Monday, February 20, 2017

Naija Tour Operator - Naija Nomad


I got to know about Naija Nomad from Travel-lover buddy, Kemi Onabanjo. I like their 2017 Calendar and I look forward to going for one this year *fingers crossed*
Naija Nomad 2017 Calendar

Enjoy our interview with the Head Nomad *I like this titled. I smiled when I saw it* 😊 

Q1. Please kindly introduce yourself.
A1. My name is Ayomofe Runsewe, Head Nomad at Naija Nomads. My nomadic adventures kicked off in 2012 during my LLM in London. I found myself in extremely diverse circles from people all over the world. Everyone had an insightful stories about their countries and I got curious. I wanted to see all these places first hand. My very first "out of the way" trip was to Marrakech in Morocco. This trip was a game changer and I haven't looked back ever since. 

Q2. Describe yourself in three words. 
A2. I like to think I'm a lot of things. But if I had to pick three I'll say Creative, Spontaneous and Adventurous 

Q3. Tell us more about your tour operating company. When did you start it? What inspired you to start one?
A3. So my platform really focuses is on encouraging/educating Nigerians on the benefits of seeing the world and we don't really focus on tours. However, our first group trip was in 2015 to Kajuru Castle in Kaduna State. 

The inspiration for starting trips really came from the constant emails we got from people on travel buddy needs. We realized that some people really wanted to travel but didn't want to do it alone. So we thought why not create a platform where these nomads can meet and share their experiences and maybe become travel buddies from there! 

Q4. What were/are your challenges in managing your tour operating company?  
A4. First there is the Nigerian factor of unpredictability. Since most of our operations is outsourced i.e. Transportation, feeding etc, sometimes you are at the mercy of incompetent vendors. Secondly Nigerians are TOO last minute. It's actually ridiculous. You really can't plan anything because 24hours to your trip people are still asking if they can make payment 😂. There is also the lack of infrastructure and horrible customer service at various sites/attractions. 

Q5. How many states in Nigeria have you, personally traveled to?
A5. I've been to 12 states in Nigeria 

Q6. How many domestic tours in Nigeria have you organized so far?
A6. Five (5)

Q7. Where are your “Must-Travel” destinations for individuals, couples, family and groups in Nigeria?
A7. Sigh! This is such a tough question because every state has its own uniqueness to it. For individuals i.e. Solo travellers, I'll be honest Nigeria isn't exactly a solo traveller destination. It's not exactly solo traveller friendly. You kinda have to know someone in Nigeria or have some sort of link before you come down. However if you must come, I'll say come to Lagos. Lagos is probably the most diverse destination in Nigeria. It's the commercial hub and the most vibrant city in Nigeria. And from Lagos you can tour the south west easily. 

For couples, definitely cross river, obudu cattle ranch or they could also try out one of these resorts in Lagos; la campagne tropicana, inagbe resorts, Epe resorts. If they are up for an adventure, they can hike Oke Ado Mountain in Oyo State or Idanre hills in Ondo state or go camping in Omo Forest groove. 

For family and groups, there is Abraka turf and country club in Delta State, IITA in Oyo State, Yankari Games Reserve in Bauchi State or the Gashaka Gumti in Taraba State. 

Q8. Where do you see your tour operating company in the next 5 years? 
A8. Doing big things like having tour guides in all regions within Nigeria. I would like to have a proper booking platform where people from all over the world can book and pay for our tours. People will also have the options for tailored specific trips. 

Q9. What is your advice to those who want to start their own tour operating company in Nigeria?
A9. Just do it! Have a unique selling point and think outside the box. Tour operating companies have been in existence for years so give people a reason to go with you. You need to ensure you give people more than just visiting a place.

Q10. Where do you see the Nigerian tourism industry in the next 5 to 10 years?
A10. Not very far. Individuals are doing their own part and people in the industry have great dreams for Nigeria. But if there is no willingness from the government we can't go very far. For example the roads to an attraction/site need to be motor able and easily accessible to encourage people to visit. The security challenges need to be dealt with. If people don't feel safe they will be reluctant to travel. So until all these measures are put in place tourism is less likely to thrive in Nigeria. 

Q11. Please give us your personal experience of how your tour operating company has changed your life. 
A11. It's been an incredible journey. To be honest I never pictured myself doing tours or anything of that sort. I've meet so many people from all works of life who absolutely love to travel. Some of them have become very close friends of mine. We encourage each other, inspire each other and share our travel stories (good and bad). 

Q12. A word or two to our readers.
A12. There are over 190 countries in the world! Look beyond the UK, Dubai and America and explore other beautiful countries. You'll never be the same after it. Also traveling doesn't have to start from international travel, it can start from domestic tourism. Nigeria is so diverse and you will be surprised how much you can learn from home. 

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