The public presentation of the book, “Travel Agency Operations in Nigeria: Historical Perspectives”, authored by a respected travel expert, Elder Olusoji Amusan brought the crème de la crème of the travel industry under one roof to celebrate the tenacity of an Octogenarian to document his over 60 years experience in a book.
It was actually a payback time for Amusan in the sense that it was an occasion for many he mentored in the aviation and travel industry to show support for him and gave him the honour that can be likened to royalty. Indeed, Amusan wore the royalty gown that was made into the Yoruba traditional wear of Dansiki sown with beautiful Aso-oke-like material.
President of Aviation Round Table (ART), Dr. Gabriel Olowo who paid glowing tribute to Amusan recalled how the egba-born travel aficionado gave him his second employment in the travel industry after he was unceremoniously retired from Nigeria Airways at the tender age of over 22 years.
He noted that Amusan’s kind gesture to him after scaling the rigorous interview processes propelled him into who he is today. There is no arguing about it, Olowo is the pride of the aviation industry as his philanthropy, and knowledge about the industry can only be matched by a few persons.
His Royal Majesty, Kabieyi Femi Ogunleye who served as the Royal Father of the Day eulogized him for putting his knowledge of several decades in a book, saying that Amusan has left a good legacy with his in-depth research of the travel agencies operations in Nigeria.
It was a day to remember as many of the guests including a former Managing Director of Nigeria Airways, Mr. Yomi Jones praised him for his efforts in, “documenting history”.
President, Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association of Nigeria/former Chief Executive Officer, Associated Airlines, Dr. Alex Nwuba, “I think the outing is beautiful because there are so many people here to acknowledge the many roles that Elder Amusan has played in the aviation industry. I often say that when we say aviation, we think it is all about airlines. That is mis-normal. It comprises of airlines, travel agencies, travellers, cabin workers, dispatchers, engineers, and everything.”
“Today he sits on the aviation round table giving advice that is best for the future of the industry. He has come from the past and he has a voice in the future. It is wonderful to see the people here, many retired, managing directors acknowledging the role he has played in the industry. Many people from many sectors of the industry are here. Today is a wonderful outing and we are all very proud to be here. I’m personally proud to be associated with him”.
Speaking on some chapters of the book, and speaking from the perspective of a strategic adviser to the President of the tourism association of Nigeria, Nwuba the challenge is that people think they do not need a travel agency which he said may be ok by them.
He however noted that the reality is that the travel agency has the information to make the best choices for prospective travelers, describing their roles as very vital.
“A travel agent is there to give you advice. Even if they are no commissions from the airlines, every adviser gets paid for the advice that he offers. People say the travel agency business has become more difficult because people can go and book online and do more direct business but the reality is that ignorance is not excused. If you go and book online, you don’t know if you made the best choice about airlines, you don’t know whether you have all the information about the arrival destination. A travel agent is a travel professional.”
“They are able to tell you the best locations to go, how to get there at the best prices, what you can carry and cannot carry, whether you have quarantined issues or need to get inoculated on arrival, what kind of medical information, insurance information. What we may have called the travel agents in the past is more of your travel adviser. They have a lot more information because they are better trained than you are, and they are bringing that information to bear for your travel. You may be getting it cheaper but you are probably not getting the best”.