Technology Start-ups to Boost African Tourism

Technology Start-ups to Boost African Tourism

Technology start-ups are flourishing across Africa which is helping to boost the economy and offer a fresh image to international tourists, reveals the WTM Global Trends Report 2015, in association with Euromonitor International, released today (Monday 2 November) at World Travel Market London.

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 US$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.

Two examples of these ‘aspiring Silicon Valleys’ in Africa are Hope City in Ghana and the Konza Technology City in Kenya. To be successful these hubs must have investment in infrastructure, including transportation and education. All of the new technology cities have plans for hotel developments, which hold potential for both local and international properties.

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 (CAGR) of 5% for South Africa and 6% for Kenya over 2014-2019, according to Euromonitor International.

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, Nigeria’s largest online hotel booking site. Mark Essien, CEO, 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 travellers’ needs,” said Essien.

Another company,, 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.

World Travel Market, Senior Director, Simon Press said: “The introduction of technology hubs in Africa can have a massive knock-on effect for the whole continent.

“Not only do they provide a huge increase of jobs and boost economy but it benefits the whole travel industry with increased flights and hotel bookings.”

Caroline Bremner, Head of Travel at Euromonitor International, added: “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.”


About WTM Global Trends Report, in association with Euromonitor International

Celebrating 10 years of partnership, the leading global travel event World Travel Market (WTM) and strategic global market research provider Euromonitor International are pleased to reveal the top travel trends in the WTM Global Trends Report 2015, in association with Euromonitor International. For ten consecutive years, the report has been at the forefront of accurately predicting major travel trends around the world, looking at how the travel industry is developing in a rapidly changing landscape. The WTM Global Travel Trends Report, in association with Euromonitor International, offers an insight into to the size and shape of travel and tourism and identifies pressing industry issues, emerging brands, destinations and demographics, growth categories and consumer trends.

About World Travel Market London

WTM London, the leading global event for the travel industry, is the must-attend four-day business-to-business exhibition for the worldwide travel and tourism industry.

Almost 51,500 senior travel industry professionals, government ministers and international press, embark on ExCeL – London every November to network, negotiate and discover the latest industry opinion and trends at WTM.

WTM London, now in its 36th year, is the event where the travel industry conducts and concludes its deals. WTM 2014 will generate around £2.5 billion of travel industry contracts.

WTM London is part of Reed Travel Exhibition’s World Travel Market events, which also includes Arabian Travel Market, World Travel Market Latin America and World Travel Market Africa.

World Travel Market Events

World Travel Market is comprised of the leading leisure travel events in the world; World Travel Market London, WTM Latin America in Sao Paulo, WTM Africa in Cape Town and Arabian Travel Market in Dubai.

New events for 2016 are WTM connect Asia and WTM connect China, which join WTM connect Ski and International Golf Travel Market. These unique one-to-one events are targeted at leisure and niche travel markets, allowing exhibitors to exclusively meet with elite hosted buyers.

The World Travel Market events are attended by the global travel and tourism industry’s senior executives to conduct business deals and discover the latest research, insight and opinion.

In 2014, the World Travel Market events facilitated around $7 billion in industry deals from negotiations between the more than 15,000 buyers, 9,500 exhibitors (1,500 main stand holders and 8,000 stand sharers) in attendance of its four events.

WTM is  part of Reed travel Exhibitions, the leading events organizer in the travel industry, and is owned by the world’s leading events organiser Reed Exhibitions.

Reed Travel Exhibitions

Reed Travel Exhibitions (RTE) is the world’s leading provider of exhibitions in the travel and tourism industry. Its wide-ranging portfolio of events around the globe covers leisure travel, luxury travel, meetings, incentives and business travel, as well as golf, ski and spa travel.

RTE, which organises more than 22 events around the world, includes three divisions; World Travel Market, IBTM Events and International Luxury Travel Market.

RTE is a business unit of Reed Exhibitions.

About Reed Exhibitions

Reed Exhibitions is the world’s leading events organiser, with over 500 events in 43 countries. In 2014 Reed brought together over seven million event participants from around the world generating billions of dollars in business. Today Reed events are held throughout the Americas, Europe, the Middle East, Asia Pacific and Africa and organised by 41 fully staffed offices. Reed Exhibitions serves 43 industry sectors with trade and consumer events. It is part of the RELX Group plc, a world-leading provider of information solutions for professional customers across industries.

About Euromonitor International

Euromonitor International is the world’s leading provider for global business intelligence and strategic market analysis. We have over 40 years of experience publishing international market reports, business reference books and online databases on consumer markets. We deliver market research solutions to support strategic planning for today’s increasingly international business environment. Our research offers in-depth market analysis on consumer goods and services industries worldwide, as well as economic, demographic and socio-economic data and insight on countries and consumers. Euromonitor International is headquartered in London, with regional offices in Chicago, Singapore, Shanghai, Vilnius, Sao Paulo, Santiago, Dubai, Cape Town, Tokyo, Sydney and Bangalore, and has a network of over 800 analysts worldwide.

World Travel Market brings the travel industry together through world leading events, content and digital tools, that make it easier for you to find personal and business opportunities and do more effective business.


  1. Pingback: Made In Africa: The Rise Of Tech-Based Travel Startups - The Africa Channel

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