Travelstart, Africa’s leading Online Travel Agency, is marking its sixth year of doing business in Nigeria.
The Nigerian operations which started in 2012, quickly surpassed its other established markets such as Namibia and Kenya, highlighting the huge demand for a tech-based solution for travelers in Nigeria. Since launching, Travelstart has catered to more than half a million Nigerians and significantly grown its extensive affiliate network.
Philip Åkesson, country manager, Travelstart Nigeria, said the company is committed to making travel easier and more affordable for Travelers across the continent. According to him, “We’re strongly focused on meeting our customers’ needs within the aspects of price, payment choices, trust and customer service.”
Travelstart maintains a consistent focus on simplifying the ticket purchasing process and offering customers the chance to book their flights themselves online. In Nigeria, the company additionally offers a walk-in service which allows customers build a human connection with the company. “We recognize the importance of omni-channels and that is why we offer our customers’ platform flexibility depending on their comfort with technology. Our walk-in customer service further improves the trust for the brand as our agents work with customers to make their booking.” Akesson points out.
According to an economic impact assessment of travel and tourism by the World Travel & Tourism Council, the total contribution of the travel and tourism industry to Nigeria’s GDP was ₦5,124.3bn (4.7% of GDP) in 2016 and is forecasted to rise by 4.0% pa to ₦7,507.7bn. The travel industry’s total contribution to employment in Nigeria, including jobs indirectly supported by the industry, was 4.5%. This is expected to rise 3.6% per annum to 2,598,000 jobs (4.2% of total) in 2027. The expected rise per annum can be attributed to the fact that Nigerians now spend more on domestic travels. Travelstart is positioned to give customers the best experience by focusing on local content that will reshape the industry.[B1]
As part of its growth strategy, Travelstart continues to invest in training its staff. Since 2012, the company’s staff strength has grown from 6 to close to 50 staff. Some of the Nigerian talent also receive training at the company’s headquarters in South Africa. This approach and exchange of market best practice aligns with the brand’s focus on excellent customer service.
In Akesson’s reflection on Travelstart’s 6th anniversary, he says “it’s an exciting milestone for our team. Over the past few years, we have improved our technology and customer service to elevate our offering over those of our competitors. We couldn’t have reached this milestone without the support of our staff, customers, and trade partners.”