues to inspire me to create travel content.

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You recently finished a train trip to 7 cities in 14 days, please tell us more about that? What inspired you to do it? And why did you decide to travel by train?

On the 26th September, 2017, I decided to travel by train from Lagos to Ibadan, then to Oshogbo, Kaduna, Abuja, Port-Harcourt, Enugu and back to Lagos. I traveled by train because I always wanted to. My inspiration for this trip actually came from wanting to do something memorable for my birthday, so a train trip across 7 cities seemed like a great way to make that happen, especially because it was something I had never done before. So when I had laid down the plan, I saved up, took a leave from work and was on my way. I would actually have loved to go to more cities but I was restricted to only the cities that have train routes.

Something I would also like to add relating to the planning of this trip is that, when I had made up mind that this train trip was what I wanted to do, I actually contacted some travel agents for support but they turned me down on the basis of not having a reason to support me because travel by train was not a popular choice for travelers. I didn’t let this bring me down however, and I continued with my plans determined to see it to fruition even if that meant financing it myself.

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Can you share some details of the trip? Did you travel alone, with someone or with a group of people? Please share how you were able to accommodate all your activities in only 14 days?

I didn’t go alone, I went with a camera guy because I needed someone to help document the experience. As part of my preparation for the trip, I contacted ‘Waka With Debbie’ for some information. I also contacted a geographer, who helped me draw a map with the cities and train routes that I would need. The geographer was really helpful, I can say it was her effort that practically made the trip possible because everything she put in the map was very accurate, even down to the time of arrival of the trains at the station. Additionally, on my own, I made some inquiries from the railway corporation in Lagos on the train movement (which included the time of arrival at the station amongst other things) for Lagos and outside Lagos. I also asked for confirmation on the states in the country that had train stations and routes. On the trip, I spent a day exploring each city before moving on to the next that was how I was able to accommodate the activities I planned to explore on the trip.

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Still on your train trip, what were some of the things you did or activities you enjoyed at those cities? Where did you visit in those cities and why?

I started my trip in Lagos and in Lagos I first visited the Kalakuta Museum and then the Nigerian Railway Corporation Museum at Ebutte Metta to officially launch the trip with about 13 people, including myself and the camera man. From Lagos Iddo, I took a train to Ibadan. In Ibadan, I visited the Agodi Gardens and then the Ibadan zoo. But I must that I was very impressed with the Ibadan zoo, it was very organized, the animals were healthy, in good condition and the place was well maintained. In fact, I was so impressed with the state of things that I wondered if it was privately owned. After Ibadan I went, by bus, to Oshogbo because there is no train from Ibadan to Oshogbo.

At Oshogbo, I visited the Erin Ijesha waterfall and the Osun-Oshogbo Sacred Groove. I stayed at a hotel in Oshogbo while I was there. Typically, if I didn’t have a friend in the city to help with accommodation, I would stay in a hotel. After Oshogbo, the next city I was to go to was Kaduna. The journey from Oshogbo to Kaduna was a very long one. First, I waited at the train station for the train’s arrival for almost 26hours. I actually slept there waiting for the train. The reason given for the delay was that the train got damaged on the road. Apparently, this delay is nothing new as the train is already known for getting damaged along the way. I remember when I told an attendant at the station that I was going to Kaduna from Oshogbo (I was asking for the expected time of arrival), the attendant laughed and actually told me that if I got there in 6 days I should be grateful to God.

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True to the words of this attendant, I spent 5 days on my way to Kaduna because the train kept stopping. Only one train head was carrying 16 coaches, it was no wonder that aside being slow the train kept having issues. Then about the trains, before I forget, at first when I paid for tickets for myself and the camera man, I paid for the second class coach because I wanted to experience how it was like for the sake of adventure. However, when the train finally arrived and I entered into the coach and saw how it was, I immediately went to the attendant to get an upgrade. I just thank God I was able to get one. The second class coach was worse than a pig sty and had a terrible stench. I even tried to see if I could find even if it was just one comfortable spot for me to lay my head but there was none. The place was so horrible that no human being should have to stay there for a second talk less of 5 days; in fact some of the passengers who couldn’t bear the stench of the coach would sit atop the train while in motion, which was very dangerous. I just really thought it was terrible because the second class ticket sold for N1,700 and even though it might not be so much, it’s a lot of money for those who pay for the ticket to cough up. They shouldn’t be subjected to such inhumane conditions.

