Here's how the coronavirus pandemic is affecting Nigeria's travel sector

A health official uses a thermometer on a passenger at the international airport in Lagos, Nigeria
  • The growing spread of the novel coronavirus, officially known as COVID-19 is having a negative effect on the travel industry in Nigeria.
  • So far, sources say the number of international trips has reduced drastically.
  • The number of visas on arrival issued at the airport has also gone down.

Nigeria recorded the first case of coronavirus in Sub-Saharan Africa on February 27, 2020.

Since then, there have been over 300 confirmed cases and more than six deaths in various parts of the continent.

The growing spread of the pandemic is hurting the individuals, the economy, certain businesses and sectors.

Punch reports that the travel industry is one of the affected businesses as the number of visas on arrival issued at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos has gone down by 39.8 in only one month.

Reportedly, only 265 visas were issued in February 2020 as opposed to the 440 issued in January. An anonymous source at the Nigeria Immigration Service blamed the drop on the virus.

Nigerian Aviation analyst, Olumide Ohunayo, has shared his thoughts on the negative impact of the pandemic on the travel sector.

Speaking with Punch, he said, “We expect some losses to come to our travel agencies and service providers because the airlines will cut frequencies and downgrade equipment into Nigeria."

According to the President of the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies, Bankole Bernard, “Drop in sales is now at 50 per cent."

He added that "airlines are cancelling flights to affected areas, and when there are no bookings, airlines cannot fly empty planes. Only few airlines with deep pockets are surviving this period.”

This drastic reduction comes after the launch of the new Nigeria Visa Policy (NVP). It was rolled out on Tuesday, February 4, 2020.

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