Travel Operators Call For Sustainable Policy On Tourism Sector

L-R: Sally Mbanefo, Director General, Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation and Lai Mohammed, Minister of Information and Culture.

The Managing Director, Tropical International Ltd., a travel agency, Ms Stephanie Innocent, called on the Federal Government to initiate sustainable policy in tourism sector to boost its revenue profile.

Innocent, who made the call in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja on Tuesday, said that such policy would also boost tourism in the country.

“Such policy could generate much revenue for it and boost the operation of travel agencies in the country,’’ she said. She said that venturing into the travel agency business in Nigeria had its challenges, adding that the policy being envisaged would assist in smoothing the rough edges for the operators in the business.

“There is always the uncertainty of not being able to break even; this is so because the airline operators constantly make changes as regards the commission based on percentage given to their agents.
“It’s now so difficult to make a decent earning on these commissions without having to add service charge to the total ticket fare.

“It’s as if some airlines have passed the bulk of paying out commissions to the travel agents onto the passengers.

“Some airlines no longer pay commission to agents while others are planning to follow suit.
“The government should set up policies that will make it mandatory for the airlines to pay these commissions in as much to airline operators have their rights too.

“This will help create employment for individuals and pave way for others to come on board as policy will make it economically viable for travel operators to work in the sector,’’ she said.

“Furthermore, the stipulated fee paid by agents, either as insurance coverage or union membership fee, should be reduced so that agents will not be at a loss due to non- payment of commissions on tickets sold.’’

Mr Udom Etuk, a travel agent, who also spoke with NAN stressed the need for government to formulate policy that would make travel operators to continue in the business.

He said that the policy would create an environment conducive for employment of more hands in the travelling agent operations as it would enable the operators to break even among other advantages.

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