I and my camera man had to sleep in the bus for the 5 day period of the trip. In some of the villages we stopped, the villagers were nice. They actually provided us with water and places to bathe. It was from this experience that I learnt how patient and kind Nigerians can be. I kept expecting the passengers to complain about the train’s constant faults or about having to sleep in the bush but instead they remained quiet. In fact, at a point when the train developed yet another fault and broke down, some of passengers volunteered to help repair the train. I guess they were already used to it. But I wasn’t. I kept worrying about my safety and thinking about what would happen if thieves or some villagers decided to attack while we were in the bus. I and my camera guy would be an easy target for them because of the camera we carried along. It was all just the grace of God.

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We finally arrived at Kaduna on the 5th day and while in Kaduna, I visited the NOK village to explore the NOK museum. I also spoke to some elders to learn about their culture and traditions. I stayed with a friend while in Kaduna; I didn’t have time to do more than visit the NOK village and taste their locally tapped palm wine mainly because the NOK village was quite a distance, and there a lot to explore there that didn’t give me time to do much else. In case I didn’t already mention it, one major mission for me on this trip was to taste the locally tapped palm wine of all the cities I visited and then determine which had the best (I love palm wine that much). Of all the locally tapped palm wines I tasted, I must say that Oshogbo had the best. The details of my selection, including the criteria I used for the selection and my eventual arrival at Oshogbo being the city with the best locally tapped palm wine will be on my vlog soon.

My next stop was Abuja. From Kaduna I took a train to Abuja from the Rigasa station. The Rigasa station was very different from that of Oshogbo. The trains were in great condition, the security was good and the scenario was just different. Their timing is great and they really keep to time – from the time of departure to the time of arrival. I think the Rigasa station is one of the best in Nigeria, if not the best. The trains are so good that the second class coach of their train is equivalent to the first class coach of the train at the Oshogbo station; also one head carries 5 coaches so it’s really fast. I paid for the ticket of the second class coach and was on my way to Abuja with my camera guy. The second class coach cost N1050 while the first class coach cost N1500 (N2000 cheaper than that of the Oshogbo station, which cost N3500).

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At Abuja, I visited the Art market and then, of course, tasted their locally tapped palm wine at a local bar. I wanted to also visit Zuma rock but I didn’t have the time to do so. I stayed with a friend for the duration and then by the next day, I was on a bus ride to Port Harcourt. There was no train route from Abuja to Port Harcourt so I had to go by bus.

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At Port-Harcourt, because there aren’t much tourist destinations there, I just visited their local bar for locally tapped palm wine and then later in the evening, I went to watch a movie at the Silverbird Cinema and after that went to a Karaoke bar. The following day, I had to go by bus to Enugu though Port-Harcourt had a train station with a train route to Enugu. The reason is that the trains at the Port-Harcourt station are non-functional and have been that way for about three months because, according to the officials, the train tracks are bad and to prevent the trains for stopping or developing faults along the way, the train don’t move. So, I traveled by bus to Enugu.

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While in Enugu, I visit Ngwo to experience the local environment and of course taste the locally tapped palm wine. I also tasted their ‘abacha’ delicacy and I must say that compared to the ones I’ve tasted in Lagos, this one was much better and more delicious. Much like in Abuja, I wanted to visit the Ngwo pine forest while here, but because of time I couldn’t. I stayed in a hotel for the duration of my visit and by the next day I was on a bus ride from Enugu to Lagos. This ended by 14-day trip to 7 cities.

What were some of the safety precautions you took during the trip even amidst the activity, to keep yourself and belongings safe?

To be honest, I didn’t take much safety precautions on the trip. But all I really did was to ensure that I took care of my things well and kept them close, especially the camera because I rented it for the trip. Also, it helped that I traveled with a guy and that the guy could be rugged when the situation demanded. I remember when we were at Oshogbo and the bus we took while shuttling between destinations broke down. The conductor wanted to take advantage of the situation and refuse to refund our money. The camera guy had to challenge the conductor before our money was eventually refunded. I probably wouldn’t have been able to handle that had I been on my own, and would have ended up losing the money.

Regarding the cost of the trip, how were you able to finance the trip? Were you able to save cost during the trip, if yes, what were some of the cost saving techniques you applied?

