The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) has unveiled plans by which Nigeria could benefit from the projected $3.4 trillion Gross Domestic Product (GDP) rated Africa Continental Free Trade Area (AFCFTA) Initiative.
NANTA said that the country could only benefit from the anticipated $3.4 trillion through the collaboration of the Nigerian aviation industry with four major African carriers; Kenya Airways, Egypt air, Ethiopian Airlines and Rwanda Air.
NANTA said that an organised trade and tourism marketing among African nations facilitated by well-thought out aviation connectivity, African Union passport and synchronised visa regime, among nations under the AFCFTA deal, could change the economic narratives of the estimated 1.3 million population of African nations.
Mrs. Susan Akporiaye, NANTA President, told journalists in Lagos that the trade pact had the potential of lifting out the vulnerable poor, particularly African women, who she said were about 70 per cent the informal sectors in Africa out of poverty.
Akporiaye said aviation and tourism could be used to explore and boost intra-African trade, create travel and tourism jobs, improve competitiveness of the unique African culture.
NANTA boss said she had unveiled the association’s ‘Africa to Africa Tourism Promotion’ campaign to the management of the four aforementioned airlines at different meetings in Lagos.
She reiterated that with the advent the African Union passport by Africa Union (AU), and NANTA driving the tourism and Culture content initiative in collaboration with the airlines, it would enhance and lubricate the promotion and marketing of African tourism economy, create jobs and engender peace and integration.
Speaking during the visit to Kenya Airways management in Lagos, Akporiaye called for a detailed and focal attention on Kenya tourism within the AfCFTA agenda while NANTA would push the frontiers of its marketing and promotion.
She believed Kenya Airways could be a veritable partner, in the associations driven to create jobs across intra-continental tourism initiatives.
Hafis Balogun, Country Manager, Kenya Airways in his response, lauded NANTA’s campaign.
He assured that Kenya Airways would partner with the association to give a different holiday experience to Nigerians and Africans who are interested in visiting Kenya.
He said: “We have taken note of the desire to rebrand and drive the Kenya Holidays with safari, beach shopping tourism products enabled agenda, and with your deserving collaboration, Kenya tourism would rebound fast.”
At Ethiopian Airlines, Akporiaye reiterated the need for intra-African tourism rebirth and challenged the management to facilitate the promotion of Ethiopian religious tourism and its agricultural offerings.