Nigerian government urged to curtail spread of Omicron

Nigerian government urged to curtail spread of Omicron

Nigerian government are advised to take precautionary measures in curtailing the wide spread of omicron variant in the country.

This advice was made by the Organiser of Akwaaba African Travel Market, Ambassador Ikechi Uko at the 17th Akwaaba African Travel Market held this week at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Uko explained that the new variant might not hamper people from travelling because people have stayed too long at home and are longing to travel.

“I don’t think this will stop people from travelling.

People have stayed too long at home.

Impact of Covid-19 on tourismUko said that for almost two years Covid-19 has been with the world.

The world has started adapting to it so a new variant would not be as devastating despite the knee-jerk reaction of some countries that are banning air travel from other countries.

“I don’t think the impact of the new variant will be as bad as the first time.

This is something we already know.

We will give the scientists a week or two to find out how the new variant responds to the vaccine.

They are stopping flights because they don’t know if it will overwhelm the vaccines.

By the time the scientists find out how it responds to the vaccine, then we can know whether we are home dry or we have another lockdown but it won’t be as bad as the first time.

We will only be stricter with the PCR tests,” he said
He said that this year’s Akwaaba is similar to 2014 “when we had the Ebola year.

We had 80% cancellations and used 25% of the hall.

This year we are using 50% of the hall, which means we have done better than we did in 2014.

We have fewer groups coming outside the country.

Akwaaba this year is happening but not like it used to be.

We have the youth panel and tour operators’ panel.

We have about 20 exhibitors cutting across tourism and travel and foreign affairs.

2021 Akwaaba African Travel MarketChief Executive Officer of Travel Lab, Mrs.

Sharon Asuquo-Ankoh, commended the successful organisation of the 17th Akwaaba African Travel Market and noted that Africa is ready for tourism despite Covid-19 and its variant fears.

“Africa is one billion ready to buy.

So, if you say you want to restrict African countries, you will be doing yourself more harm than good.

We are a ready market and ready to buy.

On the travel business the sales have not dropped but have even picked up.

There is also the domestic aspect of this apart from the regional aspect.

There are the West Africa sales which have no visa, there is the domestic market, which is internal and there are the North Africa, East Africa and Southern Africa.

So, if we decide to break it down into sales, we can still do many countries in Africa.

She said the impact of Omicron would not be much in Africa because Africa is blessed with good weather and food, adding that food has played a great role in the healing process.

“The airlines are fully booked.

When Kenya Airways resumed after lockdown, they came in with a smaller aircraft but we had advised them to get bigger equipment.

With bigger equipment, they were still fully booked.

Air Peace came in with bigger equipment and IbomAir signed for 10 aircrafts and this will run for domestic tourism.

It is for us as travel consultants to begin to look around for newer destinations and look at the tech savvy generation.

These people want something more exciting.

So, it is just for us to look for destinations that provide those excitements that will ensure they have those experiences they want to have,” she added.

Nneka Ukachukwu
Nigerian government urged to curtail spread of Omicron

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