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Leading online travel agency Travelstart continues its global expansion with Egypt operations
by - Sabry Nageh
Cairo – 19 June 2013: Leading online travel agency Travelstart.com today announced the official launch of its commercial operations in Egypt in response to the country’s growing outbound travel business as Egyptians continue to opt for international destinations for their holiday travel. Travelstart, the largest and fastest growing online travel agency in Africa, began its Egypt operation in January 2012 to cater to the growing population of Internet-savvy bargain hunters who are relying on the web to secure the best flight, hotel and car rental deals.
“Travelstart is the first fully integrated online travel agency in Egypt and offers users unsurpassed simplicity, choice and flexibility to customize their travel itinerary the way they want, as if they are their own travel agent, while benefiting from the incredible discounts and offers that are exclusive to Travelstart,” said Ahmed Saad, Travelstart Country Manager for Egypt. “Since the start of the year, we have seen over 15% repeat customers to the site and have the third highest visitor traffic across any Travelstart country portal. Egyptian visitors enjoy the ability to search and book flights, hotels and hire cars in minutes and the flexibility of multiple payment options that ensure Travelstart can cater to the needs of each traveler. We are also looking at partnering with some of Egypt’s finest travel companies to ensure that inbound travelers to Egypt can also enjoy the finest experiences at greatly discounted prices.”
Travelstart was started by Stephan Ekbergh in 1999 following several innovative services that he created including the launch of Sweden’s first fully automated, telephone-based travel booking company in 1995 and the first Swedish online travel agency in 1998 (MrJet) before the successful launch of Travelstart a year later in South Africa. Today, Travelstart also has operations in Kenya, Nigeria, Namibia, Tanzania, Turkey and now Egypt.
“Following the launch of our Turkey operation in late 2012, we knew that Egypt was going to be a strategic market for us considering its location in the North Africa region and the rising trend for exotic holiday destinations by Egyptian travelers,” said Stephan Ekbergh, owner and founder of Travelstart. “Having expanded rapidly throughout the African continent, we wanted to be the first full integrated online travel agency in each market to cater to both consumers and travel businesses as well. Our goal is to become a global online travel leader and Egypt was a logical next step for us in this initiative.”
Travelstart simplifies the way people search for and book the best travel deals. When searching for flights for example, users get results from all the major and low-cost carriers displayed in one dashboard view so they can compare prices. Search results can be refined and customized which include choosing departure times, direct flights or multiple stops. Users can then choose any of the 4 convenient payment options including cash on delivery where a representative will deliver your tickets and collect the cash within 60 minutes of your online booking, secure online payment through any major credit card, direct bank deposit at the National Bank of Egypt, Ahli United Bank, Commercial International Bank (CIB), Bank of Alexandria and Banque Misr, and via cash payment at Travelstart offices. Travelstart already maintains a local team of highly trained travel professionals in Egypt with over 27 years of accumulated international experience.
“In addition to a superior online experience, Travelstart.com.eg also provides access to professional travel advisors who can assist with phone bookings, and customers can even get personalized service by visiting Travelstart’s Cairo office,” said Maija de Rijk-Uys, Head of New Markets at Travelstart. “Over 1 million people visit Travelstart's global websites each month and hundreds of staff throughout Africa and the Middle East work directly with supply partners in local markets.