Increase in travel bookings to Africa

Figures from Expedia, the world’s largest online travel company, show a 27 percent increase in the number of travel bookings being made to Africa in the past year. Expedia, which also owns the Hotels.com travel website, said the majority of international consumer demand coming from travellers in the UK, the US and France.

Expedia, Inc. released data showing a 27% increase in the number of travel bookings being made to Africa and the Indian Ocean regions on Expedia and Hotels.com travel sites worldwide over the past 12 months, with the majority of international consumer demand coming from travelers in the U.K., the U.S. and France. The number of Africa and Indian Ocean region hotels currently working with Expedia has also increased, growing well over 100% during the same period of time.

“We’re confident that recent influx of travel demand seen by our Africa hotel partners is indicative to the value Expedia brings to its supply partners throughout Africa and on a global scale,” said Diego Lofeudo, Expedia Market Director for Africa. “Ultimately our goal is to bring Africa to the online travel marketplace, and online travel to Africa, and as such we’re very much looking forward to further developing relationships with hotels throughout Africa and assisting them in developing more effective online distribution strategies to achieve their occupancy and revenue goals.”

Today Expedia offers more than 135,000 hotels on its travel booking sites, making available those hotels on the more than 100 localized Expedia and Hotels.com online travel sites in over 60 countries across the globe. Collectively, these sites attract more than 50 million travel shoppers each month, vastly extending the global reach for a hotel far beyond what they could otherwise likely achieve on their own.

In addition to its expanding presence throughout Africa, U.S.-based Expedia also has operations in North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and South America. The company also employs a global supply team comprised of hundreds of travel professions placed in local markets around the world whose focus is on developing relationships with local hoteliers and counseling those partners on creating effective strategies to drive incremental demand using the numerous merchandising and promotional opportunities Expedia offers. Expedia plans to expand this team further by establishing South Africa-based operations later this year in an effort to assist an even larger number of hotel partners throughout Africa and the Indian Ocean regions interested in extending their reach to an ever-increasing global audience of travelers.

Representatives from Expedia will be in Durban, South Africa later this week to exhibit at the fifth-annual Indaba Travel Show from May 7th-10th. Expedia and Hotels.com delegates from across the Hotel, Tour and Transport, Technology and Media lines of business will also be in attendance to meet with local travel suppliers interested in learning more about the benefits of becoming part of Expedia’s global online travel marketplace.

Travel has always been a bright spot for many African nations since they have much to offer in the field of tourism and adventure.  The increase of visitors and tourists will continue solidly especially from Asia as more people from that region of the world move into the middle class.  The increase from Europe and US is not a surprise since visitors from those regions have traditionally gone to Africa, the real growth for the long term will come from Asia.

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