How To Start A Tourism Business In Nigeria: The Complete Guide

How To Start A Tourism Business In Nigeria | Image Source: Pixabay

The tourism business in Nigeria is one of the fast-rising ventures in the country. It has provided business/work opportunities for a lot of people in select locations and is a proven source of income for entrepreneurs and investors.

However, as the number of first-time tourists and out-of-town travellers increases on a daily basis, the market for the tourism business in Nigeria continues to grow. Afterall, whether for business or leisure, travellers need assistance finding their way around cities or towns in Nigeria.

Travellers, also called tourists, are mostly willing to pay for some guidance on things like accommodation, transportation, translation, and security. And so, starting a tourism business in Nigeria to take advantage of the rising influx of foreign and local visitors is a smart entrepreneurial decision.

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What Is The Tourism Business About?

People who travel from their countries or states to other countries or states for leisure are called tourists. Along these lines, any venture or agency that is established to deal with the specific needs of these tourists is a tourism business.

There are numerous businesses which make up the tourism industry, and each one of them offers different services. Some cater to tourists’ travel and accommodation arrangements while others offer services like guided tours, fun activities, transportation, and translation.

Nigeria is a culturally diverse nation with a broad variety of histories, resources, cultural practices, colorful daily life and a vibrant nightlife. Tourism businesses are necessary for a safe, exciting, and stress-free experience while on business or leisure for the first time in the country. Providing those solutions is an excellent way to set-up a productive business.

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Business Opportunities In Tourism Business Around The World

Some of the business opportunities of the tourism business in Nigeria and many other places around the world are:

1). Accommodation:

After settling travel plans, the next thing on a tourist’s mind is where to live for the duration of his or her stay in the country. Two main concerns regarding accommodation are safety and comfortability.

This demand creates an opening for people in the real estate and hospitality industry. i.e hotels, bed and breakfasts, motels, rental apartments, and homes. Revenues are generated by either renting out homes or setting up an agency with connections to hotels and landlords.

2). Transportation:

A transportation business is an excellent way to earn money in the tourism enterprise. Tourists are almost always on the move. They need transport services to take them from place to place while giving them interesting and exciting informative tidbits about the locale.

Transportation services include bus shuttles, ride sharing, car rental, chauffeur services, water-based vehicles and air-based transport. In most cases, this business includes the use of tour guides who give out information on matters of history and culture of the area.

3). Tour Guide/Guided Tours:

A tour guiding business involves giving tours to persons interested in visiting famous places, showing them various historical sites, fun spots, and/or attractions. Tour guides provide an exciting learning experience for these visitors by sharing their knowledge of culture, lifestyle trends and history of a specific location.

4). Foodservice Business:

Food is an essential part of the human culture. Also, food keeps the body active while traveling and sightseeing. Hence, food services are valuable in the tourism industry.

Most tourists relish tasting or trying out the local treats as a part of their adventure. There are establishments like restaurants, fast-foods, bars, and shops which serve a variety of meals to tourists. Some offer local delicacies to give these visitors something different and unique while others provide meals that are familiar.

Establishing a food business in a tourist-prone area is a good way to generate income from tourists.

5). Leisure/Fun Spots:

Whether the trip is for business or vacation, every tourist wants a place to unwind and enjoy themselves.  That’s the reason businesses that offer entertaining, relaxation, and fun activities are very successful.

Bars, nightclubs, amusement parks, dancehalls, spas, and lounges are all profitable business ventures in this expanding industry.

6). Videography/Photography:

Professional photography and videography is a lucrative tourism-related business. Anyone with one or both skills can generate a lot of income by capturing tourists’ significant moments during their tours.

However, smartphones can easily substitute a photographer. So your skill and image quality must be novel.

7). Translators:

All that’s required to start up a small-scale translation business is a mastery of two or more foreign and local languages. Translation services are especially needed by business tourists who pay more than any other types of tourist.

A translation agency is a time-intensive but profitable long-term business. Managing a translation company entails a formal administrative structure and recruiting employees with different language skills.

8). Souvenir Shops/Museums:

A charming shop that stocks and sells items like locally made gifts, crafts, jewelry, and accessories is a money maker in the tourism business.

Most tourists love souvenirs, and so, open up an attractive store with unique, creative and interesting mementos that tourists can take back to their home country.

9). Magazine:

Magazine publications focused on providing information about the tourism and tourism-related topics tend to make a lot of profits. Tourism magazines should contain relevant content about issues like accommodation, safety, transportation, famous and interesting sites, travel guide, latest trends, and news.

10). Blogs:

Unlike magazines, blogs require very little capital to start. Knowledge is a valuable commodity in tourism blogging, so regularly publishing relevant and highly searched articles bring in a lot of traffic. With a substantial audience, a blogger can monetize them in many ways.

