Nigerian Travel Industry out with Travel Hub - Paul Ukpabio's Blog


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Saturday, 3 July 2021

Nigerian Travel Industry out with Travel Hub

Travel HUB an initiative of the Nigerian Travel industry's passionate practitioners, is out to reposition practitioners, in a way never seen before.

Yinka Folami, the Vice President of Lagos zone of NANTA and key actor in this initiative, had this to say about Travel HUB:

"We have observed the trends (pre and post Covid 19) and decided to invest in taking Travel Agency off the streets, into physical and virtual offices with credible location details and identity. This comes at no direct overhead costs to young, upcoming, and credible travel practitioners that are passionate about the travel industry.

"In clear terms, Travel HUB is a collaborative travel agency platform that provides physical and virtual office spaces/facilities to upcoming and credible agencies at no cost. The HUB aggregates the collaborative purchases of airline tickets and other related travel products, and coordinates the professional conduct of members for regulatory compliance. Travel HUB also supports members at times of need through a credibly established cooperative society (Esusu) and access to HMO. Hub members are fondly referred to as Hubbers."

According to him, "Travel HUB is an aggregator, in response to the need for collaboration and for strong conversations in the industry. Travel HUB is a strong bridge to success in the travel industry. The idea behind Travel HUB is to continue to say no to faceless briefcase agents that tout the industry, many of whom unsuspecting travellers have fallen scam-victims to. It is also to redeem the credibility of genuine and professional travel practitioners continuously battered by frequent reports of high incidences of fraud in the industry."

Yinka Folami, who is the Chief Executive of Travel & Logistics Centre Limited and a member of Travel HUB), insist that, unknown to the travelling public, many travel agents operate credible travel agencies, and have over the years and in recent times, heavily invested in training, capital, and capacity and do not deserve the negative perception. 

Folami was emphatic that, today, ticketing is a detailed art that requires professional service inclination and consulting approach. The Travel Agent therefore needs to be found in a ‘good place’ and not on the street’.
Yinka Folami goes on to list the features of Travel HUB under the following benefit categoriewa

Collective Platform

Collaboration; speak with one voice
Free Office Facility & Work Stations & Meeting Room
Training & Operations
Continuous Training
Shared Learning
In-house GDS Support
Airline Briefings and Incentives to Hub Agents
Aggregation of Best Fares
Best Travel Buys (Tour, Visa, Protocol)
Finance & Administration
Finance Advisory
Support for full Regulatory Compliance (NANTA, NCAA, IATA, SCUML etc)
Electronic Pass/Professional Identity (Chip enabled)
Zero Bank Guarantee
Hub Catering Service
Free First Level HMO
Thrift & Cooperative Society (Esusu); voluntary

In response, Mr. Dayo Adeola (a veteran in Travel, and the current BOT Chairman of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies) said that the idea is not entirely new, but that the unique point is that Travel HUB is more focussed on the strength and growth of the upcoming agents referred to in the industry as Sub-Agents. The key take-out here is ‘One Voice’, which is strong and commendable. He viewed that Travel HUB deserves applause, and that travel agency will certainly get more interesting post Covid 19.

The idea of the Travel HUB was further endorsed by Mr. Wale Olaoye (a security expert, and CEO Halogen Group) who is a stickler for verifiable identity. In his words “the logic is simple, I am a frequent traveler myself, before you part with your money, do your KYC”. Passengers on their part are advised not to patronize any travel agent that does not have clear identity traceable to a credible location and trade association like NANTA…that simple!

Yinka Folami concluded with a quote from Henry Ford; “coming together is the beginning, staying together is progress, and working together is success.

"Individually we do not have access to all the above benefits, but collectively we now do; that is the power of collaboration."

He thanked partners, particularly GDS companies, who have been supportive to the idea and have committed to supporting Travel HUB with proficient Travel Technology and In-House GDS Support.

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