Mr. Bankole Bernard, the President of the National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA), has disclosed that about 90 per cent of those parading themselves as traveling agents are unregistered with the body or any other recognised association anywhere in the world.
The unregistered agents, according to him, are about 6,000 across the country.
He alleged that these categories of agents are daily defrauding the unsuspecting traveling public, with several the millions of naira lost to their antics monthly.
Speaking yesterday at the Murtala Muhammed Airport (MMA), Lagos, Bernard lamented that NANTA, as an umbrella body of travel agents in the country, was tired of the shame some of the unscrupulous agents have brought to the association, stressing that potential air travellers could no longer differentiate between genuine and fraudulent travel agents.
He emphasised that as a result of the illicit act of the few, air travelers now prefer to purchase air tickets directly from airlines, bemoaning that it is affecting the revenue generation of operators in the system.
He pointed out that the sordid economic situation in the country further compounded the situation as those who lost their jobs could easily take to travel business, thereby creating the impression that travel agency business was for everyone even without training.
He said: “We are tired of how the industry is and we want to move to the next level. That is why we are here .That is why we called this stakeholders meeting today. The International Air Transport Association (IATA) and the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) are here. We want your supports and contributions to this project and also move the industry forward.
“We have not come here to tell you that we are experts and that we know everything but to tell you that we are trying to sanitise the downstream sector of the aviation industry most especially now that there is a provision in the Nigerian Civil Aviation Regulations (NCARs) that all travel agencies in the country must register with NANTA.”