NANTA laments absence of local laws to protect indigenous travel agencies

The President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA), Mr.  Bankole Bernard has lamented the absence of local laws to protect the indigenous travel agencies.

Speaking at the March 2019 Quaterly Breakfast Meeting of the Aviation Round Table (ART) in Lagos on Thursday, Bernard who was the guest speaker at the event noted that there is no local content law to protect and reserve the  downstream sector for citizens of the country.

He stated that there should be a way of tracking sales of tickets in the country so that data from the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority(NCAA), National Bureau of Statictics and the Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) will tally.

Bernard listed some of the challenges facing the travel agencies business in Nigeria to include, poor regulation/ neglect of the  regulation of the activities of the Global Distribution System (GDS) and abuse of the airline Inventories.

He said the travel agencies are contrained by the fact that the International Air Transport Association (IATA) dictates the tune of the business from international perspective .

NANTA president decried the lack of National carrier for a full representation of the country on the global conference.

Other challenges he identied include, poor business etiquette of the corporate travelers keeping to covenanted agreement then switching to another agency for business, lack of enabling environment to the growth of the  downstreamsector of  the Aviation industry, proper regulation of the industrythrough local rules, creation of a data bank to keep record of  activities, policies that protect consumers and  Local content law to protect and reserve the  downstream sector for citizens of the  country, lack of regular stakeholders meeting on issues affecting the industry.

 In his welcome address earlier, the president of  ART, Elder Gbenga Olowo decried the declining of air bookings by Nigerian agencies.

He observed that the airlines do not give priority again to travel agencies.

Olowo noted that this has led many of them to start selling non air tickets like hotels,destinations and others.

Speaking also, the managing director of  Med-View Airline and chairman of  the event, Alhaji Muneer Bankole said the local airlines are dying because of so many charges.

Bankole said the indegenous carriers need protection from the government.

Med-View Airline boss urged the travel agencies to form alliance to strenghen their because because they create lots of jobs.

He called on the government to bring down the prices of dollar down to help the aviation industry.

In his remarks, the NCAA director of Air Tranport, Group captain Edem Eyo Ita (Rtd) noted that IATA is even violating Nigerian laws by dealing with travel agencies that are not registred with NANTA directly and NCAA.

He said the regulatory body cannot regulate travel agencies that are not registred with the NCAA.

Ita stated further that that travel agencies has not been adequately taken care of, noing that NANTA do not even have corporate responsibility with IATA.

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