New COVID-19 restriction will affect Nigeria’s travel industry, expert warns

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Says tour agencies should focus on local destinations

Still reeling from the effect of the COVID-19 pandemic on the travel industry in Nigeria, experts fear that the new ban placed on travellers from South Africa, Brazil, India and Turkey by the federal government will affect the country’s travel and tour industry.

In an interview with Prime Business Africa, a travel agent, Henry Nwagwu said the ban by the federal government, though understandable, was bound to have its downside, especially since the world was still feeling the brunt of the lockdown necessitated by the pandemic.

Worried that the new travel restriction will affect tour agencies and customers alike, Nwagwu advised those affected to focus more on local destinations. In an industry that relies on the frequent movement of people, low travel requests owing to previous restrictions have brought about low sales and staff redundancy. 

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“The initial outbreak of COVID-19 affected the global travel agency in such a way that we are yet to recover. Several countries are only just opening their airspace and borders for international trade and commerce. Imposing travel restrictions at this time does not project Nigeria in a good way; aside from the fact that the country’s struggling economy can do with more travel business,” Nwagwu said.

The federal government’s new provisional quarantine protocol for travellers arriving in Nigeria, which took effect on July 2, 2021, prohibits travellers from the quartet of Brazil, Turkey, India and South Africa.

Deviating from airline companies and countries advocacy for vaccination and antigen test as entry requirements, the federal government has instead stuck to mandatory polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, quarantine and self-isolation for all arriving passengers.

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