The National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA) says it recorded 46.9 per cent loss in sales in 2020, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Mrs Susan Akporaiye, the National President of the association, at a media briefing on Tuesday in Lagos said that the 2020 sales statistics was in comparison with that of 2019.
According to her, sales picked-up between January to April 2020, after which the Nigerian government declared a period of lockdown.
” We made total sales of US$57.79m in January 2019 as against US$70.03m same month in 2020, and US$51.52m was realised in February 2019 and US$59.16m, in February 2020.
“ Also, we realised US$80.55m in March 2019 and US$23.26m in March 2020 while US$92.50m was made in April 2019 as against US$1.38m in 2020.
“ So, in 2019, we realised US$282.36m and in 2020, we made US$151m bringing the percentage of our losses to 46.9 per cent.
Akporaiye expressed optimism that the association would recover soon, owing to the level of support enjoyed from government and the International Air Transport Association (IATA).
She commended the efforts of IATA for the huge support rendered to the association in ensuring its members’ recovery from the losses of COVID-19 pandemic.
“ IATA has been very lenient with travel agents when we had issues paying our annual obligation, which was as a result of bank default.
“ They also opened up communication channels for counselling our members, we appreciate all these.
“ The Federal Government through the Ministry of Aviation and Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) intervened to give us hope and stabilised certain measures of policy matters which brought sanity to the rash of COVID-19 protocols, targeted at Nigerian passengers.
“ We salute the courage and doggedness of the Minister of Aviation, Cap. Hadi Sirika for repositioning the industry and the travel trade sector.
“Sirika is the true square peg in a square hole and NANTA salute this exceptional public officer,” she said. (NAN)