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THURSDAY, DECEMBER 8. 201 J

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Running a successful travel agency

BIG laira B Hgins wi th

Small Kobo Ude.me. Ekwe.re

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HEN II ,"OUng graduate. Miss lretioluwa Ay.!diran. gal an offer to go to for a twomonth training programme in Canada In 2004, she WlIS extrerrely excited. "The: prognmme was alJ-expense paid. HO\Vl!\ler, the trainee was saddled WIth the responsibility of making all the necessary anangemenl5. r.mging from getting lhe ticket5 to making hotel bookings. Be(2JU5e 01 the short notice she had to cover all exp!ded i!lreas. Ayediran spent the subsequent few days ronning around to make adequate ammgements. Unfortunately, she ended up lakillg iD towards the lime sh.i!: was to embark on IN trip. Ai. the end. she missed the opportullity

A1thOl.lgh. I'll! laler gol another opportunity to go faT the same training. but she 5ay5 she ended \.II) losirg a substantial amount

of money.

According to her. things would have been easier if she had an a Jeney 10 arrang.1! and plan fOT her travdling net.'ch. on the intended scope of the business. He notes that for one to thrive in thiS kiM of bUSiness. !he en\repIeneut has to go aU out to ensure that he has Ihe • Love for travel Is a basic motivati on necessaJY Irllining required 10 run thLS kind 01 business. ·Cons tant research is essentia l He says constant research is very important in venturing ·Minlmal s tart-up capita l is required into this kind of busLness as the owner has a duty to keep abreast of i\lJ the happenings In the tTlLvei lndUSlnj . • Offer value adding services ~To succeed In this kind of business you have to make • Keep a breast of evo lving custom e r spedne eonl<tct5 with relevant agendes and hotels in various needs. countries. where you r dients are likely 10 visLt. It is essential Ihal at one d ick. the CUStomer is furnished with aU the details he needs for his travel. I had dLfficulty booking my born. Our aim was to come up with a premier online Ilavel ~At wakanow ,for insl<tnce. we even provide II ehllt portal. Oighl. Also. at a time. I got booking serv1ce in Africa, offering a sale and secure way to where customers can directly rel<!lte with a customer agenl stud! at the airport. going from book tnLveJ arrangements, including flights. cheap hotels and real time. and the <!Igenl would be availi!lble 10 assisl the ~ to Moscow because I <!Iirport pickups Thai is whal we have been i!lble to achieve with customer on any special requests he may have . ~ needed a transit visa through Wakanow." According to Ekezie. al present the business is even li:!king Frankfurt. which I did not have He says lhat though challenging, like any other business a new dimensiOn. where oper<tting firms may be involved and I could nol buy a ticket at in Nlg!ma. the !ravel and lour industry is one with <!I I.IIOrid of with some financial Insulutions in some kind of partnership the airport. po5Slbilities. Therefore. the business O\III'ler has the chance to be arrangements for the purpose of funding some of the "That was when I realised constantly exposed to wide-ranging ideas th<!lt could positively travening needs of their customers. that Ihere was no online travel impact on his business. ~ We are involved in some arrangements with <!I few banks company in Nigeria. and Ekezie notes Ihal there <!Ire many approaches to running on this project, where a customer can lravel toany destination decided I could look into this. this kind of business. According to him. it is also possible for of his choice, either for business or pleasure. and then pay This was hO\Al LDClkanow was someone to begin the business with minimal capilal depending later at their convenience. We offer them choices of hotels in the areas, ranging from one·star to five ·sun hotels. Besides, we also provide transpOrt to and from the airports, depending on lA.ilat the customer wants. ~ he explailU. According to eitow.com, there I1re vi!lrious ways in which 11 potential busmessman c<!ln HE Og'JI LSlate Office of the Fadama project on Thursday from the Fadama III project would soon feel th e hands of fellO\vship venture into this kind of business. "The first diibu~ not less N20m, to 110 (ewer than one hundred of the State Fadami!l Office. step 10 running this kind of business is to and filty Fad.lma Community User groups under the Fadama ill Speaking on the occasion, the SlaleCommissioner for Agn culture, decide what type of travel <!Igent you want 10 programme . Mr. Ayo Olubori, disclosed that the sl<tte governor Senator Ibilwnle be If you have very little experience in travel. The disbursemen t which was the thi rd of its kind under the Amosun hlld approved the sum N60.7m as the outsl<tnding you can be i!I referral agent. which simply Fadama. III Plogramme. was part o f the slate government's efforts counterpart fund . refers customers to adual travel agencie:5. to'.vard5 ma;\ting agria.Lilure the engine o f growth and a mi!ljor "To dale, the sum of one hundred and twenty eigh t million, "But If you are the type of person who Ukes contributor to poverty reduction. wealth creation lind employment nine hundred and ninety eighl lhousand. seven hundred and eighty to plan trips, and you want to get into Ihe generation in the Stale_ nine NaiTlL (N128, 998, 789.00) only has been dri!lwn down for the details of the travel business. You m<!ly wish The Slate Coordinator of the Fadi!lma Projecl.Mr Ibikunle provision of lncome generating assets, advisory services. Inputs and 10 consider becoming a booking and selling Onasanya. ir. his welcome address. explained thaI the benencii!lries C21pacity building to farmers. ~ he said agent. As such, you also can speciZLlise in IA.lere picked bMed on how well they fulfdled the conditionality The commissioner slTe5sed thai the Sta le government remained certain areas of IrlIvti. ~ attached to the disburwmenl of funds by the project. very proud of the Fadama project due to its positive impact on It also adds lhal for start-up, the He said tha t officers of the monitoring and evaluation units the !iva of the rural poor in the area of powrty reduc tion and job entrepreneur C21n find a host agency 10 work of the FadalllCl Project would be oul 10 monitor beneficiaries to c"i<!lUon. He added, "The project has ZLlse been adjudged by the with, adding Ihal by working with an existing enSUfe that Irtey spent the funds on the purpose for whic h they Work! Bank as i!I geed example o f best practice in the implementation <!Igency, the entrepreneur will eMIl higher were given of project; winning three awards of excellence from the Wo rld Bank commisston because oflhe combined sales of The Stale :=adama Coordinatot assured thal lhose yello benefit and the Federal Government. aU the agents at your chosen company.

The S"Of y is nol different for Mr. Oblnna Ekezie, who returned to Nigenll aIle a 5Uccessful C31ft1' as a professional basketbaJI player in Ihe l:niled Stales. According to him. ills tough getting tickets and bot,lungs online Ln Nigeria for Inps. This. he WL' I5. was different from the US. where one could book for Ucket:, and accommodation lor intemaUooaJ trips from the com rort 01 his home or office. He notes ULat this was !hi! major factor thai led him into starting lerp TlaveJ NeN.'Ofk. O\III'lers of Wakanow.com. an intemabonal online travel portal. based in Nigeria. He Silys. 'A few years ago. I returned 10 Nigeria to V15i1 and

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