Funmi Oyatogun is a travel experience designer and the founder of TVP Adventures. A few months ago she climbed Nigeria’s highest mountain in Taraba State called Chappal Waddi with a small group and also marked the summit for future climbers.
In Funmi’s words “This climb was inspired by sheer adventure and a desire to find out how we can open up this incredible mountain to the country and the world”
Funmi Oyatogun is a woman in travel…
Did you always know that you would have a career in tourism or would you consider it a happy accident ?
I had no clue that I would start a travel business but my love for travel over the years made it a lot easier when the opportunity presented itself. I had a food blog where I was documenting my food experiences around the world and each time, I would have readers ask me to recreate an experience for them. One day, I decided to create a trip to Abeokuta for the Independence Day holiday and that was how the travel company was born.
What is the most exciting experience to memorize in your travel journey?
Every new experience is incredible to me. To be honest, my best experience is the next one.
What inspired the game “Fill in the Black” ?
In the middle of the pandemic last year, our travel business was essentially shut down and we were looking for an opportunity to keep people entertained and informed even though they could not travel. We wanted to create an experience that people could partake in even while locked down. So, we created the game as a way to get everyone celebrating black cultures, people, histories and stories.
How has your business changed Post Covid?
The tourism industry was the first and hardest hit industry. We are still trying to recover.
What are the top 3 places on the globe that you haven’t conquered yet but would love to?
The destinations I visit are experiences that I am thankful for, not places to conquer. I appreciate every new place, every new person I meet; even if I go to the same country multiple times. So, in that sense, everywhere I go is exciting. I want to visit every country of the world, as many times as I can.
What Leadership traits resonates with you the most?
The leadership traits that I appreciate the most are tenacity, emotional intelligence and the ability to put people before anything else.
What do you enjoy the most about your job?
Bringing people’s dreams to life and seeing their lives forever change.
What is your favourite dish from your travels
Every meal I eat has offered me something memorable. If I had to choose one that stood out above the others though, it would be imqaret – a delicious Maltese pastry that’s stuffed with dates. It was such a simple pastry that I would never forget.
What are your top 3 travel essentials?
My passport, my wallet and my cell phone. I have travelled with only these three before and I was able to get anything I needed. So I consider these three the only true essentials at this point.
What advice would you give female millennials and managers who are thinking about a career in the travel and tourism industry
I’d say to anyone; find a gap and then try to fill that gap with a solution. You’ll find challenges along the way but there’s no amount of ‘heads-up’ I can give you to prepare you to face challenges of business. Just do it, you’ll learn as you go.