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  • NGOZI NGOKA 

    Member
    March 20, 2020 at 4:13 pm

    What a difference a couple of months can make!

    Early this year, I was consulting with our Trustees and Director about the TCF’s biennial AGM which normally would take place in April this year. I was beaming with pride and excitement about our 5 new chapters and looking forward to adding more. I was optimistic about attending the next meeting of the Lagos chapter…
    About seven weeks into the New Year, the landscape began to change so completely and globally for the travel, tourism consultancy, hospitality, events and leisure industry, to such an extent that none of us could have foreseen, predicted or prepared for.

    Our Industry is in crises.

    But we are no stranger to these challenges. In the last decade alone, we experienced global economic recessions, terrorism, sars and swine flu pandemics (just to mention but a few)- all of which adversely impacted our industry-and we have always pulled through. This time, however, we have been hit at such a fast pace, resulting in our changing our ways of life to a very large extent and so many lives have been lost. It will surely take us a long time to recover and the impact could last far longer than we can imagine. This time, only the very strong will thrive and we must be ready to support one another and give each other the extra strength to pull through the dire times…

    Two things I know for sure:

    1. There will be a ‘before’ and an ‘after’ and certainly, a lot of adjustments will need to be made. But only time will tell if the inevitable changes will be for good or for better.

    2. One good that will clearly come out this, is that governments and politicians all over the world will finally begin to understand the need for a stable wholesome tourism chain and hopefully recognize the need to be more involved in tangible initiatives that support our industry not only at times like these, but also in the long run, as a vital component of any viable economic planning. As you know, 80% of our industry is made up of micro, small & medium enterprises, including sole proprietors and freelancers all of whom contribute, in no small measure, to creating employment opportunities and increased IGR of their localities, for we all know that tourism activities impact mostly the local communities where they operate.

    Many of us are seriously concerned about loss of income and customers; debt servicing and how to navigate our daily lives, while working from home and socially distancing. So, if you are reading this message and are fearful and wondering how to cope, why don’t you join our online forum where we will share, collaborate and support each other on ways to keep our businesses afloat, stay safe, sane, healthy & open minded about the future!

    We look forward to virtually hanging out with you soon.

    My very best wishes.

    -Lolo

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