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Exploring the Current Landscape of Nigeria’s Travel Industry

Last Updated on July 29, 2023


Nigeria’s travel industry is a fast-growing industry that is gaining a lot of attention. With the country’s bustling cities, diverse culture and spectacular landscapes, there is no doubt that Nigeria is fast becoming one of Africa’s top tourist destinations.

It is crucial to explore the current landscape of Nigeria’s travel industry due to the industry’s vast potential and impact on the economy. With Nigeria being the largest economy in Africa, its travel industry has great significance in promoting and sustaining economic development.

Additionally, the travel industry plays a vital role in showcasing Nigeria’s cultural heritage and promoting global awareness.

The purpose of this blog post is to assess the current state of Nigeria’s travel industry, identifying the opportunities and challenges within the industry and highlighting ways to enhance the industry’s development. The blog post will focus primarily on the growing trend of domestic tourism and how it contributes to the industry’s growth.

Additionally, the scope of the blog post will also examine the role and impact of technology in promoting Nigeria’s travel industry.

Historical Background of Nigeria’s Travel Industry

Since gaining independence in the 1950s, Nigeria’s travel industry has shown significant growth and development. Foreign-owned airlines like KLM and British Airways initially dominated the industry.

The establishment of Nigeria Airways in 1958 marked a turning point. Strategic location and a booming oil industry attracted both business and leisure travelers.

Infrastructure development, including airports and road networks, facilitated travel within the country.

Challenges persisted, such as security concerns and inadequate accommodations for tourists.

To address these challenges, the Nigerian government established the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC). Policies were implemented to improve security, including a specialized unit to combat terrorism and crime. The government’s commitment to enhancing infrastructure and security positions the industry for future growth.

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Current State of Nigeria’s Travel Industry

The travel industry in Nigeria is a vital component of the economy, accounting for a significant percentage of the country’s GDP.

According to the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC), the sector contributed about 34% of the GDP in 2018 and created employment for over 1.2 million people.

Overview of the Industry’s Current Landscape

The travel industry in Nigeria encompasses various sub-sectors, including transportation (airlines, road, and rail), accommodation (hotels, resorts, and lodges), tour operations, travel agencies, and recreation. The most popular tourist destinations in the country include Lagos, Abuja, Calabar, and Osun State.

Nigeria’s travel industry has experienced some significant changes in recent years, with a noticeable increase in domestic and international tourism. The growth of the middle class, the opening of new tourist destinations, and the development of transport infrastructure have contributed to this progress.

Analysis of the Industry’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats (SWOT Analysis)


  • Nigeria has a unique cultural heritage, diverse wildlife, and a variety of stunning landscapes to attract tourists.

  • The country has a large population of young people who are tech-savvy and eager to explore both locally and abroad.

  • The tourism sector has some government support, with incentives and policies implemented to attract investment to the industry.


  • The country’s image has been negatively impacted by issues such as insecurity, corruption, and poor infrastructure.

  • The lack of modern infrastructure, particularly in the transportation and accommodation sectors, has limited the growth potential of the industry.

  • The lack of proper data collection mechanisms and tourism statistics makes it difficult to manage the industry effectively.


  • The government has a renewed commitment to tourism development, with plans to invest heavily in the sector.

  • The rise of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) presents an opportunity for Nigeria to tap into the regional tourism market.

  • The country has many untapped tourism potentials, such as ecotourism, cultural tourism, and medical tourism.


  • The pandemic has had a severe impact on global tourism, and Nigeria is no exception. Tourist arrivals have dropped significantly, leading to loss of revenue and job cuts.

  • The possibility of political instability, terrorism, and other security issues could further damage the industry’s reputation.

  • The lack of skilled manpower and adequate training and development programs limit the industry’s growth potential.

Key Players in the Industry and Their Impact on Its Growth

The travel industry in Nigeria has several significant players, which contribute to the sector’s growth and development. These include airlines such as Arik Air, Air Peace, and Dana Air, hotel chains like Sheraton Hotels, Transcorp Hotels, and Protea Hotels, and tour operators such as Wakanow and Jumia Travel.

Arik Air, as the largest airline in Nigeria, plays a significant role in connecting the country’s major cities and promoting domestic tourism.

Similarly, hotel chains like Transcorp Hotels and Sheraton Hotels are significant players in the accommodation sector, providing world-class services and facilities to both local and international tourists.

Wakanow, Jumia Travel, and other tour operators are instrumental in promoting tourism, providing travel packages and affordable flight and hotel deals. They have created platforms for tourists to access information and plan their trips, making it more convenient and efficient for travelers.

In addition, the current landscape of Nigeria’s travel industry is showing signs of growth and development, with opportunities for expansion in untapped markets and untold potentials.

However, there’s a need to address the industry’s weaknesses, such as poor infrastructure and inadequate data collection mechanisms, to unlock its full potential and attract more investments.

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Exploring the Current Landscape of Nigeria's Travel Industry

Emerging Trends and Technologies in Nigeria’s Travel Industry

Nigeria’s travel industry has experienced a significant transformation over the past few years.

As the industry continues to grow, so too do the opportunities for advanced technologies and innovative trends.

In this chapter, we will discuss the latest trends and technologies that are impacting the industry, provide examples of their innovative practices, and explore potential implications for Nigeria’s economy.

