NANTA frowns on US Embassy officer over demarketing of travel professionals business

The National Association of Nigerian Travel Agencies (NANTA) has frowned at a televised statement doing the rounds on social media where a US consular officer described Nigerian travel professionals as touts who should not be consulted on visa protocols.

The association’s leadership called the US Embassy staff’s comment very sad; demarketing and stigmatization of registered NANTA members.

NANTA chairperson, Ms Susan Akporiaye, said the association will take up the issues with its regulatory agency, the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA).

Akporiaye cautioned Embassy staff against comments that can radiate negativity onto the fabric of the private sector’s economic impact and efforts, adding that NANTA is troubled by the callousness of said US Embassy official. , who neither contacted NANTA nor the travel industry regulator. in Nigeria to complain or officially report the alleged offense before making it public.

She called on the Federal Government to intervene and ask the Embassy to withdraw its general negative comment against Nigerian downstream aviation operators, noting that no foreign embassy in America will go public in the United States to describe the American companies as frauds and asking the public not to patronize them.

“We do not in any way protect an operator who breaks the law, but we say, even to that, that there are channels to fish and fix these deviants and for the agent of the consulate of the embassy to signal to the professionals of Nigerian travel without going through established channels is totally unacceptable.

Ms Akporiaye disclosed that NANTA members as travel agents, consultants and facilitators, do not exchange visas but can guide and advise prospective visa applicants on how to complete their forms and guide them through certain technical requirements necessary to apply for visas.

“This does not, however, give us the right to assure clients of obtaining approvals for their visas or an express intention to be the custodians of the visas. We are like other professionals who are competent to assist visa applicants. visa on the right thing to do and if there are any “agents” the US Embassy has intelligence about, to be a bad influence, the Embassy should report them to NANTA or the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) , which regulates travel agents in Nigeria.

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