We’re creating a more connected travel industry, underpinned by sustainability and long-term investor relations.
Head of Leisure and Online Travel, Global Customers, Travel Channels, Amadeus
Like all good relationships, each values the other and provides support, strength and growth.
We recently sat down with Stephan Ekbergh, CEO of Travelstart, who told us about how a Scandinavian native made it to South Africa to establish one of the most successful online travel agencies, and explained what it takes to succeed in today’s online world.
As Stephan mentions 'Africa is really a different animal when it comes to online, especially when it comes to travel'. They face challenges such as Internet access, and the fact that the economy is largely based on cash. Travelstart gets around this problem by personalising their distribution and delivery options for their local customer: in Lagos, Nairobi, Mombasa, for example, they receive cash on delivery of e-tickets.
Constant innovation and ensuring they have the best technology is a key element to their business success. Describing themselves as pioneers and even pathfinders, they work every day to make a big difference for their customers, leveraging the multicultural aspect of the company, going the extra mile with the customer service they provide and adapting to all the various market conditions.
Both our companies have had a business relationship for over 15 years, a relationship which has grown stronger year after year. Travelstart value our commitment to them, our capacity to innovate, the valuable exchange between our companies that feeds their business success. The recent renewal of our agreement reflects this mutual understanding. Stephan sums this up in his own words: ‘Amadeus is not just a silent partner, they also act as a sounding board: we can discuss issues, industry trends and solutions. We feel this is more valuable than just the normal access to inventory and fares. This is absolutely instrumental for our growth and success. There is no-one in the industry who can do what they want to do without being a strong partner with Amadeus.’
Travelstart was founded in Cape Town in 2006 and their reach is not only in South Africa, they are also present in Kenya, Nigeria, Tanzania, Egypt, Turkey, the Middle East and are aiming for global expansion. They have big plans and are simply unstoppable.
We look forward to accompanying them as they continue on this journey.