Financially, I got support from Nkechi Uko from Akwaaba and from Trip Berry on the condition that I move with the brand and basically just showcase their brands as often as I can in anyway that I can. The support from the two of them covered the media cost, some parts of the feeding and transportation cost and the cost of hotels we stayed in. I also used some of the money I saved up for the trip to cover the rest of the expenses like the cost of entering into some of the tourist sites, the cost of taking pictures or making videos at the sites, the cost of getting a tour guide and the rest of the feeding and transportation costs. Altogether to finance trip I ended up spending about N270,000; without the cost of media coverage I would maybe have spent about N140,000.

Moving on to the difficulties faced, what were some of the difficulties you experienced during the trip? Can you share some of these ‘not-so-fun’ experiences and what you learned from them?

Including some difficulties that I already mentioned, some others were that my feet got really swollen at a point. This was during the 5-day trip from Oshogbo to Kaduna. The passengers were nice, some helped with leaves to apply to reduce the swelling and I was advised to removed the military boots I had one and change to slippers. Their help alleviated some of my discomfort till the swelling eventually went down. Also, since I came back I have been on antibiotics treatment because I started having headaches, purging and just generally not feeling like myself. One major thing I learnt from the experience is that you can’t just make videos in trains, you have ask the hosts or hostesses for permission. I remember when I tried recording on the train, I think this was on the way to Ibadan from Lagos, I was told to stop immediately. I later learned that I would have been able to record if I had asked before-hand. Again, I also learnt that Nigerians are very nice people and can be very patient in situations they don’t have absolute control over.

On a more personal note, how interesting will you say the trip was to you? If you were to describe your trip in three words, what would those words be

The trip was challenging and adventurous, and yes I had fun at the tourist attractions but the trip itself wasn’t really fun – it was more adventurous than fun.


At this point, it’s safe to say that to some extent you’ve been around the country, so in terms of travel and tourism, what would you say are some of the gaps the government needs to fill?

The tourist attractions need maintenance. I gives kudos to the Ibadan zoo, they maintain it very well, so well that I first doubted if it was actually managed by the government. I thought it was probably managed privately. Most of the tourist sites in Nigeria are not well maintained and they need proper attention. Also, the train stations and trains need repairs and proper maintenance, they need proper check up from time to time. Some of the train tracks are damaged, like that of Port Harcourt, and they have been that way for quite a while, they need to be repaired and properly maintained. Most of the tourist attractions are good, but they just need maintenance.

Based on your experience, do you have any advice for travelers, travel bloggers or any person that might be aspiring to travel within the country like you have just done?

My advice to them is to go on the trip, experience it and tell the world how it is because I think that more people need to go out and experience how train travel is in Nigeria. If more people travel by trains then awareness can be raised on the terrible conditions, and maybe something will be done about it. I think more people should organize tours for train travel and I am glad that some tour operators have started to do so, but more tour operators should follow suit. I don’t want to be only one to tell this story. I believe the courageous and adventurous ones will want to experience it and they can then come back to tell people about it and thus raise awareness.

Finally, is it okay for us to anticipate more exciting travel adventures like this from you? If yes, can you please give us hint of what the next one might be?

Yes you can. For now, I am focusing on domestic adventures around Nigeria. For my next adventure, I want to explore ghetto tourism in Nigeria. I want to know more about the slums of Nigeria, explore it and basically just go into that life and open it up for people to see.

How Nigeria can develop key tourism market segments to grow the economy

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Nigeria’s leading online travel agency Jumia Travel delves into examining some of the key tourism market segments that Nigeria can develop to improve the economy. The segments mentioned in this article are not the only existing segments. However, this article has identified 3 areas: Ecotourism, Cultural tourism & Heritage tourism.

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The concept of ecotourism is no longer new. It simply refers to responsible travel to natural areas that help to conserve the environment and help to improve the welfare of local people.

Ecotourism is often associated with destinations in remote areas. It also represents a subsector of tourism that is affiliated with environmental protection and, has the potential to contribute to sustainable development and to help ensure environmental sustainability. Africa has a vast and diverse natural landscape, wildlife and protected areas on the continent. So, this provides the continent with a competitive advantage in ecotourism and if properly harnessed, it will help to promote economic diversification and contribute to job creation and enterprise development while helping to address underdevelopment in remote regions and intractable environmental challenges.

