Omolara Adagunodo.

Omolara Adagunodo
Managing Director Jumia Travel (Ghana & Nigeria)
5 years industry experience.
In a few words tell us about yourself
I am the second child from a family of six. I had my University education at University of Ado Ekiti, where I studied English and Literary Studies and graduated in 2003. I went for my NYSC in Kebbi State the following year where I worked as a radio presenter and then came back to Lagos afterwards. I worked with GTBank until 2009 and then left for Manchester, United Kingdom where I obtained an MSc in Management.
What inspired your interest in the hospitality and tourism industry?
I wanted more than anything to show the Nigeria I know and love to people in and outside Nigeria. I was and am keen about changing the narrative and ensuring people know the beauty in Nigeria. I wasn’t sure how I would go about this task at first but when I got the opportunity to work with Jumia Travel; Jovago at the time, it became clearer to me.
What’s your vision for the hospitality & tourism industry?
A very vibrant and professional industry with an increased contribution to the country’s GDP. A tourism industry that is big and bold enough to be compared with any in the world. An industry that creates employment and motivates and empowers the youth.
In what ways has your company contributed to the growth of the hospitality industry and it’s stakeholders?
We have successfully contributed to the increase of local tourism in Nigeria by educating hoteliers on the components of the pricing structre, thereby able to negotiate lower prices for our local travellers. We have opened up to tour operators and travel agents by sharing our platform for the sales of their tour packages. We have created a huge earning opportunity and empowered young people through our JForce program We have introduced new tech to both our hotel partners and guests, with our progesssive web app, and ridiculously simple hotel extranet.
What are your major challenges in your business?
We have challenges with some hotels and guest houses not being professional. It is difficult to drive customers to them when they are not showing professionalism.
What are your thoughts on the state of the hospitality & tourism industry in Nigeria?
I think we have come a long way from where we were 5-10 years ago. The industry is more buoyant as you would have noticed largely from the increase in local tourism. We have more tour operators, travel agents and industry professionals. We are in a good place, but we need to get better and we need Government involvement to take it forward from where we are now.
How do you intend to join in the campaign of changing the game and perception of the hospitality & tourism industry in Nigeria?
I am already in it. I intend to keep showcasing what we have to offer as a country, training and retraining industry professionals and staying in touch with relevant Government agencies to lead the change as required.
Words of wisdom for intending and current industry stakeholders.
A special thank you to those who have started the struggle long before us. And I want to encourage us all, both newbies and veterans to please let’s stay true to this industry and to this country. Our strength and tenacity is needed now more than ever. We need to have a vibrant tourism industry and we are the ones to champion it. Let us collaborate to build this industry. Collaboration trumps competition all the time.
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