Good news for travel agents in Africa is that a high percentage of African travellers will still rely on you for their travel arrangements, that is if you have taken the leap and now offer different retail channels as well as online and mobile solutions.
Travellers from Ghana say they want their travel agents to at least have a website and a quarter of Nigerian travellers say they like to book with travel agencies that are operating exclusively online, according to our recent independent research study conducted by Inquisition among 2,500 people surveyed through mobile phones across seven countries: Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa.
What is worrying for travel agents is that just over a third of all African travellers polled say they have already started to book travel directly with the travel provider online instead of through their travel agent.
South African travellers are the first to have started bypassing the travel agent, with almost half of South African travellers indicating they’ll book online with an airline, hotel or car rental company. Also women travellers are more likely than their male counterparts to take the reins of the booking process.
The best way for travel agents across the continent to evolve and show relevance is to help their travellers save time and money during the booking process through technology. This is especially since African travellers like to make quick decisions and tend to book at the last minute. Travellers from the Ivory Coast beat all the other African nations polled in the early booking stakes with more than 70% of travellers saying they book less than a month before they travel.
If travel agents want to remain relevant to the African traveller in years to come, embracing technology and offering both online and mobile solutions are keys to success.