Dollar Exchange Rate May Attract More Travellers To Nigeria | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Dollar Exchange Rate May Attract More Travellers To Nigeria

Naira, Foreign Reserves, exchange rate, foreign reserves; fx market
Posted: Aug 23, 2016 at 4:41 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Oyeniran Apata

Lagos – The current naira exchange rate to the dollar, which has depreciated over a hundred percent since the last one year to N309 may after all have some positives as it has been projected to attract more travellers to the country, according to tourism experts.

Independent gathered that foreigners and Nigerians in Diaspora could take advantage of the cheap naira to travel to Nigeria.

Williams Subair, a travel and tourism professional, stated that just as the biting Nigerian economy has drastically reduced travelling schedules, conversely it would also affect changes in travel patterns, vacation and inflow of visitors into the country.

He said that the fluctuating exchange rate of the naira against major currencies of the world, especially the dollar, could lead to foreigners taking advantage of the cheaper naira to travel into Nigeria where they will have more value for their money.

“What you don’t understand is that the exit of some airlines from Nigeria due to paucity of dollars will equally drive tourists to bring in dollar in exchange for local currencies and by implication this will boost tourism, travel and leisure travelling.

“The travelling mentality and trend in tourism is a bit predictable because they want to travel to places where a simple budget can guarantee and take care of longer stay, visit the hot beach, move around a host of exotic attractions in the country at budget cost.”

He added that the reverse is the case with promoters of foreign tours outside the country especially to Europe and America as the exchange rate has slowed down Nigerians travelling out of the country on holiday, saying that this has also affected domestic tourism as many people now patronise road travels with caution.

Subair tasked travel promoters and hoteliers to take advantage of the situation that may not last too long to prepare for Nigerians in the Diaspora who might want to take advantage of the development to visit families and friends during the Muslim festival, saying that visitor-weighted exchange rate can lead to unpredictable travel season.

Measuring a destination’s currency against the currency in that destination’s primary visitor markets is called visitor-weighted exchange rate.

The World Travel & Tourism Council (WTTC), the global authority on the economic and social contribution of travel and tourism, has stated that the strength of the US dollar relative to other currencies will affect who travels where in the year.

It added that the dollar against other currencies is shifting the price competitiveness of destinations, and more will affect who travels where this year, saying that without doubt new developments will emerge alongside these existing factors.

The organisation in its Economic Impact of Travel and Tourism for 2016 stated that the outlook for the sector in year remains robust, despite economic fragilities and other sources of volatility in the wider market.

WTTC added that the sector will remain resilient and that governments should work hard to ensure the safety of tourists and to minimise the impact of security threats.

The report added: “The growth forecast is therefore dependent on how well both the local and global economy perform and grow over the next five years.”

It would be recalled that PricewaterhouseCoopers in its 6th edition of Hotels Outlook 2016 – 2020 projected that accruable revenue from hotel rooms in Nigeria will grow to $507 million in 2020 from $321 million achieved in 2015.

According to the report, there are a number of new hotels planned or under construction, with a forecast that additional 4,700 rooms will be added in Nigeria in the next five years.

“Nigeria’s long-term prospects for the hospitality sector remain positive, though the impact of its current weaker economy is likely to reflect in near-term hotel performance.

“The growth forecast is therefore dependent on how well both the local and global economy perform and grow over the next five years,” the report added.