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Tourism establishments in forest reserves can create employment for unskilled workers such as, drivers, cleaners, and housekeepers at accommodation facilities. In addition to increasing incomes in local communities, employment opportunities in tourism can enhance employee skills and productivity. Opportunities to supply products and services to the tourism sector can help to ensure a sustainable market and increase incomes and other revenues in local communities derived from tourism-related activities, while minimizing economic leakages. Joint ventures between ecotourism establishments and local communities such as wildlife conservancies may be the effective mechanisms for ensuring that local communities derive economic benefits from tourism resources in their communities while minimizing leakages.

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When people travel to learn about the history and culture of a destination, it is called cultural tourism.

It is another key tourism market that demands creative goods and services, including cultural products such as handicrafts, performance arts and music, that can be harnessed for economic growth. Handicrafts are key cultural products consumed in the tourism industry. Owing to low entry barriers, and as handicrafts require a low level of capital investment, there is potential to develop viable linkages between tourism and local handicrafts sectors that create economic opportunities for local artisans. On the demand side, hotels and restaurants can create business opportunities for local artisans who can supply handicrafts to furnish such establishments.

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Backward linkages can create business opportunities for semi-skilled and unskilled artisans in the informal sector. The demand for handicrafts can help to ensure a sustainable market for locally made handicrafts, and increase incomes and improve livelihoods in local communities (United Nations Conference on Trade & Development Report 2017).

Tourism establishments can also facilitate market opportunities for local handicrafts by organizing markets on their premises and through coordinated visits to local markets that allow tourists to source handicrafts directly from local artisans. Moreover, engaging directly with local artisans and informal enterprises with few or no intermediaries allows for a greater capture of tourist expenditures by local artisans and encourages the utilization of local skills and materials, with tourism thus generating an important source of income for semi-skilled and unskilled workers, while contributing to the preservation of local cultural heritages. Governments can play a role in helping to create an appropriate incentive structure and an enabling environment for firms (such as hotel and guest house operators) to actively engage in integrating local artisans into local tourism value chains and ensuring that they benefit economically from the sector.


Although a small share of tourist expenditures is on handicrafts, several studies suggest that the economic benefits that accrue to the poor are comparatively high. For example, in Ethiopia, the crafts sector captures the largest share of tourist expenditures; $7 million (55 per cent) of $12.7 million in tourist expenditures on crafts benefits poor households through income earned from employment or business opportunities (Mitchell and Ashley, 2009). In 2007, in Ethiopia, the average tourist spent $50 on handicrafts, half of which was income accrued by local artisans (International Trade Centre, 2010). Trade in cultural products can play an important role in driving informal business tourism, a substantial and important dimension of such tourism in regions such as Southern Africa (Rogerson, 2016).

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There are quite a number of rich cultural heritages in Nigeria which may be harnessed to increase demand for diverse products and experiences and create markets based on cultural and recreational elements. Events and visits such as the following may be leveraged for income generation through employment and business opportunities, with cultural tourism thereby contributing to economic growth: music & film festivals in Osun Osogbo; visits to cultural heritage sites, such as Olumo rock in Abeokuta; Idanre hill in Ondo; Ancient Kano city walls; Ogbunike caves; and visits to museums and galleries. Cultural events contribute to local economies while supporting cultural diversity. Heritage tourism is a growing market segment with significant potential in product. Heritage tourism is a growing market segment with significant potential in product diversification. Heritage and cultural sites, which are often located in rural areas, can play a role in promoting local economic development. With regard to demand, heritage tourism can stimulate local employment, directly through the employment of tour guides and indirectly through the conservation of sites and the development of infrastructure such as cafes, restaurants and other facilities, as well as the maintenance of associated infrastructure, such as upgrades of roads.

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Heritage tourism also offers opportunities for product development targeted at different market segments. In connection with visits to heritage and religious sites, there is potential to develop complementary sites, such as scenic routes and trails, aimed at adventure, leisure and business tourists, along with students visiting heritage sites, which have significant potential for the creation of linkages with and boosting the competitiveness of local tour operators and other businesses providing services to tourists, while ensuring that young people and local communities benefit through employment and other revenues. Economic opportunities arising from heritage tourism have the potential to transform underdeveloped regions in which related sites are often located, and provide an impetus for regions to strive to overcome economic stagnation and decline (Rogerson and van der Merwe, 2016).


INTERVIEW: “Have a passion for service and to exceed guests expectations” – Ubutu

In this exclusive interview with Mr. Peter Ubutu, Operations Manager for Citiheight Hotel, he sheds light on the hotel and tourism landscape in Nigeria, exceeding customers (guests) expectations and qualities/skills needed to excel in the industry. Enjoy.

