Toyin’ with travel technology in Africa

Joke Adeyemi

Sales & Marketing, Director, Nigeria, Amadeus IT Group

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Gadgets and games – that’s what used to make Toyin Odutayo, Executive Director, Technology at Wakanow.com tick when she was young.

Toyin’ with travel technology in Africa

Her passion for travel, however, came a bit later in life. Toyin explains that when she moved back to Nigeria in 2001, she used to take ‘sanity breaks’ back to the UK to meet up with family and friends.

“I realised quickly that I enjoyed travelling. At the drop of a hat, I would jump onto a plane to go visit an exciting destination.”

Toyin says her goal for the future is to continue to be instrumental in what Wakanow.com is buildingin Africa as a key player in technology and travel.

Wakanow.com is a proudly African company and the leading booking portal for Nigerians, Africans and Africans overseas according to Toyin.

“We’ve raised the bar for the travel landscape in Africa,”

- she tells us proudly, adding that the company was awarded the ‘fastest growing company in Nigeria’ in 2013 at the Allworld Network Awards.

For Toyin, Amadeus is a great partner for life in travel technology.

“Amadeus is the trailblazer when it comes to travel technology in Nigeria. The solutions they have, the information they have, the way they employ solutions, how they apply it to the different environments… Certainly for Nigeria, they have gone a long way to help the adoption of technology in the constraints that we face as a country.”

Although Toyin is proud of Wakanow.com’s online presence and growth, she explains that it is important to also have a physical presence, especially in Africa. Wakanow.com has a presence throughout Nigeria, as well as in the UK, Dubai and Ghana. She says:

“In Africa, when you think about trust, it is still related to a physical being. It is important to offer a personalised service if you want to keep market share and gain market share.”

Globalisation and mobile are the two technology trends that Toyin feels will have a major impact on the future of travel. She says:

“Globalisation is not a new thing. It’s one of the things that came into play when e-commerce opened up in 2000, but it’s something we are seeing a lot more of in the travel industry now.”

Mobile will also continue to play an important role, especially in developing countries.

“People are accessing the Internet via their mobile phones in most developing countries. So, the travel industry will need to develop apps or sites that are quick and that give good information and can give good turnaround.”

Check out our Fly Africa blog seriesas well as our other stories from Africato hear more about the travel and technology space in the region.


Middle East, Travel Platform