Need a travel agency in Nigeria (Nigerian travel agency)? You need look NO further than Destinali Trip Planning Limited (Destinali Accommodations and Travel Co.).
Typically, a travel agency exists to cater to travel needs of visitors (clients) of diverse nationalities – be it visa support services, travel documents, hotel reservation, flight booking, airport transfers, tour guide, travel packages, and so on.
As far as Nigeria is concerned, Destinali is a travel agency of good repute with years of experience catering to visitors and clients across all continents – North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, and the rest of the world.
Quintessentially, we are not your traditional travel agency with very limited functionality. We are an OTA (online travel agency) who are constantly analyzing trends and rapidly evolving to meet the needs of today’s travelers and the millenials.
Have any travel needs? Planing a trip? Get in touch wit us…
Why we are in the business of travel
Have you ever had a bad experience dealing with a typical Nigerian “travel agent”? Yes, I have. And I know many others who have similar or worse experiences with countless Nigerian travel agencies. The problem is there are way too many so-called ‘travel agencies’ in Nigeria.
Lots of unsuspecting people in need of travel solutions have fallen victim to numerous fake travel agents, who end up swindling them of their hard earned money without delivering on their promises.
In 2014, a footballer friend of mine lost a contract in Europe due to the singular fact that all along he had been dealing with a dubious and fake Nigerian travel agency. The short story is, it was a frustrating, traumatic experience for both my friend, his family and I.
Similarly, through forums and many online channels, I have in the past connected with many visitors to Nigeria who shared with me the numerous challenges they’ve had visiting Nigeria. The lack of access to quality travel services for Nigeria, terrible customer service, poor visa support, lack of access to travel documents, inaccurate information about destinations, etc, are amongst the challenges of most first-time visitors to Nigeria.
We wanted to curb this. We wanted to be the solution to all these challenges, realizing the importance and role of the travel agency in the travel, hospitality and tourism industry.
Hence, we founded Destinali in 2017 to be your go-to one-stop travel shop, especially regarding everything Nigeria and beyond.
Destinali is an online travel content discovery, trip planning and visa advisory company. We also offer reviews, advice and information regarding destinations, vacations, sights, attractions, tours, restaurants, hotels, flights and travel insurance.
We have established ourselves as helpful freelance travel consultants where you can very readily access information you need about specific tourist destinations, hotels, resorts, flights and visa support.
We help you visit Nigeria (and other countries too) easily, economically and safely. We especially cater to visitors to Nigeria, offering visa support services like invitation processing, visa advice, airport transfers, and so on.
While we serve all travelers to various destinations, our first concern was to address the challenges of the tourist to Nigeria. We wanted to immediately correct the impression about Nigeria and Nigerian travel agencies.
We wanted to solve the problem of honesty, integrity and reliability when it comes to dealing with travel agencies in Nigeria.
We also wanted to make it easy and affordable for people to access travel services in Nigeria. Of course, these and other challenges are why we exist..
Ever since our official launch in 2017, we have kept to our promise of bridging the gap and eliminating the barriers and inefficiencies facing travel agency in Nigeria.
We want you to spend less time planning your travels, so you can actually have more time on your travels. We help you save money and eliminate the stress it normally takes to access quality travel services, from visa processing to destination guides.
We do this by using modern technology to create the digital infrastructure needed for travel so we can focus on providing helpful travel content discovery and fast, efficient and personalized customer service.
At Destinali, we care a lot about the customer experience. We don’t adopt the one-size-fits all approach as we believe every traveler has unique needs that must be individualistically satisfied. This is what we do with dexterity, professionalism and care.
In spite of the growth we have made and exposure we’ve had over the years (evident in the vast number of travelers who have used our services globally), we’ve had a particular interesting challenge dealing with customers home and abroad.
The bulk of this challenge is rooted in what I will term the Nigerian factor. As a Nigerian travel-tech startup, our biggest challenge has not been competition or even the quality of our services. In fact, we have an edge over most of our competitors service-wise.
Being a relatively new chip in the block without a bottomless pit of cash for instant global brand exposure, we’ve had to put up with the question of credibility. We have to constantly keep proving that we are a genuine travel agency in Nigeria, and not like ‘the other guys’.
Sometimes we’ve had to go the extra mile to prove our credibility, that we are not just a Nigerian travel agency, but a full fledged travel company incorporated in Nigeria.
While this can be a very frustrating experience for us, it is totally understandable. In fact, we strongly advise visitors to Nigeria and prospective clients to double-check and be sure a travel agency is genuine and not a scam before trusting them to process any travel product or service for you.
