If asked, What was the worst year for you? Everyone will, by impulse, reference 2020 as the worst. And this is a bit true, if not entirely the case with everyone, with every sector, nation, and continent globally.
The wake of the coronavirus pandemic put to halt various businesses, goals, and plans all-round.
All-round, there were plans made for the year 2020 only for the shocking news of a pandemic breakout in Wuhan, China, later in February 2020 to come to the fore as deadly and destructive.
This news attacked the tourism sector worldwide as, in early March 2020, a global lockdown began.
Cases of infected persons plummeted ferociously.
Economies started getting affected.
The tourism sector in Nigeria, too, had enjoyed several privileges and entitlements throughout the years until the brink of 2020,which saw a quick fall allowed by the novel coronavirus.
History of Nigeria’s flourishing tourism sector
From 1995 to 2018, the Nigerian tourism sector saw hikes and temporal decreases in tourist visitations into its borders. Note that, for one to know if or if not, there was a hike or decrease in tourist visitation into Nigeria, a graph must be plotted to score the rate at which visas were demanded.
And, for the record, international receipts made within the country visited, concerning services (such as hotel bookings and flight bookings), offered, are graphed. This means a constant study of who or who did not come into the country per year. This also means that there are monitors set to watch these arrivals, bookings for hotels, etc.
Dealing with the worst periods
During the period of 1995 till 2018, Nigeria made so much money using the tourism sector, particularly in dollars.
Following the Nigerian tourism statistics historical data, we see that since 1995 there had been a constant revenue generation growth using the tourism sector. The hikes were progressive but remained at zero point-something-percent far too long.
In 2016 the tourism sector of Nigeria hit its first two-point eight-three percentage (2.83%).
In 2016 Nigeria had toppled or tripled spending and the percentage of exports.
It, by then, stood like a massive initiative.
The year 2016 saw, for the Nigerian tourism sector, a massive turnaround from 461,000,000.00USD in 2015 to a 1,088,000,000.00USD in 2016.
Impressive, right? This can’t be wrong.
In subsequent years, 2017 and 2018, especially in 2017, there was a shocking hike from 1,088,000,000.00USD in 2016 to a whopping 2,615,000,000.00 in 2017. This hike in 2017 increased the export percentage in Nigeria.
It is important to note that these figures mean the total number of spending during these periods where visitors were received into Nigeria were collated.
However, in 2018, there was a three point-something percent fall in tourism by 2 percent.
The Oluma Rock in Ogun State, Yankari Game Reserve in Bauchi State, Lekki Conversion Stop in Lagos State, Zuma Rock in Abuja, Agbokim Waterfall, Agodi Gardens in Oyo State, Kajuru Castle in Kaduna State — experienced difficult times as they all saw less or no foreign visitors at all in 2020.
2020 as the worst year for Nigeria’s tourism sector
Since there were and/or are restrictions on travels in major parts of the world until vaccines are adequately distributed worldwide, visitors into The Nigerian Hospitality and Tourism Business sector have been minimal. This supposes that 2020 saw loopholes in the business of travels and tourism.
ACTION PLAN FOR 2021
Heads of Nigeria’s Hospitality and Tourism Business sector are positive about the year 2021.
Mr. Kangiwa, Coordinator, Hospitality and Tourism Sector Skills Council of Nigeria (H.T.S.S.C.N), said the utilization of technologies in vogue for the benefit of the sector, as other tourism sectors have acclimated with the world over, is being initiated into the sector.
And has become part of Nigeria’s Tourism Sector’s new normal, Mrs. Susan Akpriaye, President of The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (N.A.N.T.A), expressed hurt regarding how much laid-off staff the tourism sector has made due to the coronavirus pandemic, but also, in her expressions she made it clear that she is optimistic about having the sector bounce back from the pits subsequently in 2021.