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Innovation Lifting Africa Tourism

Innovation Lifting Africa TourismInnovation Lifting Africa Tourism

Technology start-ups are flourishing across Africa which is helping to boost the economy and offer a fresh image to international tourists, travel news website eTurbonews reported, citing the World Travel Market Global Trends report published on Monday.

According to the World Bank, over half of the countries in Africa now have at least one tech hub with investments in these tech hubs doubling last year, reaching $27 million. Earlier this year, US President Barack Obama paid a visit to the Start-up conference in Kenya which aims to support Africa’s inventors, entrepreneurs and future business leaders.

The travel industry is likely to reap the benefits of technology start-ups with increased domestic, regional and international business travel to a variety of countries in Africa. Business air arrivals are expected to post a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 5% for South Africa and 6% for Kenya over 2014-2019, according to Euromonitor International, which helped compile the WTM report.

The increase of business visitors to the continent, due to the tech hubs, is likely to have a knock-on effect and encourage more leisure tourists as facilities are upgraded and improved.

Due to the greater visitors, there is also an increasing number of travel start-ups including Hotels.ng, Nigeria’s largest online hotel booking site. Mark Essien, CEO, Hotels.ng believes that the travel industry is benefiting from the increasing number of technology start-ups.

“The growing technology sector in Africa is helping to expand the travel industry. Easier online discovery combined with growing consumer confidence in online bookings has made it extremely straightforward for us to cater directly to travelers’ needs,” said Essien.

Another company, AwesomeSouthAfrica.com, has created an app that caters specifically to tourists and locals by using location-based data to find restaurants, hotels and activities in their vicinity.

“With technology start-ups flourishing across the continent, Africa is entering a new era of innovation leading to greater economic and social benefits. The technology start-ups will also help change the perception of the continent to international tourists,” said Caroline Bremner, of Euromonitor International.

Financialtribune.com