It is no secret that Nigerians love travelling. Whether it is south to the sunny coast of South Africa or a faraway place such as Australia, there is nothing that fires up passion quite like exploits around the world. And the stats reflect just how much Nigerians enjoy travelling and where they like to go when they wander.
Did you know: Dubai is a popular destination for celebrity weddings and honeymoons.
Travel trends in numbers
Air travel continues to contribute significantly to the overall GDP of the country.
The total number of travellers who passed through Nigerian airports in 2017 was 13,394,945. Of those passengers, 9,458,521 were domestic travellers, while 3,936,424 were international travellers.
These numbers were split almost equally between arrivals (6,693,687) and departures (6,701,258).
Did you know: The majority of visitors to Nigeria are from nearby countries such as Benin, Niger, Chad, Liberia, Sudan, and Cameroon.
Where do Nigerians like to travel to?
The domestic travel market shows positive trends with about 3 million trips taken in 2017. Some of the most popular cities in Nigeria are Abuja, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Kaduna, Owerri, and Enugu.
Outside of Africa, the most popular cities for leisure travel among Nigerians are:
- New York
- Los Angeles
- New Orleans
- Abu Dhabi
Fun fact: Nigerian travellers also express a willingness to learn a new language when travelling to a new place. French, Spanish, German, Italian, and Mandarin feature on the top 5 list of languages.
The busiest local airports
As the largest international airport in Nigeria, it is no surprise that Murtala Muhammed International Airport was the busiest airport. A total of 6,367,478 passengers passed through its doors in 2017 alone! Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport was the second busiest airport with a total of 3,462,830 passengers. Port Harcourt International Airport was the third busiest airport with a total of 946,250 passengers, while Sam Mbakwe Airport and Mallam Aminu Kano International Airport served 429,214 and 428,742 passengers respectively.
The cheapest time to travel
The cheapest days to book domestic flights are Monday, Saturday, and Sunday, while the best days to book international flights are Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
For domestic trips, the cheapest months to travel are March, September, and October, while international travel is cheaper in January, March, and October.
Did you know: You can save up to 30% on international flights if you book 4-5 months in advance!
Also read: The best time to buy airline tickets
Corporate travel habits
Corporate travel is the second-most important area for tourism in Nigeria. It accounted for 25% of total arrivals to Nigeria in 2017. About 234,000 trips were taken in 2017, most of which were for meetings, conferences, and trade events.
The main destination for business travellers is Lagos, which is a hub for conferences and trade events. Outside of Nigeria, the main destination for corporate travel is the United Arab Emirates.
Find cheap flights for your next business trip!
Top 5 reasons why Nigerians travel
A recent survey by British Airways showed that Nigerian travellers considered travel to be important for relaxation and other ventures.
Those ventures include:
- Shopping – one of the biggest reasons Nigerians travel
- Visiting friends and family
- Business activities such as conferences, trade events, and meetings
- Education and training
- Religious tourism such as Christian and Islamic pilgrimages
But generally, creating amazing memories is the main reason Nigerians look forward to travelling. Being able to share stories about adventures abroad with friends and family is what it’s all about.
Do you have a favourite travel destination or reason for travelling? Share your travel habits in the comments section below! Check out our flight deals for exclusive deals on domestic and international flights!
All information on this page was sourced from the National Bureau of Statistics and Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) and was based on data from 2017. Travelstart will not be held liable for loss or inconvenience resulting from the use of information from this website.