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Post COVID-19: NANTA trains 250 travel agents on capacity development, professionalism



The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) on Tuesday trained about 250 travel agents on the advancement of industry in the midst of COVID-19 pandemic.

Its National President, Mrs Susan Akporiaye, said the Zoom training, which had the theme: ‘Become the Travel Expert of the Future,’ focused on capacity development and improved professionalism.

Akporiaye said that the training exposed members to strategic recovery of travel businesses and the International Air Transport Association’s significance to travel trade.

According to her, the association is operating an open door policy where innovative ideas will be welcome from members and organisations.

“I appreciate the support of the South Africa Tourism and Dubai Tourism; I also commend the efforts of the past presidents of the association.

“I have served under visionary leaders and I have no choice than to be visionary as well.

“Our target is to make basic foundation training approved by IATA and improve professionalism among our members.

“You must equip yourselves so that clients can look out for you, this will help us produce travel and tour professionals as we bring the association to an enviable height.

“We want Nigeria travel agencies to be world class,” she said.

Akporaiye urged members to prioritise neccesssary skills acquisition over financial gains.

Ibiwari Kemabonta, an official of NANTA, said that the training was organised to bridge the knowledge gap existing among members, as this had been observed to be causing lots of problems in the travel and tourism industry.

Kemabonta said the training framework targeted the beginners, start-ups and the experienced categories of members to enable them move their businesses from their localities to international standard.

She itemised some of the areas of focus during the training as: Understanding the workings of IATA vis-a-vis the travel agency, understanding the role of tour operators, strategic planning for business sustainability.

Others were understanding relationship between travel agency and industry partners, management and leadership skills, among others.

According to her, these efforts

are channeled towards meeting the dynamics of the industry at a time like this.

Stella Fubara, Director, International Operations, Dubai Tourism, commended NANTA over the training, which she  was paramount for constant development in the travel industry which kept evolving over time.

She urged the members to focus on the training to improve their knowledge in the industry

“Dubai Tourism has partnered with NANTA many years ago to be able to provide support for those who are passionate and want to grow the industry.

“I am happy with the training programme because I have been clamouring for it, without training you cannot grow and our industry is one of those that is constantly evolving.

“Dubai Tourism is here to continue to support travel agents to grow and I like people to move and invest in themselves,” she said.

Mr Yinka Folami, Vice President, NANTA Lagos Branch, urged travel agents to engage more in professional dialogue with their principals and stakeholders to restore customer confidence, considering the setback caused by the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic.

“We need this because the responsibility of every industry player should be to promote solidarity within and external, NANTA is professional body and we will continue to acquire the professional skills to deal with international communities.

“Every service problem like COVID-19 pandemic should not be seen as a problem but a way to engage in strategic thinking.

“We need to evaluate ourselves, allign ourselves with what we are supposed to do but not doing and what we are doing and not supposed to be doing,” he said.


Edited By: Chidinma Agu/Wale Ojetimi (NAN)

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