The Chief Executive Officer of Divine Travels and Tours Ltd., Mr Olumuyiwa Salami, on Tuesday urged tourism professionals to be proactive by embracing strategies needed to address COVID-19 challenges impacting on the industry.
Salami gave the advice in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria in Ibadan.
According to him, the pandemic poses numerous challenges in all sectors of the economy including tourism, adding there were many ways the industry could confront the challenges.
Salami, a former Publicity Secretary of National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies (NANTA), called for strict screening at entry and departure points for international travels.
He added that there should be screening also at locations where people come in close contact with one another.
“To accomplish this task, tourism officials have to be up-to-date on the facts and highlight preventive actions being taken on their part to protect travellers.
“There is need to create as many alliances as possible between the government and the medical and tourism industry in addition to the media to feed the public real facts to prevent unnecessary panic.
”If travellers become afraid, they may simply cancel their trips. In such cases, there may be massive layoffs of tourism workers whose jobs will suddenly disappear,” he said.
Salami also said the industry should appreciate the importance of caring for sick employees and their families, adding that if many staff become sick, hotels and restaurants might close down due to manpower shortage.
He also said that the industry needed to be developing plans on how to keep afloat in the face of manpower shortage.
Salami, however, commended government at all levels for the efforts put in place to curb the spread of COVID-19 while urging individuals and organisations to maintain the protocols put in place to tackle the virus.
“Let us all endeavor to do our best at our level even as we continue to pray for divine intervention,” he said.
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