The recovery of Africa’s travel and hospitality sectors after a pandemic-related slump will be dependent on greater adoption of digital tools to ensure key operations like seamless bookings, executives said.
Speaking at a forum in Nairobi, the Kenyan capital, convened by Pesapal, a pan African payment solutions provider, the officials stressed that technology was the key to hastening the post-pandemic recovery of the continent’s tourism industry.
Agosta Liko, the executive director of Pesapal, said that by investing in digital tools, tourism players will place their enterprises on a recovery trajectory, besides strengthening their resilience and agility in the face of unpredictable shocks.
The Nairobi forum themed “Adapt and Thrive: Harnessing technology in travel and hospitality”, convened by Pesapal in partnership with Oracle Hospitality, a technology solutions firm, brought together hoteliers, tour operators, restaurant and bar owners to discuss integration of digital tools in their recovery agenda on Wednesday.
Liko said that a partnership between Pesapal and Oracle Hospitality has facilitated seamless deployment of digital infrastructure to revolutionise the travel and hospitality sectors in Africa, ensuring they were profitable and resilient.
He added that these technology solutions have enabled hotels in the continent to accept real-time payment, online sales and virtual booking, in a post-pandemic era.
Oliver Menzel, Oracle Hospitality Alliances & Channels Manager for Middle East and Africa, said that if hotels and tour operators integrate modern technology and innovations in key operations, they are likely to reap profits and withstand shocks like pandemics, geopolitical tensions and climate change.
According to Menzel, digital payment solutions and virtual tours have improved the revenue base for investors in the hospitality sector besides providing a satisfactory experience to local and foreign tourists.
Felix Musa, the revenue manager at Kenya’s Sarova Hotel Group, said that adoption of smart technologies that accelerated at the peak of the pandemic ensured that the travel and hospitality sectors remained profitable and responsive to the emerging needs of their clients like enhanced safety.