How Tiketi.com aims to streamline Africa’s travel industry one unique travel experience at a time

0
35

 Founded by Joachim Freyhold Tiketi.com, is an international online marketplace allowing travelers to search and reserve tours and activities in Africa.

The firm which just launched Africa’s first travel activities app available on Android offers a curated selection of unique travel experiences for a variety of popular destinations around Africa. Customers can find a number of African tours and activities on our website and mobile app at the best prices. These experiences can be booked easily either before a traveler’s trip to Africa or on a whim as visitors arrive on the continent.

“As a travel destination, a place to do business and an economy, Africa continues to rise,” said Freyhold in a statement to TechMoran. “The continent has seen growth like never before over the last decade and a half. Through Tiketi.com and our mobile app, travellers can experience this growing set of nations like never before. Africa is so diverse. Visitors can explore the eastern coast in countries such as Kenya, Zanzibar or Tanzania. Travellers could find their destination to be South Africa and all the wonderful sites located there.”

Freyhold adds that Africa is vast and has so many great travel destinations and that is the major reason Tiketi.com was created.

Tiketi aims to provide specialized tours and travel packages that allow tourists to experience Africa like never before. Freyhold believes Tiketi is a truly unique concept and one that will change the way travellers see the continent especially with the growing interest of travel to Africa.

According to E-Unto.org, in 2016, there was approximately 58 million travellers who visited Africa. Freyhold says that number is likely set to increase in the coming years as Africa becomes even more of a place to do business. Tiketi will help the travellers find things to do once on the continent.

Tiketi.com was created like many startups and other ventures. Freyhold launched it as a blog while working full-time for a tech company in Berlin, Germany. It was something he did on the side as a way to relax, write and share what he loved about Africa. 

“As I saw the potential of the website grow, I decided to progress my idea for what Tiketi.com should be. Later, I expanded the service to a flight comparison website, but noticed that this service was not working very well in the most African countries. It was an example of trial and error, but it helped me develop the path I wanted the website to pursue,” said the Tanzanian-born entrepreneur.

In 2016, he changed the business model and launched a new website for selling tours and activities and since then, he has seen Tiketi.com go to new heights he had only dreamed it to reach previously. At the moment, the five people startup hopes to add more great members to the team as business grows.

“I noticed how easy it was to book flights and hotels in Africa while itinerary planning and things to do were far less straightforward. There is so much to see and do in Africa, yet most travellers don’t or won’t know how to go about booking these activities. Therefore, I wanted Tiketi.com to fill the market and set travellers up with great activities,” Freyhold said.

There were an estimated 58 million people who visited Africa in 2016. That is a lot of travelers. However, there is still a huge gap in Africa tours and activities market compared to other regions such as Asia and the Pacific which had a 9% increase in international arrivals, followed by Africa at +8% in 2016.

“It was a gap I felt no one was making any attempt to fill. Due to this gap, I felt there was an opportunity to reinvent the inefficient supply chain of the tours and activities that is fragmented and largely offline, hence individual operators often do not have resources to spend on marketing or technology and the lack of price transparency due to multiple layers of distribution in the traditional travel activities space,” he said adding that the lack of price transparency is a major detractor for travellers from North America, Asia and Europe as they fear they might get ripped off far from home, so Tiketi.com can put their minds at rest.

With direct partnerships, Tiketi.com connects travelers directly with local operators to negotiate exclusive deals that offer significant discounts to travellers. The platform also vets vendors and their services to reduce fraud. Tiketi’s launch of its mobile apps even makes booking of travel activities easy and on the go.

“Now, visitors to Africa, no matter if they are travellers to Nairobi or businessmen in Cape Town, can use the Tiketi.com app and book a one of a kind experience. We currently focus on Africa, catering to the continent’s own tourists as well as inbound travellers,” 

Travel is an extremely competitive market to be in and is very much prone to a winner-takes-all situation.  If you look at flight and hotel bookings, most brands are either owned by Expedia and Priceline, and these players are also starting to get into the activities booking space. The problem is, these companies offer the same activities that everyone can experience. Tiketi.com wants to give its customers a true taste of Africa, not a western idea of what our competitors think travellers want to see. Rivals mostly cover western destinations and cater for western travellers and the online penetration in tours and activities remains quite low. Tiketi currently focuses on Africa, catering to the continent’s own tourists as well as inbound travellers. Again, Africa’s economy is growing and we want those people on the continent with their new money to enjoy travelling around their homeland.

I´m also optimistic that the boom in inbound visitors to Africa will put Tiketi’s business in a good position. As with all startups there are ups and downs. However, I feel Tiketi.com is a unique company offering one of a kind adventures.

Tiketi.com is 100% self-funded and is available in four languages versions. The firm has also started new regional websites that focus solely on its tours in South Africa, Nigeria, and Kenya-three destinations that most popular for African customers. 

Currently, Tiketi is operating in South Africa, Tanzania and Zanzibar, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe and Morocco for both African tourists and western tourists. In 2019, Tiketi aims to expand to Nigeria, Algeria, Rwanda, Uganda, Tunisia, Egypt, Cape Verde, Mozambique and Mauritius. 

The firm is also planning to offer exclusive deals and instant ticketing to help set it from the competition. Tiketi follows a commission model of between 12% and 20% on activities booked.

The travel activity space is a lot more segmented compared to hotels and airlines says the founder adding that there was a challenge in communicating with more and wider arrays of suppliers to form direct partnerships. However, partnering directly with suppliers also brought a long-term competitive advantage, which includes having better prices, a seamless integration for better user experience, and higher efficiency for suppliers.