Only Good Policies Can Address Travel Industry Challenges——–Bankole, NANTA Boss
…Begins Talks With IATA, UFTAA, Others
…Promises To Re-position Association, Uphold Professionalism
The National President of the National Association Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), Bankole Bernard has said that with good policies the present economic situation facing the travel industry in the country can be addressed
This is just as he said that the leadership at NANTA will not only exhibit professionalism in the conduct of its business but that the association will set standards in line with international best practices.
He said this at media parley at the association’s secretariat at. Fadeyi , Lagos today.
Bankole stated that bad policies brought the country to where it is presently, adding that the forex policy has created damage to the system, adding that the system should have introduced long ago.
He argued that forex policy that is currently affecting foreign airlines would have multiplier effect on the travel industry if the airlines decided to leave the country, adding that already airlines have started reducing either the aircraft type the operate into the country because the number of air travellers have reduced.
He added that when this happens, the travel agents will be affected because the number of people wanting to travel will reduce.
The foreign airlines, he stated would be more than ready if the Federal Government allows them to pay other charges it collects from them in Naira to cushion the effect of the forex policy on the airlines.
On NANTA, the president stated that he and his team would reposition the association to meet the present challenges and that NANTA will ensure no organisation treats travel agencies with disdain.
He stated that prior to becoming the president, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) was not relating with NANTA but that when he came in, he called IATA to inform the association that there should be constant engagement between the two parties.
According to him, I want NANTA to be respected by both local and international organisations. You cannot ignore the power of distribution because travel agencies are important stakeholders in the travel industry. The media has a lot to do by helping us get to the public and also tell them what we do.”
He lamented that apart from IATA other organisations were not relating with NANTA the way they considering the role it plays in the travel industry, adding that the new administration will ensure that NANTA is properly showcased to the world with the assistance of the media.
He also stated that immediately he came to office, he sent a message to Universal Federation Of Travel Agents’ Associations (UFTAA)and that federation responded by saying that it was waiting for NANTA at its convention
“We have renewed our relationship with Universal Federation Of Travel Agents’ Associations (UFTAA) ,IATA and other organisations and they are ready to relate with us constantly .This is not enough .We want the media to help us educate the public about what NANTA does and that NANTA do its business professionally.”
He continued, “This administration is more than willing to uphold professionalism in all its dealings .NANTA and its members are bunch of professionals .We want to set the international standards and we would ensure that our members are treated as professionals.”
Bankole disclosed that NANTA has been divided into five zones, which according to him include: Lagos, Abuja, Western and Eastern and Northern zones, adding that the national body has empowered each zone to create chapters.
On the issue of airlines who had opened city offices closing them down, NANTA boss stated that the association had been on the matter for the past eight years.
He added that while some have closed these offices where they sell tickets, others he said have refused to shut down because according to them NANTA members operating travel agencies are not professionals.
Speaking further,he corrected the insinuation, arguing that NANTA members are professionals, adding that what these airlines are doing in Nigeria are not allowed in other climes.
“Some airlines have refused shut down because they say that our members are not professionals. In other countries airlines are not allowed to open and operate city offices, why should Nigeria be different.” he queried
NANTA is a national body comprising of travel agencies. It was established for the purpose of promoting their interests, serving as the mouthpiece for agencies, regulating their activities and maintaining discipline and professionalism within the industry.