With the devastating impact of the COVID-19 on the world economies, stakeholders in the different sectors of the economy is relying on governments to bailout businesses to avoid job losses, stakeholders in the travel, tourism and hospitality business are of the opinion that business owners also have a role to play to come out strong after the pandemic.
During a discussion section on webinar, on the topic, “Impact of COVID-19, The way forward for the Hospitality Industry”, President, National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies, NANTA, Mrs. Susan Akporaiye emphasized that apart from government’s intervention or bailout, business owners must revisit their business models and strategize to take advantage of areas of low hanging fruits for easy and quick recovery.
Describing the general relief measures for the sectors affected by the pandemic by the government as a welcome development, the NANTA President emphasized that government needed to take a closer look at the aviation and tourism sector considering the fact that they are the worst hit by the crisis and given their importance and contribution to the Nigerian economy.
“There are some companies that will not survive the corona virus pandemic. The government needs to support there businesses. Instead of closing shop, these businesses can partner for survival (collaboration) and later make a comeback post COVID-19.”
Mrs. Akporaiye stressed that government must start now to put new policies in place that would support local content, adding that there was also need to develop industries to be self sufficient to drive a higher percent of the economy.
According to her, operator’s look at their business model would enable them to start making profit in a shorter time period.
She urged, “Adopt models that will increase your service delivery with minimal expenditure.”
On customers relations, the NANTA boss also stressed that engaging clients at this time is very important as they would need their advice to take decisions on certain matters.
Mrs. Akporaiye noted that equipping oneself with the latest information and happenings in the industry, would help serve the clients more efficiently and this would help increase there desire and confidence to travel again.
“The world traveling again is the key to the industry recovery.”
“Looking inwards will be one of the new normal and it will get us out of the I recession faster. The world has been compelled by the COVID-19 pandemic to revisit her mode of interaction; clearly things will definitely not be business as usual, not now nor in the future. Change is now the new normal and we must be ready and positioned to take advantage of it in order to survive.”