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Internet and Tourism – Connecting Africa

Internet

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

2. Laptop

Laptop

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

3. GoTenna Mesh SMS and GPS DeviceGTeNNa

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.

4. SmartphoneSmartphone

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

Conclusion

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.

12 thoughts on “Internet and Tourism – Connecting Africa

  1. I’ve been wanting to travel to Africa forEVER! The one concern I had was with internet connectivity. Have you used that Skyroam Solis hotspot in Africa before or do you know how reliable it is? While it’s great to “disconnect” and just enjoy the sights while out on vacation, at the same time I’d like to be able to share my experiences in real time while I’m there. Nicely written article! Thank you!

    1. I have not used the skyroam solis before but relied on its positive reviews from users. My practice has been buying a SIM card for my smartphone for the few countries I have visited. With them I am assured of instant internet access. 

      You ought to stop postponing your visit to Africa. You just need to carry a few gadgets and have some memorable moments.

      Thank you for your comment.

  2. This is interesting but not surprising to hear. I’ve not looked into it in any depth but I’ve read that internet users in Africa have been lower than many other countries in the world. It makes sense that with lower internet charges more business owners in Africa are able to take part in the advantages that the internet offers. I’ve never heard of Gotenna Mesh but I’m curious if it’s available worldwide. I live in New York but travel a fair amount and internet access is often an issue.

    1. I have seen the reviews of the goTenna and they are all positive. Amazon sells them at a fair price. Since you travel a lot the Skyroam Solis would be the ideal gadget to try. The goTenna is more like a walkie talkie, a comnlmunicatioj gadget between two people.

      Thank you for your comment.

  3. This is great. It’s good to hear something great like this is happening. 35% isn’t that bad. I’m sure there will be an increase in 2019.
    Great info.
    Thanks for sharing

  4. These are great news to know that Africa is getting better internet. Possibilities are endless. More people will be able to access online learning opportunities, which is awesome!

    1. Internet makes the world a global village and the statistics on Internet connectivity in Africa show a positive trend. Let’s all get connected.
      Thais, I did my eMBA online from my upcountry town. I have already benefited from Africa’s internet connectivity.
      Thank you for your comment.

  5. Hey,

    Great post and thanks for sharing.

    The role of tech in tourism as a whole is getting bigger and its great that you have narrowed it down to African tourism.

    Africa definitely is on my bucket list and your posts are helping me and inspiring me to get closer to crossing it off the list.

    Thanks again for sharing and I’ll be back soon,

    Tom

    1. If this article has played a role in fulfilling your travel goals, then I pleasantly delighted. I hope to update you more.
      Thank you Thomas for your comment.

  6. It is great to hear about the internet connection in Africa….Since some of your posts are about Tanzania, Uganda, etc….we’d love to hear specific information about internet connectivity in those countries….Summer is coming….we need to set destinations …

    1. Osca, Uganda has a population of about 41 million, and of that, over 31% is connected to the internet. There are three major mobile internet service providers that have enabled growth in internet usage. That is Africell, Airtel and MTN – which provide 4G LTE Internet.
      In Tanzania, with the increase in the mobile phone usage, more than 45% of the 52 million people have Internet access. Major mobile phone operators are Vodacom, Tigo, Bharti Airtel, and Halotel.
      In general Internet access is on the rise not only in East Africa but Africa.
      What is required for visitors is come along with the necessary gadgets like smartphones, powerbanks, goTennas, laptops and others so that the memorable experiences can be shared with the rest of the world.

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