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The Nigerian hotel booking startup, Jovago, has recently announced that it’s expanding to Senegal and Kenya. Given the recent figures for the region’s tourism activity, this could only mean that competition is heating up.
The service is Rocket Internet’s Africa Internet Holding (AIH) answer to Kenya’s popular SleepOut and Nigeria’s hotels.ng. It also announced last year that it has more than 2 000 hotels listed on the website.
Jovago says that it facilitates the booking process for its users with an informative, reliable and user-friendly service, by listing travel destinations and providing hotel information online. The booking portal does not apply booking fees and customers have the option to choose between paying at the hotel and using the secure online payment option.
The startup has also recently started an affiliate programme in Nigeria that lets travel agents and individuals earn revenue when they make bookings on the Jovago website.
According to the World Bank, receipts from hotels, tours and other attractions in 2012 amounted to over US$36-billion and directly contributed just over 2.8% to Sub-Saharan Africa’s GDP. It also notes that, between 1990 and 2012, the amount of tourists have increased by a massive 300% and is continuing to do so.
With a rapidly growing middle class African market, the role of tourism is increasing and social and economic activity has become even more important. Marek Zmyslowski, the Managing Director of Jovago, says, “The hotel industry in Kenya and Senegal is currently presenting huge potential, just like it was in Nigeria when we first became operational there in 2013.”
Zmyslowski adds: “The further expansion into the African markets makes us Africa’s no. 1 booking portal, providing more and more customers with the best hotel booking experience and Jovago’s fast, reliable and easy-to-use services.”