Travelstart, Africa’s fastest growing global travel search site will be the first website in Tanzania to offer mobi-site bookings via mobile devices.
The mobile website, available at http://www.travelstart.co.tz, automatically detects and adjusts to different mobile device screens and allows customers to search, book and pay for domestic and international flights. Booking confirmation is received instantly via email.
Research by the Tanzania Communication Regulatory Authority indicates that more than 80% of the country’s population has access to at least one mobile network, and over 60% own a mobile device. Travelstart Tanzania Country Manager Sadiq Walji sees these as a statistics as a major motivator for online businesses in the country.
“Mobile connectivity in Tanzania accounts for a significant portion of Internet users who solely connect using their cellphones and tablet computers. This represents a vast, untapped market well within our potential customer base, and the mobile version of Travelstart is set to enhance our customers’ shopping experience as they seek real-time travel information and flight prices on the go.”
The online travel agency reported a 464% increase in mobile traffic to Travelstart.co.tz between 2012 and 2013 which further indicated the need for a mobi-site.
Filters can be applied to flight search results allowing customers to view flight options for specific airlines, times or simply by price. Once a flight is found, customers can book and pay for it directly from their mobile phone, or reserve the seat and pay for it later via one of Travelstart’s several payment methods.
Mobile communications have been the most omnipresent and fastest growing media technology in Tanzania in recent years. In addition to this, mobile devices are perceived as a potentially powerful tool because services are widely available, inexpensive, and instant.
“It’s an effective travel agent in your pocket”, said Walji, “and you don’t need the latest smartphone device to use the mobile version of the website. It’s an indispensable tool for travellers everywhere who are keen to search for flights on the go, and its saves time and money.”
Linked to the existing Travelstart.co.tz domain, the mobile-friendly version of the website has also been rolled out to the online travel agency’s international markets which include South Africa, Tanzania, Nigeria, and will be followed by Egypt, Turkey, Qatar, Bahrain and the UAE.