Nnennaya Fakoya-Smith, a.k.a. Ajala Nene, is a travel lover and enthusiast. In this chat with CHIKA ONWUJI, the ‘travelpreneur’ discusses what it takes to succeed in the industry
Who is a travelpreneur?
A travelpreneur is a combination of two words, ‘travel’ and ‘entrepreneur’. Therefore, a travelpreneur can be defined as a person who runs a profitable business online or offline at any given location and at anytime. Travelpreneurs travel and explore the world while doing their travel business online or offline.
Can you mention some places you have travelled to?
I have been to Zimbabwe on a sponsored familiarisation tour, courtesy of Zimbabwe Tourism Board and Kenyan Airways.
What was your experience there?
It was an exciting familiarisation tour. My tour team and I got the opportunity to visit some regions in Zimbabwe and inspect some tourism sites and hotels. The highlight was visiting the Victoria Falls.
Why did you decide to be a travelpreneur?
I am passionate about travelling and exploring places. I am also passionate about promoting tourism. So, I decided to go into it full-time as a business. I love the fact that I can work online (for example, as a travel blogger) and offline (for example, as a tourism business coach).
How lucrative is travelpreneurship?
It’s a lucrative business, if you are passionate, patient and consistent. It is not a ‘make money quick’ business. It takes passion, patience and consistency to become very lucrative.
How were you trained to be a travelpreneur?
During my National Youth Service Corps days, I had the privilege to work in a tour-operating company as a tour consultant. I have also had online trainings on how to be a travel blogger and how to build a travel business.
What attributes should a potential travelpreneur have?
The three attributes I mentioned earlier: passion, patience and consistency. Creativity is also essential.
Who are your mentors?
Mrs Uloma Egbuna of Tour Brokers International.
What is your advice to those who want to venture into travelpreneurship?
Come with passion. That is very important because when the tough gets going, you may get discouraged and want to quit. There must be genuine interest in the travel and tourism space. Also, be creative. So many people in the industry are doing the same thing. Venture into what will make you stand out. And most of all, have fun doing it and learn from every experience.
Does your family support you as a travelpreneur?
Yes, they do. In fact, they said I should have started it as a business since; that it fits my personality.
Who takes care of your kids when you travel?
I am blessed to have a very helpful spouse and family surrounding me. They help with the kids when I am on a trip.
What do you have to say to travellers?
It is important for anyone who travels and explores destinations to remember to be a responsible traveller. That means ensuring that your travel experiences leave a positive impact on the places you visit.