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Africa paves the way for travel innovation with the launch of a new Travel Marketplace

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All eyes are on Africa as a trendsetter in travel innovation as the continent saw the launch of a new and unique Travel Marketplace this month.

Powered by Amadeus technology, Jumia Travel has created a platform that will enable travel agents, airlines and travel websites to bring their best flight content online. Current statistics indicate that 90% of the flight market is still offline while only 10% exists online.

Africa blog

“Often considered as the ‘Amazon of Africa’, Jumia has a very successful business model with a strong footprint in Nigeria,” says Yann Gilbert, GM Amadeus Nigeria. “It was natural for the company to use their strong African footprint to move into travel industry. Amadeus has been at Jumia’s side from the moment the travel seed was planted. We can’t wait to see the tree grow.”

“We are delighted to be working with Jumia to deliver the online choice and marketplace experience that travelers love. Air travel is booming globally, with growth among passengers in Africa projected to outstrip that of every other region by 2035,” commented Francesca Benati, Executive Vice President for Online Travel in Western Europe, Middle East and Africa, Travel Channels, Amadeus.

To meet this growing demand, Francesca explains Jumia has selected Amadeus e-Power delivered via Web Services, which offers a mobile and tablet-friendly online booking experience. It is designed to help consumers find the best deals faster, thanks to Amadeus’ market leading shopping and booking technology.

Africa blog

“It’s a first for Africa, but also for the world,” Federica Noli, IT Account Manager at Amadeus and Vivian Meril, Sales Manager Amadeus Sales Travel Technology told Amadeus Africa. “Even outside of Africa, people are taking note of this evolution.”

“Jumia is continuously investing significantly in developing innovative products for travellers and flight content providers that will enable them to revolutionise their operations and increase revenue,” says Sérgio Figueiredo, Jumia’s Head of Flights. “We understand the market and address its needs. A competitive platform will harmonise all content providers to offer low rates and fees in a bid to meet an increasing traveller demand for unbeatable services at the lowest price.”

Jumia Travel is using Amadeus e-Power Web Services to aggregate the best content and offers from travel partners throughout Africa. Although e-Power Web Services is not new, nor has it been tailormade, Jumia has been creative in the way they decided to use e-Power. They’ve used the term market place, which means they want to be the go-to place where travelers can source fares from all the best travel agencies on a pan-African level.

Important to note is that Jumia is not a travel agency, nor does the provider wants to be a travel agent. Instead, the company has approached travel agencies across the continent.

Says Federica: “They’ve forged agreements with travel agents, who give Jumia access to their agency’s Office IDs. And this is where Amadeus steps in: we do all the necessary technical work required to make sure the agent’s office ID is included into the e-Power Web Services of Jumia”

As the equivalent of ‘Amazon of Africa’, Jumia generates a lot of web traffic, which creates a huge opportunity for travel agents to gain exposure. Amadeus e-Power is acting as a platform which consolidates the content of all the travel agencies and travel providers Jumia is using across Africa. When someone visits the website to look for a fare from Johannesburg to Nairobi, Jumia uses Amadeus’ e-Power Web Services to source the right fare with the selected travel partner.

Travel agents working with Jumia don’t need to be online, but they do need to be IATA-accredited agents and they need to be able to handle the volume of traffic the site generates. Jumia is looking for serious travel partners, who will be able to handle the entire travel support function, from the issuing of the ticket to changes and refunds. The partners they choose need to be able to provide services any day of the week, any time of the year, 24/7.

For travel agents, this is a huge opportunity to get into the online space, according to Vivian. “Jumia should be seen as a digital enabler as the company offers a way for travel agents to get into the online space.”

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