Mr Gbenga Badmus, a native of Ibadan, Oyo State is the CEO of Flymate Travels and Tours.
The Mass Communication graduate of The Polytechnic, Ibadan told the Travellers Magazine that the major challenge facing the travel industry is lack of trust.
Badmus who worked with the Daily Times and was posted to the Governor’s Office after graduation later started his travel business after attending Right Way Aviation School, Ikeja in 2011.
He said: Every industry has its challenge but the major challenge we are facing in travel industry is lack of trust. When you tell people that you are a travel agent, they see you as fraudulent which is everywhere. So, it is better you run your business with honesty and good customer relations. Most times I wonder how a travel and tours agent promising their clients that they could get them visa 100 per cent when you are not the consular of the embassy.
“For example some countries like Dubai, they do not process visa we buy the visa but other countries you can not tell clients it is 100 per cent sure, I do not do that. What is keeping Flymate moving is because 90 per cent of my customers know that we need to do the needful and leave the rest for God. You know with God, all matters are solved and we will do our best as a professional and that is why people have been patronising us.
He said there are many fake agents without offices who are not doing legitimate business and they pose a challenge to those that are legitimate.
He said Flymate Travel which is a registered company, packages tourism both local and international, offers consulting for visa applications to different countries like US, Canada, Europe, Dubai and African countries and also has an aviation school.
According to him, Flymate has done a lot of programmes and the latest programme is Pandemic promo. “After the COVID-19 lockdown, we thought that we need to assist the Nigerians who have the urge to travel US and Canada. What we did is that they should go and pay their visa fee and pay for our consultation fee, we are supposed to charge N500,000 with the promo, what they are to pay for US is N160,000 and Canada N175,000. When their visa is out, we are not collecting any dime from them. This is our way of giving to the society.
Badmus said travel business is not an easy task. A lot of agents go to people and say they want to do business with you and then run away with people’s money but if he is to do business with someone, he does not make empty promises; he gives them their charges and would not scope clients to patronise him.
He said: My selling point is trust and good customer service.
He advised Nigerians to find out if a travel company is registered and has office address before patronising them to avoid fake travel agent.
He disclosed that he has been to Europe, Dubai, South Africa among others.
“Travelling is full of fun. It is also a means of learning. You got to learn new things like culture, languages, currency, and system of government,” he said.
He advised his colleagues to be sincere in their dealings and be trustworthy to their customers.