International tourism boards in Africa and the Middle East have commended the initiative of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies NANTA, for kick starting a training programme to empower its members to thrive in the business.
Giving the commendation at a virtual meeting to launch the programme tagged “Capacity Development and Accreditation” of NANTA, representatives of the Dubai Tourism and South Africa Tourism boards pledge their unflinching support and sustainance of their relationship with the Association.
Stella Fubara of the Dubai Tourism Board in a brief remarks said she was elated to know that NANTA is not resting on its oars in ensuring its members are adequately equipped to handle their clients, device new methods of growing their businesses among others in an industry that is constantly evolving.
“Unfortunately, Covid is an example forcing us to evolve, let me tell you Covid has put you at an advantage now more than ever, the public need to talk to a human being and not do bookings online, they want to talk to a travel agent, talk to someone who knows a little bit about about the destination and the process”.
She said she is excited with the training platform because without training no individual who calls his/herself a travel and tourism agent can grow.
“Dubai Tourism began partnering NANTA many years ago to be able to provide support to the travel agents who are serious about their business, who want to learn, who want to move their business, who love the industry, in so doing we developed quite a strong relationship”.
Stella calls on travel agents to take this investment serious, adding that it is not about booking tickets but about every destinations they want to sell, doing research among others.
“Having NANTA as a platform to give you this training if you are a member of NANTA it is a fantastic approach, it is probably the one thing that NANTA is going to do that would affect as you are represented, it would affect a start-up, it will affect a beginner, it would affect the experienced”.
“Dubai Tourism is here to continue support travel agents, I like people to move, I like people to invest in themselves, NANTA is investing in you by creating this platform, you owe it to yourself to take advantage if this investment and invest in yourself because if don’t invest in yourself why should anybody come to you for business and we in Dubai Tourism we will supply NANTA with as many as free courses as we can to add to their portfolio of experienced for the NANTA registered travel agents”.
Representative of the South African Tourism Board, Thekiso Rakolojane said what Covid-19 had presented to the industry is an opportunity to reflect and the South Africa industry was taking this time to reflect and make sure that post-Covid-19, there are systems in place to make their relationship a mutually benefiting one”.
He explained that the focus of the South Africa Tourism is removing the barriers for NANTA members to sell their destinations, adding that those barriers were clear to them that is why they are working with the South Africa High Commissioner in Abuja to ensure that NANTA find their destinations easier to sell and most importantly get more Nigerians to come first to South Africa.
“What Covid-19 has done is that it has disrupt all our businesses globally, we are coming to the reality with its devastating effects on our sector , we are encouraged by the adaptation of technology by our sector and the webinar today is another testimony of what we have all adapted to”.
“Your leadership is one that we truly appreciate when you are bringing us together through this online platform and you can continue to engage ya and share ideas and build capacity amongst ourselves”.
“It is a great delight that we are here today to experience the first in the history of NANTA as the Association chart its way toward changing the narrative in the industry but what is real most important is to produce a travel and tour professors over the years to come. We congratulate you and the Executives as well as the Board on this endeavor and the South Africa Tourism would like to say our friendship does not only start today it is going to be for many more years to come, we look forward to working with you and welcoming you and your Executives and Board into South Africa “.