What is unique about CitiHeight Hotel?

As a Hotel Operations Manager, Mr Peter Ubutu generally overseas the entire operations of the hotel, which include the sales and finance operations, food and beverages department, public relations and the creation and supervision of employee roasters and work schedules, amongst other functions. A mixture of guests from different parts of the country and even overseas, grace the Citiheight hotel, and as the operations manager, he ensures that all within the hotel works efficiently to meet the needs of each guest. The hotel itself is equipped with top-of-the-line and state-of-the-art facilities, some of which include cozy and well air-conditioned rooms, 24/7 internet access, reliable power supply, a swimming pool, restaurant and bar, a gym and even a spa. These facilities provide exciting activities for guests to engage in at their leisure times, and to top is all, the hotel offers a complementary buffet breakfast for guests to savour and enjoy, either before, after or as they engage in these exciting and fun activities.

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Tips on Giving Customers a Memorable Experience

“As a hotel administrator, in your service to clients, you cannot leave anything to chance,” says Mr Peter when asked about what makes Citiheight hotel’s service unique, and in that statement is a very useful tip for students and upcoming hotel administrators to take note of. “It is important to try to give a very memorable experience to guests by way of quality service”, he continued and gave an example of how he went above and beyond to service the need of a guest one fateful night.

The guest desperately needed his medication, and because it was night time, there was no pharmacy open to provide the needed medicine. Mr Peter went beyond the call of duty and leveraged on his relationship with one of the major pharmacy operators in Nigeria to get the pharmacy open at night and purchase the needed medication for the guest. To paraphrase his exact words, from that night, that guest became a loyal patron of the hotel. This willingness to not leave anything to chance, to go above and beyond to meet the needs of guests with exceptional friendliness, and to provide superb luxury facilities to guests is what Mr Peter believes makes Citiheight hotel unique compared to other hotels.


Qualities of a Good Hotel Administrator

Additionally, Mr. Peter Ubutu advised students and upcoming hotel administrators to work on having excellent human relations and to ensure they remain truthful to guests and employees at all times. He added that an impeccable dress sense is also necessary to make a good impression because ‘you dress the way you want to be addressed’. For him, it is also important to be humble, regardless of your age, so you will be able to relate with people well and properly understand their needs.


Moving on to what his opinion on the Lagos experience is, Mr Peter describes it as fantastic, exciting and dynamic with a great nightlife and very good food. It is an experience he believes guests to Lagos will fully enjoy.

Finally for fun, Mr Peter likes to meet and greet. This manifests in how he is always eager to meet guests, talk to them to gauge their needs, understand them and effectively meet these needs. He also likes to read in his spare time and is currently taking courses on LinkedIn to enhance his organizational and managerial skills. The top tourist destinations in Lagos that he recommends for visitation include the beach, Onikan Museum, the Oba’s Palace, Nike Art Gallery, Kalakuta House and the Mall.

2017: Tourism’s Direct Contribution to Nigeria’s GDP Yet to Rise in 4th Quarter as Forecast Indicated

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At the beginning of this year (2017), Nigeria was deeply soaked in the dirty waters of recession occasioned by the fall in Naira value, dwindling prices of petroleum products and of course, corruption. The country’s economy was held hostage as it were. Everyone felt the pang of distress – including the unborn babies, as many mothers stayed on pregnancy prevention pills to prevent delivering newborns into such a pathetic state of distress.

Eventually, the pains eased out but not without teaching us a vital lesson: complete reliance on oil as our only export will continue to plunge the economy and everything else that hinges on it into destruction; hence, the need to diversify. The recession continued to tiptoe into the 4th quarter of the year before we were dimly bailed out of the unfriendly situation. And gradually, things started picking up, albeit slowly.

Meanwhile, you’d recall that experts across a plethora of disciplines offered suggestions on how the government can pull the economy out of recession through diversification. Many of these recommendations tilted towards developing other sectors that have potential for growth – sectors that had long been abandoned or relegated because they were perceived to lack the capacity to be as buoyant as the oil sector. Such sectors included Agriculture, Hospitality & Tourism, SMEs, etc. So the government started adopting some of these recommendations.

The Ministry of Information and Culture, led by Alh. Lai Mohammed swung into action by developing a blueprint on how government can invest in the tourism sector to boost its growth. The minister was pregnant with many viable ideas. Consequently, be orchestrated several partnerships with independent tourism bodies with the aim of turning the sector into a revenue generating business. One of those partnerships included the world apex tourism body, United Nations World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) providing capacity development for Nigerian tourism personnel on how to grow the sector into something viable.

