Access to Internet is increasing in Africa allowing more people to develop and launch their businesses online. Internet is a platform where marketing tourism has gained tremendous growth; connecting Africa than ever before. Information on a wide range of tourist destinations, sites and culture; can be obtained fast and at a cheaper cost.
Internet Connection Status
Internet access and usage in Africa is over 35% of the total population of approximately 1.3 billion people and this percentage is expected to grow in 2019. The leading countries in Internet usage are Nigeria, Egypt, Kenya, South Africa, Tanzania, Morocco and Uganda respectively. These countries combined have over 286 million internet users.
There has been notable improvement in Internet connectivity over the last four years in countries like Cameroon, Kenya, Lesotho, Cote d’Ivoire and Rwanda.
The Akamai State of the Internet report of the first quarter of 2017, ranked countries with high average internet connection speed; in Africa, Kenya had the fastest at 12.2Mbps; South Africa with 6.7Mbps, Morocco with 5.2Mbps, Nigeria with 3.9Mbps, Namibia with 2.9MBps and Egypt with 2Mbps.
The major elements that are enabling the growth of the Internet are:
• Affordability; where the cost of data has steadily declined, allowing more mobile users to join in.
• Content and services; where mobile applications have been developed and tailor in various local languages leading increase in new users.
• Consumer readiness; where increase of adult literacy has played a big role.
• Infrastructure; where network coverage and quality has improved; and increased 3G network coverage
The Role of Internet in Tourism
Travel agencies can advertise and promote tourism in their area; and with this, they are able to boost their sales. This method is better than the use of catalogues and brochures which have a lower market penetration effect. There is now low reliance on communication channels like billboards, magazines newspapers, radio and Television.
The internet enables better communication between the travel agencies or service providers and the customers; allowing them to make personal choices before they arrive at their desired destinations. Information flow is fast saving a lot of time and promoting better preparations. This creates higher chances of customer satisfaction since they are open to quick information on various destination sites.
Travel Gadgets supported by Internet
1. Portable Wi-Fi Hotspot This device not only provides support for Wi-Fi for up to five users, but can also act as portable charging unit
Laptop brands have constantly improved that getting one that has a battery that can last up to nine hours is possible. These gadgets are needed for vacations to enable one keep doing their work or store valuable information
These gadgets are helpful if you will be off the grid. They allow you to text each other and share your locations without data or Wi-Fi; if you are within a three-mile range of each other. They are can download maps that can be used offline for navigation anywhere in the world.
These are phones with better hardware and software capabilities able access the internet. They have various functions they support like camera, games, music and video; alongside their traditional functions such as voice calls and text messaging
There is a digital revolution going on in Africa that has seen the number of smartphone users rising fast across the continent. This is allowing access to more users to the endless opportunities of the internet.