Jovago.com has signed up the first of Somali hotels to Africa’s leading online booking platform. This milestone comes at a time when the global hospitality industry is shifting gear in response to the e-Commerce wave sweeping through the sector.
Commenting on the new entry, Estelle Verdier, Managing Director for Jovago.com East and Southern Africa expressed her optimism in the country’s rebirth process quoting that, “Jovago transcends every border, as being in Somalia means being everywhere in Africa. She went on to note that, “the country has attracted new attention from Africa and beyond owing to the many aspects put in place for its reconstruction. Jovago therefore is seeking to align Somalia’s hotel sector proportionately with the new age customer trends and purchasing decisions” Analysis by market leaders such as World Travel Market and Euromonitor indicate ever increasing numbers with a market moving 96% of primary travel searches taking place online.
The threat of piracy and Al-Shabab attacks in Somalia’s waters for a long time consequently restricted the country’s internet connection to satellites and Dial up services. This was until late in 2013, when Liquid Telecom introduced the country’s first fiber optic broadband link in capital Mogadishu; finally marking the first phase of opening up Somali to the world of opportunities on the World Wide Web.
Part of this, as Shiraar Hared Rage the CEO for Idman Ocean View Camp in Mogadishu cites is ensuring that Somalia’s hotel sector also benefits from this new culture. His hotel, which has been operational since 2004 has embraced social media as part of its strategy to remain visible in the market. According to the entrepreneur, internet marketing not only paves way for building relations with previous and potential customers, but also helps businesses in cutting costs incurred through communication.
Mogadishu, has seen a new awakening and rise from years of anarchy with long closed embassies re-opening and hitherto abandoned government offices springing back to life. It’s also home to diplomatic organizations as well as institutions of higher learning with a tech-hungry youth population that will benefit majorly from reliable internet connection.
Owing to the recent progress in fighting the Islamist militias and the establishment of the African Union, United Nations and US backed Federal Government, Somalia may finally be on her way to leaping benefits from a well-established telecoms industry. According to BuddeComm, a global independent telecommunications research and consultancy company, the country is on to a better connected future with a 58% penetration in mobile and 2.1% internet penetration rate forecasted by the end of 2015.
Security remains the key to the country’s stability that will pave way for infrastructure and development. As for now, the population will have to trust in the country’s rebirth process.