Africa’s thriving travel industry is poised to redefine the way the continent and beyond is explored and with the advent of cutting-edge technology, the industry wants to transcend conventional boundaries by a full embrace of the power of innovation.
At the forefront of this digital transformation, Travelstart an online travel agency, has launched the first Artificial Intelligence (AI) Travel Assistance in Africa. With the digital age, AI emerges not just as a tool, but as an intuitive travel companion with the power of harnessing data to curate personalized experiences.
Travestart’s travel assistant is set to revolutionize the very essence of navigating the continent’s boundless wonders. With a focus on top-tier technology, the online travel agency provides its customers with the ease of searching and selecting their preferred local/international flights.
In a chat with Bukky Komolafe, Country Manager of Travelstart, she unveiled how the technology will reshape the online travel landscape and how the company is also setting standards in the industry.
Stating an overview of Travelstart, Bukky said that the company is a go-to platform for a stress free and convenient online travel agency for travellers anywhere at any time.
As explained by her, it is challenging for Nigerians to easily book travel as they go through booking their flights through the traditional approach, leading to an unnecessary chain of agencies.
“With Travelstart, all you need is to visit our website or mobile app. And you’ll be able to get access to more than 5,000 Airlines going to over 11,000 destinations.
“If you can think of a destination, Travelstarts sells flights to that destination. and you will be able to pay in local currency for your convenience.”, she added
According to her, the vast number of flights and options that the online travel agency offers while having a budget for everybody shows its affordability
“Whether you want to fly economy or business class, whether you want to fly direct or connect through other multiple cities, we offer a variety of prices based on whatever airline you prefer.”
As explained by Bukky, Travelstart gets tons of website visit for booking, because the online travel agency is easy to use, with no delays in the loading time.
Travelstart has been operating in Nigeria for over a decade and has airlifted passengers in hundreds of thousands through both domestic and international flights. according to Bukky, This reiterates the company’s passion and how Travelstart connects its customers to their ambitions.
Bukky further explains that one of the misconceptions about travel in Nigeria is that people travel as a luxury, she however dispelled the notion as she stated that Nigerians travel out for significant reasons, including education, medicals or business.
“And our job is to always ensure that our current and potential customers interacting with our products, have the ability to fulfil their ambition at the end of the day.”
On being the first online travel agency to launch an AI Travel Assistant, Bukky expressed delight in Travelstart as being a pioneer in this innovation. Beyond the fascinating technology, the AI can also converse in Nigeria’s local parlance, commonly called “Pidgin English”.
“And that is an important part because I think when most people talk about artificial intelligence, we all speak about it in responding in English. But one of the things that we’ve been able to achieve is not just launching the first travel assistant, but it’s to further differentiate ourselves by ensuring that our speaks Pidgin.
That for us is very exciting because it continues to show how we put the Nigerian customer first and continue to put solutions that are local. We want Nigerians to use an app they will be more comfortable with, as our goal is to expand to everyone, because not everybody speaks English in Nigeria, but most people speak pidgin, or some variation of it.”
This AI travel assistant also shows that Travelstart is thinking about how to make their trips, easy, stress-free convenient, where they can book anywhere, anytime.
According to Bukky, a majority of Travelstart customers are young, thus they are either making bookings for themselves or their parents also an AI option would enable the older generation to book flights on their own because of the Pidgin.
Bukky believes that the adoption of AI and other related technologies can shape the future of online travel business through the technology’s ability to suggest close to accurate answers to questions about the what, how, when, and where of travel destinations.
“For us, what we always want to communicate to our customers is our goal which is to give them easy stress-free convenient access to travel options, anywhere, anytime. The more that they have those options, the easier for them because travel is not a luxury item. It’s a necessity to help people connect to their goals.” Bukky concluded
Alex Olafare, Head of Marketing, Travelstart also added his thoughts on the AI Travel Assistance, according to him, the technology can act as cost-saving for customers, especially Nigerian customers because you can get relatively quick and authoritative answers to questions.
Secondly, it also shields users from fraud, as explained by Alex, users can rely on the tool for accurate information about travel rather than unverified platforms that lead them to being susceptible to scams.
“Travelstart brings simplicity and accessibility, as it is super light, and friendly to use”, Alex ended.
Featured Image: Bukky Komolafe, Country Manager, Travelstart
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