Nigeria’s tourism and hospitality industry might overtake the downstream sector by 2021 if the recently launched African Union passport is adopted by the country’s legislators, a statement from hotel-booking portal, Jumia, quoted its Country Manager, Mr. Kushal Dutta, as saying.
Dutta said the pan-African passport would allow free movement of domestic tourists into the country.
According to him, the opportunities presented by the unified African passport supersede the threats, especially now that Nigeria’s mainstay which is oil might not be sufficient to grow the economy if the country’s Sustainable Development Goals are to be achieved.
He said, “In Nigeria, industry leaders have highlighted the hospitality industry among the sectors with growth opportunity in the next five years. Breaking the barrier of free travel for other African countries to come to Nigeria is a potent way of enhancing the growth of the hospitality industry. But there is no gainsaying that the unified AU passport will also have some demerits such as unmonitored inflow of migrants and perhaps criminals from one country to another.”
According to the Jumia Country Manager, there will be an increase in domestic tourism on the continent and this will pave the way for increase in job creation. He cited the 2015 report on travel and tourism industry in Africa which indicated that the industry generated approximately nine million jobs directly (3.0 per cent of total employment) and a growth forecast of 0.3 per cent in 2016 (2.9 per cent of total employment). “This includes employment by hotels, restaurants, travel agents such as Jumia travel and airlines, among others. It is predicted that by 2026, the industry will account for about 11.7 million jobs directly in Africa – an increase of 2.5 per cent per annum over the next decade,” he added.