Latest Trends and Technologies

The emergence of mobile and digital technologies has brought about a significant transformation in the travel industry. Customers are increasingly using mobile devices as their primary source of information and booking for travel-related services. These technologies have opened up new opportunities for travel businesses in Nigeria to connect with customers and remain competitive in the market.

One of the latest trends in Nigeria’s travel industry is the rise of online booking platforms that offer a comprehensive range of travel-related products and services. These platforms allow travelers to compare prices, book flights, hotels, and rental cars, among other things. Companies such as Jumia, Konga, and Travelstart are leading examples.

The use of custom-built mobile apps for travel businesses is also on the rise. These apps are designed to enhance customer experience and provide a streamlined booking process.

Travelstart, for example, launched an app designed to provide its users with access to deals, notifications, and real-time flight updates.

Innovative Practices in the Industry

With the rise of innovative technologies in Nigeria’s travel industry, several firms have taken advantage of these trends to provide unique and innovative services to customers.

For example, Wakanow, one of Nigeria’s leading online travel agencies, provides a platform that allows customers to make flight bookings without having to pay upfront. This flexible payment scheme allows customers to spread their payments over a specified period without any inconvenience.

Nigerian startup, Hotels.ng, is also making waves in the industry by providing a platform that connects customers to over 10,000 hotels across Nigeria, with negotiated rates, 24/7 customer support, and a simple booking process. The company has become so successful that it raised over $1.5 million in funding in 2015.

Potential Implications for Nigeria’s Economy

The implications of these emerging trends and technologies for Nigeria’s economy are significant. The travel industry is a vital component of the Nigerian economy and accounts for a considerable percentage of GDP.
The growth of Nigeria’s travel industry, fueled by innovative technologies, can be a driver of economic growth and job creation.

Technologies such as mobile apps, customized booking engines, and online platforms are enabling travel businesses to operate more efficiently, connect with customers more effectively, and expand their reach beyond traditional markets. Increased competition, lower prices, and a seamless customer experience all have the potential to attract more tourists and boost revenue for Nigeria’s economy.

As a result, the travel industry has the potential to be a significant contributor to Nigeria’s economy. By investing in these emerging trends and technologies, Nigerian travel businesses can take full advantage of the opportunities presented and position themselves for future success.

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Challenges and Opportunities for Nigeria’s Travel Industry

  • Major challenges faced by the industry: The Nigerian travel industry faces several challenges that hinder its growth and potential. One of the most problematic challenges is security, as Nigeria has a reputation for being unsafe due to crime and terrorism. This has led to a decrease in the number of tourists that visit the country.

  • Infrastructure: Another challenge for the Nigerian travel industry is infrastructure. Poor road networks, unreliable transportation, and inadequate power supply are factors that hinder the growth of tourism in Nigeria. Many tourists are discouraged from visiting the country due to the poor state of infrastructure.

  • Legislation: Nigeria’s travel industry also faces legal challenges such as taxes, regulations, and visa restrictions. This can limit foreign investments and partnerships and ultimately have a detrimental effect on the tourism industry.

Despite these challenges, there are several opportunities for growth and expansion in the Nigerian travel industry.

  • Investment in Infrastructure: Improving infrastructure by building better roads, transportation systems, and power supply will help attract more tourists and increase the number of inter-state trips by Nigerians. A boost in infrastructure will also increase access to remote and unexplored places, opening up opportunities for eco-tourism.

  • Digital Marketing: With the increase of internet usage in Nigeria and the world, there are opportunities for companies to market their travel packages online. Social media platforms, review websites, and travel blogs play a significant role in convincing travellers to visit a destination.

  • Ecotourism: Another opportunity for the Nigerian travel industry is ecotourism. The country is home to several natural wonders such as the Yankari National Park and the Obudu mountain resort. The development of eco-friendly accommodation and tours will develop this niche market and allow Nigeria to compete with other top nature tourism destinations in Africa.

To take advantage of these opportunities and overcome the challenges,

There are several strategies that the Nigerian travel industry needs to implement.

  • Collaborate with local communities: Tour companies should work together with the local communities to create a positive relationship that benefits both parties. This will improve the visitor experience and help address security issues in the region.

  • Partner with international companies: Partnering with international companies can help Nigerian travel agencies gain access to a broader customer base. Joint ventures can help the industry access the best world practices and competences, technology, and increase funding.

  • Government Incentives: The Nigerian government should create policies that favour investments in the travel sector such as tax benefits, allowances, and funding. This will enable companies to invest and expand in the industry and improve the infrastructure.

Overall, Nigeria has a lot of potential in its travel industry, but it is essential to acknowledge and address the challenges to expand and reach its full potential. Investment, innovation, and cooperation between stakeholders are the keys to the sustainable growth of the Nigerian travel and tourism industry.

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Overall, Nigeria’s travel industry has witnessed significant growth in recent years. This growth is due to the increasing demand for leisure and business travel, improved infrastructure, and government initiatives.

However, some challenges, such as safety concerns, remain in the industry. To advance the industry, it is crucial to address these challenges, improve digital marketing efforts, and promote eco-friendly tourism.

Further research on how technology can enhance the industry and the impact of tourism on the economy and society is necessary.

Therefore, Nigeria’s travel industry is experiencing a considerable transformation enabled by the latest trends and technologies.

Emerging technologies such as mobile and digital platforms are disrupting traditional models and creating new opportunities for businesses in Nigeria. Innovative practices, such as customizable payment structures, affordable rates, and simplified booking processes, are also enhancing customer experience and driving growth in the sector.

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