Travel startups changing the face of tourism in Africa

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Is tourism in Africa evolving? What factors could this evolution be attributed to? As the popularity of African travel soars, a wave of innovative travel startups is also emerging to cater to each foreseeable step of the travel process starting from the search for accommodation to booking for tour guides to souvenir shopping. This wave is continually rising with new players bringing new features and services to fill in vacuums that existed beforehand. Startup players vary according to the personality of leadership to the services provided; some opt for the steady and focus path while others opt to surf the current of public relations and social media.

As a result of these innovations, far less time is put to planning travel itineraries in advance as travellers could just book flights, hotels and even airport pickups in advance and only show up to make use of the services they have already paid for. In a matter of clicks, accommodation, transport and even planned meals could be taken care of by services provided by Jumia Travel, Airbnb, EasyTaxi and HelloFood amongst others. Without a doubt, startups in the field of travel and tourism has rendered planning much easier and faster.

The fact remains that these startups bring something new to the table. They are creating services to replace voids that existed in the society, sometimes creating a gap themselves in order to fill them up with the services they provide. Scores of jobs are created as a result and there is this upbeat wave across the internet as tech heads watch out for the reliability, resilience and profitability of these companies.

Increased accessibility to these services allows better organization of travel plans which would result in stress and hassle-free travel. Services in the hospitality industry is also rapidly expanding thanks to local companies such as Hotelsng in Nigeria, SleepOut in Kenya and global companies such as Jumia Travel which is spread across Africa and Asia. These companies see to it that the time spent on planning is minimized and services are rendered for the best price.

What is your take on the travel startups that are challenging the norm and changing the face of African tourism? Do you think they could contribute more to the economy?


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