How do you do this? Well, here are a few hacks and tips to help you identify a fake travel agency in Nigeria.
How to identify a genuine Nigerian travel agency or company
Here’s how we normally prove to our customers that we are genuine, and that we the real deal. You can use this same strategy to spot a fake travel agency in Nigeria.
1. CAC Public Search
The first way to identify whether a Nigerian travel agency (or any Nigerian company) is real or fake is to establish whether it has corporate existence or not.
Every serious and genuine company in Nigeria must be registered with and/or incorporated by the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. A Nigerian travel agency has no legal entity or corporate existence if it has not done CAC registration/incorporation.
Every company that has undergone CAC registration/incorporation must have a unique identification number (BN or RC).
Always demand for the Corporate Affairs Commissions’ BN or RC number and the full business name of the travel agency. This will enable you verify it’s corporate existence.
Thankfully, the CAC has a free online public search tool where you can look up any existing Nigerian company on its database. So, having gotten the name and RC/BN number of the travel agency, head up to the public search portal of the CAC for verification.
In our case, simply type in Destinali in the search field and you will see a search result similar to the following:
The two results shown are both our companies representing the same brand (Destinali).
The CAC public search tool will not only reveal the registered name of the company, but also the Registration Number, Address and Date of Registration. If no record is found, it means the company does not exist, which is the first warning sign you must heed when dealing with a travel agency in Nigeria.
Do not deal with any travel agency you cannot verify its corporate existence. Stay far away.
2. Tax Verification
They say two things are certain in life: death and taxes! So, you would expect every legitimate company to pay some sort of tax to the government, right?
Every company doing business in Nigeria is mandated to file tax returns with the Federal Inland Revenue Service. Most times, these taxes are paid through the Revenue Board in the state where the company operates from.
Every tax paying company must have a unique Tax Identification Number (TIN). And, thankfully, the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) has an online TIN Verification System where you can verify any tax-paying company in Nigeria. This will give you an idea as to whether the company is real or not.
Interestingly, through the TIN verification system, you will also be able to verify a company with the CAC Registration Number and Registered Phone Number of the company.
So to prove that a Nigerian travel agency is real, demand for the Tax Identification Number (TIN) and head to the online TIN verification system of the Federal Inland Revenue Service. Here is the Tax Identification Number (TIN) for Destinali: 1902562073-0001.
On the portal, select your search criteria (TIN, CAC or registered phone number). Fill the Captcha number and click Search.
If the record is found, the system will return the company’s tax details similar to the following:
Essentially, tax verification is an effective way to tell if a Nigerian travel agency is real or fake.
3. Payment Processing
How a travel agency processes payments can give you a clue as to its legitimacy. Even though PayPal is generally not available to merchants in Nigeria, there are other international payment processors/gateways that legitimate travel agencies in Nigeria can use.
These online payment processors are very strict and do a lot of due diligence and vetting before approving anyone to use their platforms to receive payments. There is a lot of regulation and paperwork involved that only genuine companies can meet.
If a Nigerian travel agency is taking online payments with VISA and MasterCard, it is very likely a real travel agency. You know why? they don’t own the payment gateways and you can have your money back if they don’t deliver.
Most payment processors take days or weeks before payouts to avoid chargebacks from customers. If you have proof that you paid for a product or service that was not delivered, you can file a chargeback claim with your bank or card issuer and they will follow up on that to get you back your money.
Even if it is a bank transfer, it should be to a company account and not a personal account. This way you can be sure you are dealing with a real company.
4. Google MyBusiness Listing, Social Media and Web Presence
Even though Google MyBusiness, social media and web presence are not conclusive ways to ascertain a company’s legitimacy, they will sure give you an idea as to what the company is about so you can make the right decisions.
Every OTA (online travel agency) must leverage the power of these online tools to reach its customers and engage with them. Having a Google MyBusiness listing, a social media following (at least a Facebook Business page), and good web presence could be a clue that a travel agency is real.
Always check the reviews and engagements on these pages. It will help you make an informed decision when dealing with a Nigerian travel agency.
If, for instance, you enter Destinali on Google search, our Google MyBusiness page will show up:
These will help you learn more about the company, contact them when you need help, get to know their terms and conditions and how they process and handle your personal information.
Additionally, a serious travel agency must have a professional email, that is, an email on their website domain (e.g. firstname.lastname@example.org).
In a nutshell, these are some of the ways we prove to our customers that we are real, and you should always implore similar methods to verify any travel agency in Nigeria before throwing your wallet at them or bringing out your credit card.
Need more help? Get in touch with us: