While searching online for Nigerian Tour Operators, I found Unravelling Nigeria on Instagram. I like the way they show case Nigerian tour destinations and the activities one can do in those places.
Please check out their interview:
Q. Please kindly introduce yourself.
A: This is so awkward because I try to keep myself separate from my company. My name is ‘Lola and I’m the founder of Unravelling Nigeria.
Q. Describe yourself in three words.
A: Adventurous, laid back, amusing
Q. Tell us more about your tour operating company. When did you start it? What inspired you to start one?
A: Unravelling Nigeria is a company that’s meant to encourage Nigerians and foreigners alike to explore Nigeria and all its tourist attractions. There are two parts to Unravelling Nigeria. The blog (www.unravellingnigeria.com) and the tours themselves. The blog reviews tourist attractions we’ve been too (the good, the bad and the ugly, prices etc). We pretty much tell you everything you need to know. The tour aspect is where we organise tours to various tourist attractions in Nigeria.
We started the blog in 2014 and started the tours in 2015.
Inspiration came from travelling to England for my brother’s graduation. We decided to do touristy things despite schooling there and we were all amazed at how many people trooped to each destination. I got to thinking about how the same thing could happen in Nigeria. After discussing with family and friends, the rest they say is history.
Q. What were/are your challenges in managing your tour operating company?
A: I hate to look like I’m saying bad things about Nigeria, but unfortunately this country is a logistics nightmare and this is a major challenge.
Another challenge is getting people to trust us. Sometimes people are sceptical about actually visiting these places and are surprised they even exist in the first place.
Getting enough traffic to the blog is also a challenge. As with all online platform operators will tell you, blog traffic is important and when you blog about something new and upcoming, it can be hard to get people there.
Q. How many states in Nigeria have you, personally travelled to?
Q. How many domestic tours in Nigeria have you organized so far?
A: 7 (the Kaduna trip was with another travel blogger – Naija Nomads). In August, I also did a private tour for a couple who came in from England. We covered South West Nigeria in 4 days.
Q. Where are your “Must-Travel” destinations for individuals, couples, family and groups in Nigeria?
A: Ikogosi Warm Springs – Ekiti State
Kajuru Castle – Kaduna State
Abraka – Delta State
Oke-Ado Mountain – Oyo State
Idanre Hills – Ondo State
Q. Where do you see your tour operating company in the next 5 years?
A: I see us being the biggest Nigerian tourism business both home and abroad. This in turn also means we would have contributed our quota to the Nigerian tourism sector.
Q. What is your advice to those who want to start their own tour operating company in Nigeria?
A: Go for it if you love adventure. There’s something very fulfilling about finding great places here at home. But asides from the play and fun, you must be ready to work hard. Running a travel company is not easy. You must be focused, dedicated and hardworking. You also need to learn to be patient as you will deal with people from various backgrounds.
Q. Where do you see the Nigerian tourism industry in the next 5 to 10 years?
A: Ideally I see Nigerian tourism being a top contributor to our GDP. However this will only happen if the government sees the potential in this sector and puts in resources into improving it. This can also include getting the private sector to invest in it.
Q. Please give us your personal experience of how your tour operating company has changed your life.
A: I generally don’t like to talk about myself but I will say this, it has allowed me to meet various people who have now become family to me. It has increased my network and I’ve even discovered more things about myself which have led me to improve on who I am and become a better individual.
Q. A word or two to our readers.
A: Live, love, work hard, laugh, chase your dreams. *smiles*