From having just 17.4 million tourists in 1990 to about 65.3 million visitors in 2014, it can be said that the African tourism sector has grown immensely over the years. According to the Word Tourism Organization, the strong growth of the African Tourism industry by 4% in 2014 made it the second fastest growing tourist destination in the world.
The growth of the African tourism industry cannot be attributed to just mere foreign curiosity, however. It is the result of a more proactive approach by both the governments and private organizations to improve the overall face and running of the tourism industry. Slimtrader is one of those African organizations that are committed to improving the overall functionality of the African tourism industry, to make it one of the most profitable in the world.
We have therefore curated 5 ways SlimTrader is improving the Nigerian and Sub-Saharan African tourism industry.
Slimtrader provides technology that improves the functionality and visibility of businesses across Africa. The technology provided by Slimtrader can be modified to fit any business in Africa, but it was first put to use in the tourism industry. Dubbed “MoBiashara For Hotels’, the name literally translates to “More Business for Hotels” and is a multifaceted technological outlet that provides an avenue for hotel owners and managers to put their businesses out there for millions of potential guests to see, while simultaneously providing technology to process and organize information that concern the day-to-day operation of the hotels.
By providing visibility for hotels on multiple channels, Slimtrader is providing potential clients with an easier way to find the kind of accommodation they are searching for, which translates directly to more sales and better recognition for hotels. Also, by providing hotels with an easier way to collate sales and inventory, they are able to better calculate their profits and losses, which means that they are able to improve their profit margin- this improvement reflects directly on the growth of the tourism industry. In more ways than one, Slimtrader as a company and as a brand is actively contributing to the growth of the African tourism industry.
2) Collaborations – HotelNowNow, Expedia, Booking.com, etc
SlimTrader has collaborated with OTAs like Hotelnownow.com, Booking.com and Expedia to help hotel operators reach even more people. For every hotel shared on these platforms, stories are told about the experiences prospective guests should expect.
The biggest challenge for any tourist is accommodation. As soon as they decide they want to experience, for example, the thrill of climbing Olumo Rock, the next thing they want to get out of the way is where they would stay while in Ogun State. Because of the existence of OTAs like Jumia Travel, Hotels.NG and HotelNowNow.com, people can easily check out hotels and select the one they want, according to their tastes and budget. But is that really an easy choice? Have you ever seen beautiful pictures of a hotel, lush bed, and so on, but when you got there, you were disappointed beyond words? That is where proper professional hotel reviews come in.
We are excited about what hotelnownow.com is doing regarding this. They have engaged the services of a professional hotel reviewer who goes by the name ‘Travel Man’. He visits hotels and tells unbiased stories about them – stories that inform the choices of potential guests.
4) Social Media
In this fast-paced world where the attention span of the average millennial is short, sticky Social Media content is the best way to be seen and heard, above the fray. In the tourism industry, Social Media is the biggest driver of conversations. Illustrating simply: A goes to Yankari, tells stories about his experience on Social Media, and as a result, B packs her bag and starts going; C has added Yankari to his bucket-list while D who has been spending holidays outside Nigeria is wondering why she has not experienced Yankari yet. One person shared his story, now four people want to go. That is the power of story-telling on Social Media and Slimtrader pushes out thought-provoking and engaging social media content to keep the existing and potential clients in the loop.
SlimTrader has organized events (#SlimTraderHotelSummit) to train hotel operators on how to generate more revenue. And, amongst other tips, we emphasized on storytelling – from digitizing operations to telling powerful stories through the images they share on OTAs to effectively using Social Media to engage with potential guests.