JetBlack Travel Group, a US-based travel outfit, which curates life-changing travel experiences for members of the global community, through its founder, Dr Alexander Oladele, has unveiled plans to make Africa their focus for 2020 and 2021.
The Group, which was founded in 2018, has only been to Ghana and South Africa, having been to many countries outside the continent.
In an interview with Tribune Online at the weekend, Dr Oladele said African countries are growing and have experienced significant growth.
“In 2021 however, we are intentionally focusing on African countries. Our goal is to curate trips to: Ghana; Nigeria (with the right partnerships); Senegal; Ethiopia; South Africa and Kenya/Zanzibar. There is a huge shift in knowing and learning more about Africa. It’s an exciting time that we are in and I believe social media has played a significant role in helping to shape that.”
Speaking further, he pointed out that there are many people who are interested in visiting Africa and learning the actual truth about the continent, adding that “as more people visit and share their experiences, it creates more desire in those aboard to really venture out to see what Africa truly entails, not just what they show us on TV,” he said.
But JetBlack Travel had never curated trips to Nigeria despite being founded by a Nigerian. When asked why, he explained thus.
“ I think there are logistical things that travellers have to be mindful of when travelling to Nigeria as against travelling to a country like Ghana.
“The airport for example. Oftentimes, just obtaining your luggage upon landing can prove to be difficult in Nigeria as opposed to Ghana.
“This can create frustration for many people and as you can imagine travellers.
“Ghana, on the other hand, is a bit different from what I experienced.
“The airport is very efficient and I didn’t notice too much of a difference compared to my domestic travels in the US.
“Another thing is interaction within the airport. I can get through with no problem because I know what to say and how to conduct myself when stopped in a Nigerian airport as a Nigerian.
“Travellers coming from abroad may not understand how to navigate that space so they can be stuck going back and forth with customs and other people within the airport.
“This isn’t the case for Ghana. Ultimately, I’m not saying it’s impossible to curate trips to Nigeria. With everything it’s all about knowing the right people so you can navigate easier,” he said.
“We are very particular about the countries we choose.
“The first question we usually confirm is the safety of the travellers and ensuring that we aren’t visiting a country where our safety would be compromised.
“Following this, we usually try to identify someone we know from that particular country to help us put together a robust itinerary that would give the travellers a cultural yet entertaining experience.
All this is done by leveraging relationships. Between members of our team and external partners, we pretty much know people all over the world.
“From this then becomes a decision we make if we believe we can provide travellers with what we call the JetBlack Travel Experience,” the founder said.