COVID-19 may have rocked the tourism industry, but that does not dampen our hopes of travelling. The relaxing of the lockdown in different states so far means only domestic tourism can thrive in places where social distance can be practised effectively.
Previously, we hinted on ways to keep the tourism industry alive despite the travel restrictions such as through walk tours and virtual tourism. Today our focus is on how to keep the passion for tourism alive while on lockdown.
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Below are three tips to help travel enthusiasts keep tourism alive during this COVID-19 pandemic:
1. Create a bucket list
Life is too short to spend it not living your dreams. So put together a list of tour activities you would love to do and destinations you would love to visit before you die. You can research any tour destination you would want to visit post-COVID. In researching these places, you will feel as though you are planning a visit to a familiar place. Considering international leisure travel might not start till 2021, we recommend focussing on domestic tourism.
Focus on states in Nigeria you haven’t thought of visiting and read up on their tourism potential. We also recommend that you include activities that you can do within Nigeria to your examples: paint balling, dirt/quad bike riding, archery, zip lining, canoeing, forest bathing, or swimming in a spring. This process alone will make you feel you have a bird’s-eye view on your passion for tourism.
2. Read Books and Blogs on Tourism
Reading books on tourism isn’t really as big a deal in Nigeria as reading tourism blogs or watching tourism vlogs. Books on tourism are usually about a tourist’s travel experience to a particular destination. Examples of such books written by Nigerians are Tour of Duty and Nigerian Festivals (both by Pelu Awofeso) and Looking for Trans-wonderland: Travels in Nigeria by Noo Saro-Wiwa (Ken Saro-Wiwa’s daughter). Also, you can read fiction books with stories set in actual places around the world. Some fiction books with Nigerian settings include The Quilt by Ann Esievoadje, Welcome to Lagos by Chibundo Onuzo, The Secret lives of Baba Segi’s Wives by Lola Shoneyin and Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.
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If you want something to read on the go, then read travel blogs and watch vlogs on YouTube. There are blogs with tons of travel info on places, travel practises and experiences in Nigeria you might not have explored like the Connect Nigeria travel column, Waka About online travel magazine, nd Naidrenalin blog. The more you expose yourself to these materials, the more knowledgeable and travel savvy you will become.
3. Recreate the Moments
Have you seen those Tik Tok videos of people using a thread mill to create an airport experience? There are videos of Nigerians underneath the legs of plastic chairs with a cloth on one side and fan simulating the wind that looks like they are passengers on a plane or in a bus. Hilarious as they may be, it is cathartic for the actors and nostalgic for the viewers. You can play the sound of waves crashing on the shores with your phone and Bluetooth speaker while wearing your swim suit and beach hat with sunshades on a camp bed and go sunbathing within your compound with a cocktail drink to boot. Be creative as you recreate significant travel moments you miss around your home to relive the joys of tourism.
Just because you can’t travel outside your state or country doesn’t mean you can’t travel in your mind. Keep your tourism dreams alive during COVID-19 with plans to act on them when this is all over.
Featured image source: Booklist Queen
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