Although Ethiopia has not implemented an online payment system and has the lowest internet penetration rate of 8.7%, Jovago says 64% of the country booking payments through Jovago.com were done through online payment platforms while 36% still prefer to pay at the hotel upon arrival.
Despite being the second most populous nation next to Nigeria, Ethiopia has only 7 million internet users proving the country has a long way to go to reach it’s over 90 million population. Since 2013, Ethiopia signed international agreements worth $1.6 billion with Ericsson, Huawei and ZTE to bolster the national internet connectivity venture and number of mobile users. The mobile coverage is the dominant with over 30 million mobile phone users. According to Ethio-Telecom 32 people out of 100 inhabitants use mobile.
“Internet transactions are making their way in Ethiopia with the initiative to popularize online payment systems. The system is super easy and efficient saving transaction time and costs” Alexander Burtenshaw, Country Manager of Jovago Ethiopia said.
The newly constructed telecom infrastructures and implantation of E-Commerce are expected to play an important role in allowing Ethiopian and international businesses become more competitive internationally by modernizing business operations. Ethiopia is in the process of developing a national draft law to govern e-Commerce in partnership with United Nations Economic Commission for Africa.
“Online transactions are particularly essential to all hotels that are attracting business and leisure travelers to their facilities.” David Harper, Head of Property Services at Hotel Partners Africa said. “In addition, investment in tourism helps generate income across the entire economy, and typically, one dollar generated in hotels leads to nine dollars being spent. Through the recycling of the benefits of that money, the overall economy is supported.” David explained.
Portraying this fact, the country tourism’s job generation capacity by far exceeds that of the other labor-intensive sectors such as leather, floriculture and construction accounting over a million direct jobs.
“Evidently, Ethiopia has a bright future. The country has come a long way in gaining the attention of major industry operators which improved its infrastructural deficits in a very short period” Estelle Verdier, Managing Director of Jovago East & Southern Africa said.
Among the many highlights on the Ethiopian economy and development progresses, Jovago’s hospitality report indicated that although Ethiopia has tremendous tourism potential and exclusive historical sites, it has not fully utilized its potential with several contributing factors. However, the contribution of tourism to income revenue in Ethiopia’s economy has increased over the last three years – from 17 billion Birr (US $ 814,730) in 2012 to 22.2 billion birr (US $ 1,063,942) in 2014.
To increase the contribution of tourism to the GDP, the Ethiopian government has embarked on measures to preserve and develop tourist sites throughout the country and to increase revenue earnings from the tourist sector. The Tourism Transformation Council and the Ethiopian Tourism Organization have been launched with the objective of transforming the industry and coordinate the activities of stakeholders in the industry.
Jovago.com is a leading online hotel booking service with offices spread across Africa. The company is founded by Africa Internet Holding and has MTN as one of the investors. Jovago.com, Africa’s leading booking portal, facilitates the booking process for its users to providing them with the best hotel booking experience with fast, transparent and easy-to-use services. Jovago.com has over 500 local hotel listings across Ethiopia and over 200,000 hotels around the world.