The impact of technology on African businesses cut across various sectors such as e-commerce, banking, and telecommunications to name a few. One sector that has been overlooked in the whole of Africa is tourism.
Before now, hotel booking and reservation were mostly done at the reception of hotels. This improved to an extent when the use of GSM mobile phones and email penetrated the continent. At this point anyone looking to book a hotel would simply get their preferred hotel’s contact on the internet and then call or send an email.
The impact of this technology at this point offered some opportunities for hotels to increase sales and some new challenges also emerged. Lack of added services such as ease of payment (Online or Mobile Money) and hotel booking portals meant that hotels were often forced to cancel a good amount of these bookings when payments are not made early enough or another client willing to pay cash walk into the hotel. This is where online booking portals come in.
Over the years several indigenous hotel booking portals have emerged, most of which are limited to one or two countries, which is as a result of lack of funding. Also this sub-sector has attracted huge foreign investment that has created jobs and enabled many more hotels in Africa to be covered. Now a business traveller in Africa can book accommodation in any hotel in multiple states and countries on just one hotel booking portal.
Jovago.com is an online hotel booking service headquartered in Lagos, Nigeria, and founded by Africa Internet Group and has MTN as one of the investors. Jovago, Africa’s No.1 booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to provide them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. Jovago has over 10,000 local hotel listings across Africa and over 200,000 hotels around the world.
The impact of this is that you can travel across borders within Africa and have your accommodation sorted out with ease at the click of a button by one portal. For instance, a tourist with a plan to visit Lagos Nigeria for a week, spend the next week in Nairobi Kenya and later head to Zanzibar Tanzania can simply rely on a single portal to book hotels in these 3 different countries at once. This has been made possible by advancements in technology and ever growing Internet penetration in Africa.