On my quest to finding more Nigerian Tour Operators (which I must say I am so impressed with the way Nigerians are advertising and selling the Nigerian tourism industry...it's AH-mazing!!!! 😏), that's how I bumped into The Dare Experience. 😊
Check out their upcoming tour and please book ahead for it. You wouldn't regret it 😉
The Dare Experience Upcoming Tour
Kindly read our interview with the Founder of The Dare Experience, Ayomide Oluwole 😊
Q1. Please kindly introduce yourself.
A1. I’m Ayomide Oluwole, Founder of The Dare Experience, a Start-up Travel and Tour Company, with a Master’s in Management and Entrepreneurship from Cranfield University, an avid lover of adventure, patriotic Nigerian and Pan Africanist.
Q2. Describe yourself in three words.
A2. Adventurous, Creative and Bodacious!
Q3. Tell us more about your tour operating company. When did you start it? What inspired you to start one?
A3. When I was much younger, my mother organized tours for schools and organizations. I tagged along on most trips and I grew to love the rush and thrill of traveling to cities within Nigeria and Africa. I was definitely bitten by the travel bug of one if those trips!
My globetrotting habit got rekindled during my penultimate year at the University of Glasgow when I got a 3-months internship offer to work in an Investment Company in Shanghai, China. weeks into the job, I got an email from a Tour Operator to explore the hills of Moganshan in Shanghai. As I stood at the mountaintop at Moganshan to take in the beauty, my career aspirations changed and the view beheld my career vision and mission!
Over the next 3 years, armed with my passport and camera, I made trips back to Nigeria to explore different destinations locally. I soon realized that Nigerians know very little about the existence of the Nation's alluring traditional, historic and cultural heritage: people, places, culture and many more.
I founded the 'The Dare Experience' in 2016 with the mission to explore Nigeria's rich and diverse cultural heritage through 'The Dare Experience' was also established to offer cost-effective tours of international standard, as a means to supporting our local economy, cottage industries, local arts and craft businesses.
Q4. What were/are your challenges in managing your tour operating company?
A4. There are so many challenges, chief among them being; lack of reliable information about these destinations, attractions, and available services. Lack of infrastructure is also a major challenge, and to avert unpleasant surprises, we conduct site assessment, as well as accessibility to the sites, ahead of each Tour, which is stressful, time-consuming and financially challenging. Building an audience on social media has also been challenging, with lack of access to funding for Start-ups like us, compounds our operations.
Q5. How many states in Nigeria have you, personally travelled to?
A5. Seven (7)
Q6. How many domestic tours in Nigeria have you organized so far?
A6. Since we started in November 2016 we have had six (6) successful group tours.
Q7. Where are your “Must-Travel” destinations for individuals, couples, family and groups in Nigeria?
A7. For Individuals- Olumo Rock and Itoku market (Abeokuta, Ogun), Lekki Conservation Centre and Badagry (Slave Route)
For Couples and families- La Campagne Tropicana (Lagos), Obudu Mountain Resort (Cross River)
For Groups- Lekki Conservation Centre (Lagos), Idanre Hills (Ondo), Ikogosi Warm Spring (Ekiti), Erin Ijesha (Osun), Yankari National Park (Bauchi)
Q8. Where do you see your tour operating company in the next 5 years?
A8. I see The Dare Experience experience making waves and being globally recognized. I also see us transforming the Nigerian/African Travel and Tourism Sector through our Guided Tour Programs and Operations.
Q9. What is your advice to those who want to start their own tour operating company in Nigeria?
A9. Go for it, but bear in mind that it requires a lot of hard work, dedication, commitment and sacrifice. Before you start, thoroughly research the tourism industry in Nigeria, create a business plan and have the necessary funds (personal savings or loans) to run the business. Above all, be authentic!
Q10. Where do you see the Nigerian tourism industry in the next 5 to 10 years?
A10. Despite the weak support from the Government towards the growth and development of the tourism industry, I am optimistic that the Tourism Industry will boom in the next 5 to 10 years. This will be because of a number of tour operators that are currently dedicated to promoting Nigeria as a tourist destination.
Q11. Please give us your personal experience of how your tour operating company has changed your life.
A11. It’s hard to know where to begin, but I’ll point out a few: I wasn’t the most confident and daring person when The Dare Experience debuted last year December. But fast-forward, today, I can engage, address and share my travel stories with groups of people, without being scared nor intimidated! Furthermore, I have good and reliable knowledge about Nigeria. Lastly, I have had the opportunity to meet amazing, supportive and positive people.
Q12. A word or two to our readers.
Get out of your comfort zone!
Push yourself and the boundaries!!
Seek new opportunities and experiences!!!