So we finally received an audience after several trials to interview on of the industry’s most prolific blogs- Unravelling Nigeria owned by Lola Daniyan who gave us an insight on the challenges of running such a huge traveling outfit.
1. What inspired the birth of Unravelling Nigeria?
We noticed that Nigeria had a lot to offer in terms of tourist attractions but very little attention was being paid to it. Instead Nigeria was relegated to the back seat in terms of tourism. A lot of Nigerians prefer to travel out of the country for vacation to places like Ghana instead of exploring their own country.
We decided to take up the challenge to change the landscape of Nigerian tourism and create awareness on the opportunities available.
2. What distinguishes Unravelling Nigeria from other tourist brands in Nigeria?
There are quite a few brands doing good work but we like to focus on our brand and getting better with each tour. Plus, we are not just a touring company. The blog is a big part of what we do. Creating content to promote and inform the world on Nigeria tourism.
I will point out that our areas of core competence include our attention to detail, our ability to think outside the box and most importantly creating unique experiences. We don’t just organize tours, we create out of the box/unique experiences that leave lasting memories. A famous quote goes, “People will forget what u do for them but will never forget how you made them feel.” That is what we strive to inspire.
3. You have carved a niche for Unravelling Nigeria in the tourism sphere, what were the challenges you faced in developing the brand and how did you deal with them?
As with every ‘new’ type of business in Nigeria, there was a lot of skepticism when we first started. We needed people to trust us both with their money and their safety. People needed to know we weren’t in the 419 business and have a measure of confidence in our security protocol. We accomplished this by being as transparent as possible and keeping our word. In a business like this, if you mess up once, trust is lost and might never be gotten back and as we all know trust is very important. We started with day trips so they could trust us with their safety before we ventured into overnight trips.
Getting the right vendors was also a challenge. From transportation to food we needed people we could trust and understood what we were trying to achieve. We picked established vendors to get the best possible service for our clients
4. What has been the most challenging aspect of running a travel company?
Logistics! Logistics! Logistics! I always sound like a broken record when I say this, but Nigeria is a logistics nightmare.
Getting our tour participants to pay on time is also a challenge. This is because we need to make reservations for a myriad of things to keep the tours affordable. If you book too many rooms for instance, money is wasted. If you under-book, another problem. If everyone paid on time then we would know the exact numbers we were preparing for.
5. What was your best experience since you started Unravelling Nigeria?
I can’t pick one. After each tour, I am excited thinking that was the best experience, then I do another one and it’s the same feeling. So now I’m just happy when a tour experience comes together and is successful.
6. What are your prospects for Unravelling Nigeria travels and tours?
We have a couple of ideas but we are going to play it close to the chest. One of our ambitions however is to be the biggest online resource for Nigerian tourism. The rest, you’ll just have to wait and see.
7. How would you rate the tourism culture in Nigeria?
It’s still a work in progress but with the key and strategic moves like creating an enabling environment for tourism, we will surely get to world standards.
8. Prescribe the best 5 places to travel in Nigeria for low budget travelers.
Unfortunately for now, South West Nigeria is the cheapest option for example Ogun, Osun, Ekiti, Oyo and Ondo States. Obviously, this is based on your takeoff point being in the Southwest. Traveling to other regions can be slightly more expensive. Due to lack of proper transportation networks (trains, buses etc.) The beauty of Nigeria is that there is virtually a tourist location where ever you look.
9. Words of advice to travel and lifestyle bloggers, prospective tour guides etc.
Remain focused and consistent.