Distribution services and e-commerce provider Travelport has announced its investment plans for East Africa in response to recent research from Euromonitor International, which says that the GDP growth in East Africa is set to peak at 7% by 2017.
Following the opening of the company’s Kenyan office in April, it is now aiming to boost its hub in Nairobi to provide more on-the-ground expertise and support in commercial, product and customer training and support aspects.
The company is also intending to focus more on online and mobile technologies to complement existing products already available in the region such as Mobile Agent, which enables agents to gain access to Galileo desktop from their smartphone, and View Trip Mobile, the itinerary management tool.
Mark Meehan, managing director of the company’s Africa division said: “Travelport has a long history in Africa spanning over 20 years and this remains a strategic investment region for us. We have continued to grow our footprint across the continent and in the last 18 months alone we’ve added ten new countries to our African network. We now operate in 47 countries with more in the pipeline.
“We will therefore continue to invest in Africa – and the east Africa region – through a solid product and business stagey in 2013/14, continuing to grow our regional presence and addressing the evolving needs of our customers. The recent positive feedback we received from our customers, who attended our first ever east Africa customer conference in Zanzibar, indicates we’re definitely on the right track in this region.”
Subsequent research also indicates that the tourism industry in sub-Saharan Africa is continuing to develop quickly, with a 4.7% increase in arrivals in 2012 – higher than the global average of 4.3% and second only to Asia Pacific with 5.1%. By 2017, the number of tourists travelling to sub-Saharan Africa is expected to reach 42.6million.