My wander-lust, ajala sister (Lol!) recently sent me a message with a picture of TVP Adventures' 2017 Calendar and said she wanted to go for their Zanzibar tour. Kindly check out their half year tours. And enjoy their CEO's interview with us 😊
Q - Please kindly introduce yourself.
A - My name is 'Funmi Oyatogun. I am a travel and experience designer. That's the fancy way of saying I create travel and experience packages for individuals, groups, couples, companies and families.
Q - Describe yourself in three words.
A - Driven, adventurous, youthful.
Q - Tell us more about your tour operating company. When did you start it?
A - The entity has existed for about a year but I started organizing tours in October of 2016
Q - What inspired you to start one?
A - I noticed the gap in travel, especially for Nigerians. There was so much to see but people wanted to explore the country and the world for affordable rates and without the hassle of putting a trip together. So, with my love for travel and experience, I reached out to meet this need.
Q - What were/are your challenges in managing your tour operating company?
A - The challenges are similar to those experienced by anyone running a business in Nigeria. There are so many logistical shortcomings and it is sometimes difficult to predict basic things like road travel times, food delivery times, etc.
Q - How many states in Nigeria have you, personally travelled to?
A - Waow. I am not keeping track of the number of states I have visited but I will guess that I have roughly visited half of the states in Nigeria.
Q. How many domestic tours in Nigeria have you organized so far?
A - As at the end of 2016 and after only 3 months of operating, we had organized 5 group tours. We also organize a host of private experiences.
Q - Where are your “Must-Travel” destinations for individuals, couples, family, and groups in Nigeria?
A - Nigeria has so many places that will appeal to a variety of tastes. It is hard to choose one but at the moment, I recommend Badagry to everyone. It is relaxing, the beaches are impeccable, there is an abundance of history and culture, and it is accessible to many major cities.
Q - Where do you see your tour operating company in the next 5 years?
A - In 5 years, I see us holding stake in the the industry that caters to travel packages for Africans to see the world and for the world to see our continent.
Q - What is your advice to those who want to start their own tour operating company in Nigeria?
A - Anyone who wants to start leading tours across Nigeria needs to be very well organized, good with people and very tolerant. It will take a lot more than passion to deal with the hassles that come with an industry that has so many variables attached to it. Nonetheless, it is worth it when your clients return satisfied and filled with awe and memories.
Q - Where do you see the Nigerian tourism industry in the next 5 to 10 years?
A - The Nigerian tourism industry will need an overhaul. We will need governors who are focused on the overall benefits of tourism rather than upturning their predecessors' legacies. We will also need to imbibe the spirit of excellence and an active culture of maintaining things. If we do that, I see us crawling out of this unfortunate pit.
Q - A word or two to our readers.A - God's world is beautiful and filled with very rich stories so I encourage everyone to explore the world no matter how near or far they may travel.