Africa is an often overlooked continent, but businesses are beginning to change their perceptions and see the region as a land of opportunity and prosperity.
According to Africa’s Business Revolution report by McKinsey & Company, global business leaders who misunderstand Africa run the risk of missing out on one of the century’s greatest growth opportunities.
Africa’s current population is around 1.2 billion and is projected to double over the next 30 years, making it an exception in a world of slowing population growth. It will soon be the fastest-urbanising region in the world, with emerging business travel spends, and is expected to outgrow global counterparts.
Vicente Bosque, Commercial Director Business Travel Africa for Amadeus, explains that Amadeus has identified two key growth opportunities for business travel agencies in Africa.
He says: “First, investing in online self-booking tools to deliver more value to corporations and better experience to business travellers. Second, diversify beyond air and leverage the potential of hotel bookings.”
Bosque explains that to discuss these growth opportunities and trends in more detail, Amadeus recently hosted some of its business travel agency (BTA) customers in Zanzibar, Africa.
These were some of the key takeaways:
- The future of business travel
Business travellers are increasingly expecting personalised experiences through new and innovative technology. Business travel agencies have an opportunity to positively impact this traveller experience with the right content and interfaces at their fingertips.
- Travel content distribution disruption
Today, differentiation, personalisation and retailing with servicing are key. Both airlines and BTAs are evolving the way they create, distribute and sell their offers. New technology standards like NDC can not only help them differentiate but also bring revenue opportunities to the entire value chain.
- Growing revenue with hotels made simpler and more rewarding
With the hospitality sector consolidating and tapping multiple distribution channels, it’s key for BTAs to offer hotel and accommodation options within their portfolio. It’ll not only increase revenues and margins by selling new services but positively impact the traveller experience thanks to a more integrated itinerary.
- The gold rush to online
A digitalised travel economy means more self-service online bookings. It’s vital for BTAs to service travellers on their preferred mobile devices, so they can get end-to-end service with the click of a button. Business travel agencies can help corporations and travellers do this with the right technology partner.
- Transforming tomorrow’s travel & preparing for it today
With the technology industry quickly evolving, multiple technologies are emerging including the use of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Amadeus is actively understanding how these will increasingly impact travel and what value they will bring to the travel ecosystem. We believe that innovation is about doing things differently. So, working together with our customers is crucial to ensure we deploy the right technology that meets current needs and is ready to fulfil future expectations.
“Next-generation technology, such as the one Amadeus offers, can take businesses to the next level,” says Bosque. “For BTAs to survive and thrive, they are constantly reinventing themselves and leveraging new technology to their advantage. In Africa, BTAs are already investing in online self-booking tools to create additional value to their customers and diversify beyond air to take advantage of the hotel bookings potential.”
With strong partners and a collaborative approach, Bosque explains that everyone can capitalise on opportunities in the current transforming business environment. He says: “We’re here to support BTAs and help businesses grow, maximise revenue, optimise costs and excel in serving their customers.”