Jovago, Africa's largest hotel booking portal called for higher investment in the hospitality and tourism sector at its landmark Annual Stakeholders Forum which held on the 1st of March at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos.
The event themed 'Solving the Foreign Exchange Dilemma through Tourism' had Paul Midy, global CEO of Jovago, the Director General of the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry ably represented, Bruce Prins, operations expert and Kushal Dutta, Managing Director of Jovago Nigeria brainstorm on
tangible avenues to generate revenue for the industry in view of recent foreign exchange issues.
Speaking during the panel discussion, Paul Midy, Global CEO of Jovago, who laid the roadmap for stabilizing the hospitality market and growing Africa's tourism industry said, "Africa's strong performance in 2014 makes it the second fastest-growing tourist destination after Southeast Asia. Across the continent, there are around 20 million people working directly or indirectly for the tourism industry. This shows that there is a high potential here and our goal at Jovago is to support Africa in getting to number one position."
With tourism businesses having the potential of contributing over $100million to Nigeria's economy annually, stakeholders also called for further public-private sector partnerships as a means to boost engagement.
Vincent Nwani, Director of Research and Advocacy at the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry representing the DG, Muda Yusuf, said, "Nigeria's economy is going through a crisis. Inflation is high and the cost of doing business is hitting the roof. We need to find a way around this challenges and it's good to know that Jovago is taking steps in this direction."
With the Federal Government targeting the transformation of key sectors of the economy, panelists revealed that the scarcity of foreign currency can yield high benefits to the domestic market. At the time of this report, the dollar sold at N352 to the Naira.
"The forex situation Nigeria is facing has its positive slant for the industry," said Kushal Dutta, Jovago Nigeria Managing Director, "Although its impact is affecting the Gross Domestic product (GDP), on the flipside it forces us to look inward as a country and patronize what we produce here".
As the first African company to partner with the Nigerian Tourism Development Corporation (NTDC) and Google Hotel Ads, Jovago provides a vast portfolio of 8,000 hotels in Nigeria and over 200,000 hotels around the world at the best prices possible.