Travel

Uganda’s Hospitality Industry Booming Thanks to E-Commerce

A staggering 70.9% of Uganda’s population uses mobile phones which makes it 24.8mn people. Due to fast internet connectivity a major chunk of the population has become tech savvy. If there are any queries they tend to look for answers on the internet first. As a result many e-commerce platforms have grown bigger over the past few years.

Uganda is readily accepting new technologies as Africa is just ripe for digital revolution today. The introduction of ecommerce in travelling has proven to be a game-changer in Uganda. These online platforms make it very easy to research a travel destination for booking conveyance or accommodation.

Transformation in the Hospitality Industry

In 2013 Jovago.com was launched an online portal for booking hotels and flights as the idea was pervasive in many developed countries. Initially it faced a lot of difficulties as the hotel owners were reluctant to this change. None of the hotels had any online presence and Jovago offered them a simple deal. The hotels would enlist with Jovago free of cost so that people could search, find and book hotels. But the hoteliers were finding it hard to believe that Jovago was an actual travel agent because it was internet based.

In 2016 the company was renamed to Jumia Travel so that it could be easily associated with online shopping giant Jumia. It is the African equivalent of Amazon and has huge presence in 23 countries. From there Jumia Travel’s business started to improve.

The hoteliers sensed the business opportunity in collaborating with Jumia Travel was big because Jumia was a trusted company. It was in fact the first-ever e-commerce platform for Africa.

Use of Social Media to Boost Tourism

It is everybody’s dream to travel around the world. People wish to go to attractive destinations like France, Italy, Australia, The US, etc. We choose these places mainly because we have seen beautiful depictions of them in movies and pictures. There might be places which are equally beautiful maybe even more and yet are not much renowned.

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Dei Technologies an international firm have recently launched a social networking app called DeiPlaces in Uganda. The firm wants the world to know how beautiful Africa is by promoting lesser known tourist destinations. In functioning it is basically similar to Instagram where people upload their pictures to share with friends and family. The slight difference is that in DeiPlaces people are encouraged to share pictures that hold relevance in the destination market. For example, the picture should be such that it captures the beauty of a location in true sense. The developers have said that they have designed bots to prevent use of this app for purposes other than destination marketing.

The consumer-centric approach of the ecommerce platforms in hospitality industry has seen it grow leaps and bounds in just a couple of years. The upsurge has continued in 2018. Use of technology to promote tourism domestically and internationally has also proven beneficial. As more Ugandans travel locally and more tourist arrive this industry is well placed to contribute massively to the Ugandan GDP.

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