Monday, February 20, 2017

Naija Tour Operator - Social Prefect Tours


Last year, on my quest to finding Nigeria Tour Operators, I found Social Prefect on Instagram and I got hooked! 😀 I love the way they show case their tours and how exciting and fun they make traveling look. Last year I wasn't able to go for any of  their tours (Motherhood & work saga 😐 Lol!) But this year, Social Prefect shall not pass me by,o! *fingers crossed* 😀
 Social Prefect Tours 2017 Calendar

Kindly see below our interview with their ever bubbling...ever cheerful, Chiamaka Obuekwe, the Co-founder and CEO of Social Prefect Tours 😂

Q1 - Please kindly introduce yourself.
A1 - My name is Chiamaka Obuekwe also known as Social Prefect. I'm an extremely adventurous person, a passionate travel blogger and tour-guide and a people person. I'm the Co-founder of Social prefect tours

Q2 - Describe yourself in three words.
A2 - Fun, Adventurous and Hospitable

Q3 - Tell us more about your tour operating company. When did you start it?
A3 - Social Prefect Tours is a Nigerian tour operating brand that organises epic group tours, school excursions, corporate retreats and offers tour guide services within Africa and Nigeria especially. We are passionate about African tourism and connecting people. So, it's tourism and networking in one fun bag. We started in 2015.

Q4 - What inspired you to start one?
A4 - I did not really set out to start a tour operating company. All I wanted to do was share my newly discovered passion for tourism with people on my blog. So I opened socialprefect.net where I record all my trips, experiences and what not. Then, I started getting requests to start organising trips. People said they would like to join. We saw that as a good opportunity and that was how we started

Q5 - What were/are your challenges in managing your tour operating company?
A5 - The challenges in starting or running a tour operating company are similar to the challenges of running any other type of SME. There are challenges with funding, advertising, staffing, e.t.c. However, there are also some challenges that are peculiar to tour operating businesses and one of them is logistics. Trust me, it's not easy at all. The planning, putting everything in place, coordinating. But at the end of the day it is worth it. Another challenge would be getting some people to trust in the brand and feel that it is worth their money or feel that they will be secure. But usually after the first tour, they get hooked on us as the experience is always more than worth it. If the vendor doesn't come early it's on you and not them. If the hotel has a fault you have to fix it.

Q6 - How many states in Nigeria have you, personally traveled to?
A6 - I have personally been to 25 states at my last count.

Q7 - How many domestic trips in Nigeria have you organized so far?
A7 - We have organized 21 domestic group tours and this does not include our tour-guide service tours, school excursion and retreats

Q8 - Where are your “Must-Travel” destinations for individuals, couples, family, and groups in Nigeria?
A8 - For individuals I'll say almost anywhere from Idanre hills in Ondo to Erin Ijesha Waterfalls in Osun, Ikogosi Warm Springs in Ekiti, Olumo Rock in Ogun and many more. Although I always prefer going in groups. Couples should go for resorts and beautiful environments. We have La Campagne Tropicana Resort in Ikegun, Whispering Palms Resort in Badagry, IITA Ibadan, Green legacy Resort in Abeokuta. For families Badagry Slave Route, Point of No Return, Yankari National Park in Bauchi, Ogbunike Cave in Anambra, Omu Resort Bogije in Lagos, Kajuru Castle in Kaduna, Gurara Waterfalls in Niger, Agodi parks. The tourist destinations for families applies to groups too.

Q9 - Where do you see the Nigerian tourism industry in the next 5 to 10 years?
A9 - I see the Nigerian tourism industry in a great place in 5 to 10 years. And this is because of the private sector. The rise of tour operators and agencies have given birth to a thirst in Nigerian tourism which is growing. People are becoming aware of destinations and are interested in going to those places. I know it will only get better. By the time the government notices this they will have to key into it. And hopefully make the infrastructures and the whole tourism system better. I believe what we'll experience in this sector in times to come would be positive change. I am hopeful.

Q10 - Where do you see your tour operating company in the next 5 years? A10 - We see Social Prefect Tours being one of the top African tour operating companies. Whenever people think of tourism and tourism packages we want them to think of Social prefect tours. We also want to cover more African countries. And work with a lot more reputable corporate brands for their retreats.

Q11 - What is your advice to those who want to start their own tour operating company in Nigeria?
A11 - I'll advice that they should be really passionate first. Because during the tough times, it is the passion for the job that will keep you going. However if you see it just as a money making avenue, you may give up easily when the money doesn't come quickly. Secondly gather knowledge about tourist destinations, attractions and all. Good research and knowledge are skills needed for the job. Then you have to have good people management skills. Because that is basically what the job entails. Be ready to serve as the job is a service oriented one. With these and basic business management skills you are good to go. You'll learn the rest on the job. Also let your brand be unique.

Q12- Please give us your personal experience of how your tour operating company has changed your life
A12 - It has changed my life in various ways. I don't even know where to start. I have met some really amazing and people and even celebrities which I may not have met on a normal day because of Social prefect tours. I'll say our company has garnered popularity and good exposure and this has obviously helped. We've had to do several interviews, tv, radio, print media and digital media and this recognition has been amazing. It leaves me totally humbled. Definitely without Social Prefect Tours, I would not have had all these opportunities. I also get lots of DMS, emails and messages of people telling me how our work inspires them and has helped them. People tell us how our tours has made them happy and make new friends and this is just inspiring. I also meet lots of people at various places and events who walk up to me and say they know me or want to take a picture or just say hi and ask about the tours. It's really beautiful.

Q13- A word or two to our readers
A13 - Keep traveling, keep exploring, keep seeing the world. There is so much out there to learn and explore, don't miss out on these. Also don't be afraid to be yourself. We are all unique. You can start from where you are. Start by exploring Lagos for example then Nigeria, Africa then eventually the world

Check out their website and their blog

Check out some pictures of their group tours.

 Erin Ijesha Waterfalls, Osun State

 Gurara Falls, Niger State
  Mapo Hall, Ibadan, Oyo State

Olumo Rock, Abeokuta, Ogun State

 Indare Hills, Ondo State


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