Kenya Airways adds hotel inventory to travel offerings
Posted Thursday, July 19 2012 at 19:02
Anyone planning a trip abroad where they are not staying with relatives or friends knows only too well the stress of finding suitable accommodation that’s comfortabe and not too hard on the pocket.
What most people will think of doing in such a situation is start with a blind internet search in the hope of making an online booking – probably not aware that they could be exposing tthemselves to online transaction fraud and identity theft.
At worst, you may discover on arrival that the hotel you booked online does not even exist despite the fact that you already paid for it from your home country.
To avoid all these hassles, some travellers will opt to use the services of a travel agent who will, of course, charge for the service.
But all that is changing as Kenyan travellers become more sophisticated and local businesses come up to offer services that meet these travellers’ needs.
The latest offering for Kenyan travellers is goingsafari.com, a subsidiary of Kenya Airways which was launched a few weeks ago.
This is a website that allows a passenger to take total control of their travel. One is able to book their flight, hotel, car rental and travel insurance from this one website.
Its latest offering - the hotel inventory - has received a boost from its partnership with a local company, Just Like That Ltd, which has recently added over 5,000 hotels across India onto the website.
The short-term aim is to bring on board over 1.5 million hotels across the globe in the coming months.
This local partnership gives a face to hotel bookings where the traveller knows where to turn for help should there be a problem in online booking. And as a wholesaler, goingsafari.com offers strategically lower rates since it is able to capitalise on the volumes of sales made.
“Kenya Airways is trying to penetrate the Indian market,” said Sanjeev Sharma, Director of Just Like That Ltd.
“The airline has started flights to New Delhi and will soon be flying direct to the main Indian cities of Mumbai, Delhi with others to follow soon. Now a passenger can book a ticket online with KQ and a hotel in any city in India.”
KQ’s product diversification suggests a strategy to counter the growing competitiveness of the airline industry, by offering an online solution which will offer a one-stop shop service to both local and international travellers.
The portal is powered by a global technology company, Sabre Holdings, represented in sub-Saharan Africa by Just Like That.
While Goingsafari is the first Kenyan portal to offer real time hotel and flight bookings, other portals that offer similar travel and tourism-related services include the Swedish company Travel Start which expanded its African operations when it entered Kenya in March of this year.