Amadeus celebrates a decade of presence in East Africa

AMADEUS EAST AFRICA CELEBRATES A DECADE OF SERVICE TO THE TRAVEL INDUSTRY

(Posted 03rd December 2013)

This coming Friday will Amadeus East Africa celebrate their 10th anniversary of entering the East African market in earnest with the establishment of offices across the region. Amadeus provides technology solutions to airlines, hotels, airports, travel agencies and corporations, among many others.

Ahead of this significant date has Amadeus commissioned a study to shed light on the latest trends across Eastern Africa and the key findings were made available by Amadeus and published here below for the benefit of the readers:

Business Travel sector in East Africa shows strong online potential

Amadeus-commissioned study, authored by World Wide Worx’s Arthur Goldstuck reveals East Africa’s strong business travel sector is seen as a barometer for online travel and e-commerce trends across the region. A major independent, continent-wide study that explores business travel in Africa has shown an increasing appetite for online booking and payments that holds the potential to launch a new chapter in the travel industry.

The study was commissioned by Amadeus, the leading provider of technology solutions for the travel industry, and conducted by South African research firm World Wide Worx led by Arthur Goldstuck who is a leading expert on Internet and mobile technology trends. “The research reveals a strong interest in online travel booking, with the roughly 50% of companies already doing so expected to grow to 70% in the short term,” comments Goldstuck. The study represents the first in-depth look at African trends and opportunities in the e-commerce space, particularly within the travel industry, and gathered the views of more than 1000 businesses across the continent.

We are committed to facilitating discussion on key industry trends around how the future of travel in Africa will be shaped,” says Santiago Jimenez, Director of Amadeus Sub-Saharan Africa. “This inaugural study shows that despite the disparate preferences, environments and available infrastructure across the different countries the overall potential for e-commerce is strong.”

The white paper identifies five key trends shaping decision making and consumer behaviour as they relate to online shopping preferences and travel booking. These are:

· Satisfying a special appetite: Electronic commerce is growing in Africa, but not in exactly the same mould as developed economies

· Africa is not a country: the differences in preferences, cultural tendencies and priorities are a hallmark of the e-commerce landscape

· Ring it up: lacking conventional online access, millions of Africans have turned to their phones to take advantage of increasingly sophisticated mobile services

· Have passport, will travel: African business travel is strong and growing, with a preference for online booking

· Strong corporate policies: Companies indicate a focus on centralised travel booking and corporate policies that drive their buying behaviour.

East Africa’s strong business travel sector is seen as an accurate barometer of online travel and ecommerce trends , even though significant differences are visible between neighbours Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania, there is huge digital potential says Juan Torres, General Manager, Amadeus East Africa.

The findings from businesses in the East Africa indicate that:

· Companies indicate a focus on centralised travel booking and corporate policies that drive their buying behavior. Of all African nations, Kenya has the second highest percentage of business policies that guide corporate travel bookings at 76%, only Uganda (85%) has a higher percentage.

· Technology will drive travel in the future: East Africa’s widespread adoption of digital and mobile technologies has spurred growth of e-commerce for online travel in Africa. Travel apps, money transfer and payment innovations like M-PESA have laid the groundwork that allows businesses to change how they book and pay for travel.

· Travel tools and applications come first: Staff in Uganda have shown the highest usage (73%) in the region of travel tools and applications when booking online travel. Kenya (70%) and Tanzania (68%) follow closely behind. This means that companies should heed the fact that consumers and clients prefer the ease of use and cost efficiency of applications and should therefore consider such tools in their digital strategy.

Goldstuck concludes that the common theme of ‘Africa is not a country’ is advice well heeded as clearly no one solution suits all countries, consumers or companies

The full report is available for download from http://amadeusblog.co.za/africa-shows-strong-e-commercepotential/

(10 years of Amadeus in East Africa)

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