Travelstart launches new mobile website

By Bizclik Editor

On-line travel company Travelstart has launched a brand new mobile site which will enable customers to compare thousands of flights in seconds.

The new  site comes at a time when mobile device and smartphone user penetration is at its highest in South Africa.

The data economy has taken over as South Africa’s major networks have seen a decline in the demand for voice services for the first time in history. According to a November 2013 report by World Wide Worx, the 19-24 age group is abandoning voice services faster than any other segment.

Only 56 percent of this group’s mobile budget is now spent on voice, down from 66 percent in mid-2012. Data spend, on the other hand, has increased from 17 percent to 24 percent.

Michelle Kleu, Travelstart’s South Africa Country Manager, believes that mobile-compatible websites are essential for businesses looking to provide customers with a holistic user experience.

She said: “Mobile Internet access in South Africa has again turned a corner and the new mobi-site, built specifically for mobile screens, offers travellers everywhere a neatly stripped down version of the Travelstart.co.za website.

“This is where customers can search and compare airline tickets prices in real time, book and pay for domestic and international flights and receive instant confirmation via email.”

This information signals the dawn of a new era in the way South Africans are communicating and businesses like Travelstart stand to benefit from Africa’s upwardly mobile technophiles.

Kleu said: “Cellphone users do everything desktop users do, provided it’s presented in a usable way.

“At Travelstart we wanted to create a mobile travel booking website that enhances our customers’ shopping experience as they seek real-time information on the go, while providing the all-encompassing functionality of the personal computer experience.”

 The online travel agency reported a 323 percent increase in mobile traffic between 2012 and 2013, while mobile devices overtook tablet devices in terms of traffic in 2013.

 Linked to the existing Travelstart.co.za URL, the mobile website provides a seamless experience by detecting and automatically adjusting to different screen sizes.

 The mobile-friendly version of the website will also be rolled out to the online travel agency’s international markets which include Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Egypt and Turkey.

Mobile Internet usage has leapfrogged that of personal computers in these emerging economies, and the online travel agency has responded to this unprecedented growth with a mobi-site that serves the travel needs of Africa’s more isolated digital tribes.

The improved mobile booking site is one of several newly developed features at Travelstart including the ability to make multicity bookings, mix and match domestic flight booking functionality and neXt – an online travel booking tool for travel agents.

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