While the world is waiting for these laudable efforts to yield bountiful results which of course would take some time, it is important to take a retrospective look at some of the interesting predictions of the World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC) in 2016 about what the direct & total contributions of Travel & Tourism to the country’s GDP would be by end of 2017. But first, let us attempt to explain the difference between Direct and Total contributions as used in the report.

Direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP reflects the ‘internal’ spending on Travel & Tourism (total spending within a particular country on Travel & Tourism by residents and non-residents for business and leisure purposes) as well as government ‘individual’ spending – spending by government on Travel & Tourism services directly linked to visitors, such as cultural (e.g. museums) or recreational (e.g. national parks). The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP is calculated to be consistent with the output, as expressed in National Accounting of tourism-characteristic sectors such as hotels, airlines, airports, travel agents and leisure and recreation services that deal directly with tourists. The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP is calculated from total internal spending by ‘netting out’ the purchases made by the different tourism sectors.

On the other hand, the total contribution of Travel & Tourism includes its ‘wider impacts’ (i.e. the indirect and induced impacts) on the economy. The ‘indirect’ contribution includes the GDP and jobs supported by: Travel & Tourism investment spending – an important aspect of both current and future activity that includes investment activity such as the purchase of new aircraft and construction of new hotels; government ‘collective’ spending, which helps Travel & Tourism activity in many different ways as it is made on behalf of the ‘community at large’ – e.g. tourism marketing and promotion, aviation, administration, security services, resort area security services, resort area sanitation services, etc; domestic purchases of goods and services by the sectors dealing directly with tourists – including, for example, purchases of food and cleaning services by hotels, of fuel and catering services by airlines, and IT services by travel agents.

As at 2016, direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was NGN1,861.4bn (1.7% of GDP) but this was forecast to rise by 1.1% to NGN1,881.1bn in 2017. But the figures presented in the WTTC 2017 report are proof that not so much contribution from the sector has reflected on the economy. In the last 10 months, no significant direct contribution from Travel & Tourism to the country’s GDP. For instance, its contribution to the whole economy GDP still remains at 1.7%, same as it was in 2016. A review of tourism’s impact on the country’s GDP in the last 10 years (2007 – 2017) shows that its impact was at all time high in 2008, having contributed 2.4% to the GDP. Since 2008, its impact has been fluctuating between 1.8% and 1.5%.



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Travelling doesn’t have to be such an expensive and somewhat inconvenient endeavor. It doesn’t have to be an endeavor that’s hard on your finances and lifestyle.  There are ways to make the most of your travelling experience and reduce its pressure on your finances and lifestyle. We share four ways to travel smartly in Nigeria.

  1. Choose Your Means of Transport Wisely

Constantly check for the fares of different legitimate airlines and transport companies; check for their specific discount periods and discount schemes that will be of benefit to you in budgeting and planning for your travel with your decided mode of transportation. This can help maximize your travel experience. Registering on travel and hotel booking portals like Jumia Travel can help with this. You can take advantage of special travel smart deals to save yourself some more money.

2. Organize Your Travel Documents Well

Ensure all your travel documents are in place and are easily accessible, so you don’t have to waste time trying to find them at crucial times. This sort of oversight can end up either delaying your journey or making it entirely impossible. Besides, you’ll save yourself the stress of having to deal with officials that might get hostile or even embarrassing when this happens.

3. Pack Lightly

This can help you avoid excess luggage charges and save you from spending extra money on your travel. Just pack necessary items that can make your travel more convenient and leave behind the rest. Packing with purpose can go a long way in helping you achieve this. Pack with your location in mind and avoid packing things that aren’t versatile.

4. Plan Your Trips

Regardless of it’s a business trip or vacation, you should always endeavor to plan for your travel. From budgeting your travel expenses before and during the trip to the exact kind of hotel or accommodation you intend to stay in, and the means of transport you intent to use at your travel destination. If it’s an Uber you intend to use, plan for it; if taking the bus will be cheaper, plan for it. Plan every little detail of your trip to the best of your ability. Yes things happen, and you might ultimately not be able to execute your entire plan but it will at least keep you relatively in control of your travel experience and help you reduce and very possibly avoid excess and unexpected costs.