Three of the leading travel providers, Amadeus, 3G Direct Pay and Travel Start, will host a one day seminar aimed at discussing the opportunities which the internet brings to the travel industry globally.
Dubbed The Future of Travel is Online, the invite-only seminar will be held in Nairobi on November 7 at the Villa Rosa Kempinski, and will bring together payments, e-commerce and online travel experts from around the world to share expertise on online customer acquisition, availability and safety of online payment platforms and how airlines can maximise on the online channel.
Speaking about the event, Juan Torres, General Manager at Amadeus East Africa said “We aim to deliver an insightful program with great networking opportunities, which will provide travel advisors with rich opportunities to advance their knowledge of the online channel and improve their business year-round. Technology and market intelligence have given us the ability to provide an even more productive environment to our buyer and seller audience than ever before.”
The seminar comes at a time when companies are grappling with the continent’s growing internet population and the corresponding opportunities. Kenya alone has over 12 million internet users, many of whom are open to purchasing goods and services online. These numbers are set to grow as urbanization sets in coupled with the growth in local economies.
“More and more tech savvy travelers are today only using their smart phones or other gadgets to research a destination, book flights, transportation and accommodation, purchase travel insurance or even reserve tables in restaurants,” said Eran Feinstein, Managing Director of 3G Direct Pay. “We feel that it is vital for the industry to know the importance of e-commerce and understand how they can use it to their advantage.”
According to a report by the McKinsey Global Institute, “Evidence of what is to come can already be seen in Africa’s major cities, where consumers have greater disposable income, more than half have Internet-capable devices, and 3G networks are up and running. Significant infrastructure investment—for example, increased access to mobile broadband, fibre-optic cable connections to households, and power-supply expansion — combined with the rapid spread of low-cost smartphones and tablets, has enabled millions of Africans to connect for the first time. There is a growing wave of innovation as entrepreneurs and large corporations alike launch new web-based ventures.”
Travelstart Kenya Country Manager Bryan Kariuki added, “Though Africa may be lagging behind other continents, the internet is steadily becoming a reality, especially due to the proliferation of affordable smartphones and mobile broadband. The need to tap into the international community through tourism and innovation also makes it an absolute necessity for travel industry players to go beyond physical offices.”
With large numbers of people getting online, travel can’t be left behind. More than half of travel sector companies currently book online and another 20% are expected to do so in the near future according to research paper by Amadeus dubbed A Digital Savannah: Africa’s e-commerce promise. In addition, as many as 52% of companies prefer to handle their travel bookings online, which is expected to grow to around 70%.
The keynote speaker at the seminar will be
- Anna Othoro, Nairobi City County Executive
- Stephan Ekbergh, Travelstart founder/CEO,
- Eran Feinstein, MD 3G Direct Pay,
- Juan Torres, GM Amadeus East Africa, and
- Mbwana Alliy, Founder and Managing Partner at Savannah Fund.
Their programme will also include though leaders’ panels in relevant topics, and practical sessions designed to demonstrate the opportunities available online and how companies can capture them.
Amadeus is a leading provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel industry, 3G Direct Pay is a leading online payments processor for e-commerce while Travelstart enables users to search, compare and book the cheapest flights to any destination.
For more information visit www.futureofonlinetravel.com
You can download the The Future of Travel is Online 2014 Seminar program here.
You can download the The Future of Travel is Online 2014 Seminar invitation here