Naira woe: It’s time to look inwards this summer - BUSINESSDAY
As the high exchange rate, exorbitant airfares and rising hotel accommodation bills discourage long-distance flyers from spending, OBINNA EMELIKE finds alternatives in domestic destinations this summer.
As the value of the Naira continues to fall freely against major international currencies, the price of aviation fuel (Jet-A1) keeps soaring, and quality hotel accommodation seems for guests with very deep pockets, there is no doubt that the sad development has considerably affected travel budgets.
While the development makes overseas trips, especially this summer very expensive, it also points to the need to look inwards at what domestic destinations that abound in the country can offer. It is really time to make your travel naira worth a fortune, even as the present economic realities in Nigeria move traffic closer to domestic destinations.
This summer, the iconic museums and landmarks of Europe and America are, of course, huge draws for Nigerians and other Africans planning international vacation. But with naira’s worth significantly less than the dollar and euro, that trip to Eifel Tower in Paris, Trafalgar Square in London or Los Angeles to unravel Hollywood can leave a deep hole in your pocket. The diminishing tourists’ buying-power for everything over there, from the price of bugger, admission to a theatrical concert and to a room in one of London’s city hotels will definitely stop you.
As price becomes a key issue, you can travel to some major Nigerian and other neighbouring African destinations offering value for money and with favourable exchange rates. For the domestic traveller, you can easily get to your destination, stay, eat and enjoy your experiences even on a weak naira.
For those who cannot contain their wanderlust, but are watching their wallets, then, domestic destination is the answer. Honestly, they are considerably good, breathtaking and improved. Also, choosing a destination where the naira is strong, considering packages where rates are set far in advance and exploring unconventional locals can help satisfy your wanderlust as well.
Of course, it is cheaper to see petty jealousy and fight of male gorillas to maintain their female folks or experience the exhilarating canopy walk both at Afi Mountain Sanctuary in Cross Rivers State. A ride across the Obudu landscape onboard the cable car, a bath at Ikogosi Warm Spring, among other beach activities on the coastline of Lagos, Calabar, Port Harcourt and Warri, are more affordable now that the naira is weaker than the overseas options.
From N300,000, you can enjoy a weekend trip at Obudu Mountain Resort this summer, but that money is not enough for a return ticket for vacation in Europe or America. If your concern is security or serenity, Obudu is safe, serene and dotted with natural attractions. As well, Ibom Golf and Resort, near Uyo, is a good holiday option that will leave you asking for more on a visit.
If you are in Lagos, forget prejudice against local attractions, just leave your comfort zone and see things with new eyes. Surely, La Campagne Tropicana Beach Resort, Akodo Beach Resort, Epe Resort, all along the Lekki Free Trade Zone, will enthrall you, especially if you are a lover of beach fun. If you have gone before, try now because there are improvements that will surprise you. From N150,000, your weekend is sure to be a splendid one at these beach resorts. If you want something new, Inagbe Resort, between Lagos Lagoon and the Atlantic Ocean, is relatively fresh and welcoming.
Of course, the luxury beach houses at Ilashe, at the bank of the Atlantic Ocean, are awaiting your visit.
With a partnership arrangement, Ikogosi Warm Spring now offers more breathtaking accommodation options amid its natural thrills. No matter your class, the resort welcomes you to a communion with nature. With N100,000, you can get a weekend treat, though you travel by road.
Nike Lake Resort in Enugu, Abraka Turf, and the Ibru Centre in Agbarha-Otor, both in Delta State, are places you can truly relax and rejuvenate while on holiday.
There is also security for guests.
The good thing is that most of these outfits offer packages with advance rates/payment while you can always get more information about them by visiting their websites.
However, if you want a tailor-made domestic holiday package this summer, you can reach out to efficient tour operators in Nigeria such as Remlords Tours, Wakawithdebie, Divine Tours, Jemi Alade Tours among others for hassle-free holiday bookings.