In this era of the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, (NANTA) has taken the bull by its horns to invest on its members to acquire skills for better clientele services.
To this end, NANTA has launched a capacity development and accreditation programme to assist equip travel and tour agents with skills to succeed in the sector, which is the brainchild of the NANTA President Mrs. Susan Akporiaye.
Travel agents seeking to be members of NANTA are expected to undergo this training before accreditation.
The capacity development program of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies, NANTA is aimed at changing the narrative of the travel and tourism Industry to turn out professionals adequately equipped especially during this pandemic to promote the business.
According to the 2nd National President, NANTA, Mr. James Ihie, in his address of welcome said the program was in fulfilment of the promise made by the President during her electioneering campaign to Train and empower members with the requisite knowledge to thrive in the business.
“We know that knowledge is power, all she is trying to do is to give knowledge back to members of NANTA and bring the Association back to international standards”.
The Training committee chairperson, Mrs. Ibiwari Kamabonta explained that the framework of the training program had been carefully mapped out for new and existing members.
She said the ultimate goal of the training which is in three categories would empower all participants from start-up, beginners and experienced to have affiliations with Internationally recognized bodies and give members opportunities to have global recognized licences.
“For you to be able to know your right, know what you should do and what you shouldn’t. It gives you that opportunity to educate yourself and empower you to do the right thing”.
NANTA President, Mrs. Susan Akporiaye urged members to take the training serious as this would help them to acquire the skills to achieve success in the industry.
She said members must not focus on money for now but on acquiring the skills that would produce the money later.
“And the skills is going to come out from the training you are getting and if you have acquired that wisdom skill, the money start coming in”.
“Any business that looks at money first don’t always last, you must first if all at the wisdom of putting together things then the next thing is to acquire the necessary skills and once that is done, the money starts flowing in”.
The NANTA President explains what the target of the training is, “Our target is we are still going to get to a point that that basic foundation training, that is our target, would be approved by IATA and going forward everybody before you become a member of the Association before you are being admitted a member of the Association you must have gone through that basic”.
In his contribution, Mr. Yinka Folami, in charge of NANTA Lagos Zone, emphasized that travel agents must work at restoring customers confidence and the way to achieve this was to sharpen their skills especially during this covid-19 period.
“We need to restore the confidence of customers, we need to become new consultants and there is a saying in client services that every service problem that presents itself should not be seen as a problem but should only been seen as a challenge and should be seen as a client servicing opportunity, we all know that customer is king but there is a saying that even goes beyond customer is king but that customer is the only reason why we are in business. We should continue to sharpen our skills in customer servicing and we need to become consultant particularly in the era of Covid-19”.
” At this point we need to take stock, we need to take lessons from Covid-19″.
Highlight of the NANTA capacity development and accreditation program was the cutting of the tape with 308 participants which include travel and tourism agents from within and outside the country.