11). Security:

As safety during a tour in another state or country is invaluable, security businesses are in demand. Business tourists and high profile clients would be willing to pay for services like safety coaching, private escorts or bodyguards to protect their lives and properties.


Facts And Benefits Of The Tourism Business

  • Tourism businesses have contributed immensely to the economies of nations all over the world.
  • This industry is a significant income generator for investors and entrepreneurs.
  • There are tourism-related business opportunities available for every individual skill set.
  • Tourism attracts foreign and local investments.
  • Tourism promotes cultural, social, and infrastructural development.
  • The tourism business in Nigeria can only advance through the improvement of infrastructures in the nation.


How To Start A Tourism Business In Nigeria: A Step By Step Guide

1). Choose A Good Location:

If you are in a non-tourist area; a state with no attractions or low tourist traffic, you might have to move to an advantageous locale. Note that the kind of attractions in your area also determines the nature of your business.

2). Pick The Right Type Of Tourism Business:

This next step entails a decision on the specific tourism or tourism-related business you want to establish. Your skills, passions, and expertise in the business should inform your choice.

For instance, if you are skilled at writing and have knowledge of the tourism industry, blogging or the magazine publishing business could be a good fit for you. But if you are experienced in the transportation industry, opening up a transport company or travel agency would be the better option.

3). Prepare A Good Business Plan:

A good business plan comes after a thoroughly researched feasibility study. Your business plan should have clear and precise details like the correct estimate of initial capital, your mode of operation, target market, products and services, competition, and start-up requirements.

4). Capital:

After an in-depth analysis of the initial capital and daily business management costs, source for funds.

For a business that requires very little capital, funds can be sourced from personal savings, family, and friends.

5). Register Your Tourism Agency:

First, pick out a simple yet unique name for your tourism business; something catchy and easy to memorize. A brand name that distinguishes your business effectively.

After giving your business a name, register it with the Corporate Affairs Commission in Nigeria. Get acquainted with the regulations and procedures of the industry. If it’s a type of tourism business that requires specific licenses, get the necessary paperwork from the appropriate institutions.

Furthermore, if there is any trade association related to your type of business, register and become a member. It would help you identify your competition, keep you updated and help you build a network.

6). Get The Right Office Space:

Some types of businesses need adequate space to receive tourists and manage operations. Lease an office space around popular tourist areas such as airports, parks, famous sites and fun spots. One other good location is a business area with high tourist traffic.

The interior and exterior parts of your office should be attractive and welcoming. Additionally, the interior should portray professionalism and comfort to your prospective customers.

7). Create A Website/Blog:

Thousands of potential tourists are online searching for ways to make their tour in Nigeria safe and enjoyable. A blog or website makes your business more accessible to these visitors and increases your clientele because of its online exposure.

8). Market Your Business:

To raise awareness for your business, you need a good marketing strategy. One of the most effective marketing platforms is social media.

Engaging on sites like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter will allow you to connect with people all over the world.

You can also advertise your business on blogs, magazines, and other media platforms.

9). Recruit Staff:

Medium to large scale tourism businesses requires a skilled workforce. Before hiring, screen candidates to ascertain the level of their knowledge and skills. The screening process saves you from the hassle of hiring incompetent employees.

Crash courses or in-depth trainings goes a long way in improving the productivity of your employees, and in extension, business.

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Challenges Of the Tourism Business in Nigeria

  • Tourism business in Nigeria continues to be negatively affected by the increasing crime rate, terrorism, political unrest and corruption in the country. This challenge discourages most tourists who are unsure that the security system in Nigeria is stable enough to protect their lives and properties.
  • Until there’s an improvement in the quality of the tourism infrastructures in Nigeria; power supply, transport and aviation industry, accommodation, and translation services, the potential of this industry will remain partially untapped.
  • The inadequate health/medical services in Nigeria are a major concern for travelers.
  • The negative perception of Nigeria is a significant problem that stifles the growth of tourism businesses. Because of these misconceptions, most people fail to see beyond the surface into a beautifully diverse and attractive tourism-worthy nation.
  • The incompetent management structure of the existing tourism attractions in Nigeria reduces the amount of tourist traffic. This hurdle affects each of the ventures that stand to benefit from the tourism industry.
  • The marketing tactics of Nigeria’s tourism industry is in dire need of improvement. Current strategies are not innovative enough to create an attractive global image of the country.
  • Inadequate funding and investments in the industry have been a challenge for the tourism business in Nigeria.



Attracted by the richly diverse landscapes, culture, resources and lifestyle in Nigeria, thousands of travellers from different countries troop into the country for fun holiday activities or business.

Their presence creates numerous opportunities for income generation, poverty alleviation and economic development in Nigeria.

If you are in search of a unique venture to start up, the tourism business in Nigeria is a possibility worth exploring.

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What are your thoughts on how to start a tourism business in Nigeria or Africa? Let me know by leaving a comment below.