The year is beginning to shape up and many travel enthusiasts are gearing up for another year of adventure. In the last two years, we’ve seen an increase in local tourism and travel within Africa. Destinations like Erin Ijesha and Kajuru Castle in Nigeria appeared to be favourites and we saw a steady increase in visits to ‘unconventional’ places like Rwanda and Morocco.
In 2019, we can expect this trend to continue with some variations. So, without further ado, here are my predictions for travel in the new year…
Slow Nigerian Travel in Q1
2019 is an election year in Nigeria and with the uncertainties that surround this season, we can expect to see a decline in Nigerian tours – especially across states, in the first quarter of the year. Once the elections are over and the dust begins to settle, tours within Nigeria will pick up again right around the Easter holidays.
In terms of regions to visit, I think Western Nigeria will still get most of the love this year. However, I have spoken to a few people who are looking to explore Northern Nigeria this year. I am also hoping to do the same after the elections. Luckily, my people at Unravelling Nigeria have a tour to Kano in August. I am looking forward to attending that.
More Focus on African Travel & Visa Friendly Destinations
This year feels like another big year for travel within the continent. Namibia and Egypt seem to be the favourites for the year. It helps that the African Cup of Nations football tournament will be held in Egypt, so we can expect less stringent visa applications to the country and more visits.
I’m also happy to see that many Nigerian travellers are gradually putting visa struggle days behind us. I mean, it still is a struggle to get to certain places but thanks to companies like Naija Nomads, who are making efforts to take us to unconventional places, we’re having more unique (stress-free) options for travel.
Increase in Staycations & Weekenders
Who doesn’t love a good weekend stay? I think we can expect to see more of these in 2019. I’ve seen a number of new beach houses and relatively cheap hotel weekend stay pop up on my timeline and social media feeds recently.
My ad-hoc travel plans are also filled with a few of these. I’ll write a separate post about some of the places I plan to spend my weekends in. I hope you share yours with me in the comment section, so we can discover new places together…
We can also expect to see more visits to places that look good on Instagram…
Finally, destinations like the Benin Republic and Ghana saw an influx of Nigerian travel enthusiasts in the past two years. I think visits to the latter country may increase this year, while visits to Benin may decrease slightly…
More Visits to Ghana, Less Visits to Benin Republic
Of course, none of these is guaranteed to actually happen. I’m writing them based on intuition, social media trends I have observed and conversations with people in the Nigerian travel space. I’m excited to see how the travel year will eventually turn out to be. Hopefully, it would be even more exciting than in the past years.
What are your predictions for the year? What places are you looking to explore?