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Nigerian Travellers Embracing Online Travel Booking

By Big Ambitions
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The future success for Nigerian travel agencies lies in their ability to embrace the mobile revolution and reach out to their customers on the platforms they prefer.

According to a recent study commissioned by Amadeus and conducted by independent research firm Inquisition, some 25% of Nigerian travellers said they booked with online travel agencies, 12% above the African average.

The research also revealed that Nigerian travellers are more likely to book their travel less than a month prior to travel. Some 60% of Nigerian travellers polled book one month prior to travel, 30% one to three months and 10% more than three months.

Surveying the mobile travel behaviours of 2 500 travellers across Angola, Ghana, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Nigeria, Senegal and South Africa, the study shows travellers in Africa are increasingly taking control of booking online tools but still rely on traditional agencies for booking travel. At least 34% of African travellerssay they book with their travel agent and 16% of travel agencies with travel agencies that have a website.

There is a move toward self-management of travel services across the travel experience from pre-booking travel research, through to booking, and managing a travel experience.

Says Yann Gilbert, General Manager Nigeria at Amadeus IT Group: “Travel booking management will continue to migrate from brick-and-mortar travel agencies to travel agencies with online and mobile service provision as smartphone penetration increases so travel agencies offering online booking and management services will increase their competitiveness in the Nigerian market.”

Top-rated Mobile Services
Reviewing and rating services ranks top among Nigerian travellers when it comes to their use of mobile phones for travel. And at least 53% of Nigerian travellers use their mobile phones to plan a hotel stay based on their schedule and 50% use social media on their mobiles to share their trip.

The favoured apps used by African travellers are those that help travellers orientate themselves and which act as a virtual tourist guide, the latter providing an opportunity for travel agents in Africa to offer a more concierge-style service for travellers.

Integration with existing applications: social, navigation, and ratings-and-reviews is also a key requirement for an ideal mobile travel application for the African traveller.

When it comes to online payments, the study shows that Nigerian travellers have the highest propensity in Africa to pay for a service on their smartphone. At least 40% of Nigerian travellers polled said they had saved debit or credit card information to their phone, while 22% pay for their travel directly with the travel agency.

The willingness of Nigerian travellers to engage and transact on mobile and online platforms shows that travel agencies that offer online booking and management services will increase their relevance for Nigerian travellers in the future, says Gilbert.

“The future success for Nigerian travel agencies thus lies in their ability to embrace the mobile revolution and reach out to their customers on the platforms they prefer. This includes building a mobile app that allows Nigerian travellers to manage all their travel services from their mobile phone, from pre-booking travel research, through to booking and managing their travel experiences.”

About Amadeus
Amadeus is a leading provider of advanced technology solutions for the global travel industry. Customer groups include travel providers (e.g. airlines, hotels, rail and ferry operators, etc.), travel sellers (travel agencies and websites), and travel buyers (corporations and travel management companies).

The Amadeus group employs around 13,000 people worldwide, across central sites in Madrid (corporate headquarters), Nice (development) and Erding (operations), as well as 71 local Amadeus Commercial Organisations globally.

Amadeus has been present in Africa since 1992 when a distribution agreement was signed with Air Mauritius. In 2001, we established operations in Nigeria with offices in Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja.Today Amadeus is present in 100% of the territory across 48 countries.

The group operates a transaction-based business model. Amadeus is listed on the Spanish Stock Exchange under the symbol “AMS.MC” and is a component of the IBEX 35 index.

To find out more about Amadeus please visit www.amadeus.com for more on the travel industry.

About Inquisition
Inquisition is a research and strategy consultancy based in Johannesburg, South Africa.