Global travel technology provider, Sabre Corporation is celebrating ten years of success in Nigeria and the continued growth of the local travel industry.

To mark its important milestone, Sabre hosted an evening of celebrations in Lagos.  More than 200 professionals from the travel and tourism industry attended the event – including many of Nigeria’s most prominent travel agencies and airline partners, such as Kenya Airways, British Airways, Etihad Airlines, RwandAir, Dana Air and Arik Air.

Nigeria is an important strategic market for Sabre, and a gateway into the wider West African region,” said Dean Bibb, interim senior vice president, Europe, Middle East and Africa, Sabre.  “Since we formed Sabre Nigeria ten years ago, the country has experienced phenomenal growth and change.  Industries like retail and telecoms have helped the country to become one of Africa’s largest economies, and have fuelled the growth in international and domestic travel.  With our unique blend of expert people and latest technology, we’ve been able to help airlines, hotels and travel agencies unlock growth and success in this thriving market.”

The aviation industry now accounts for around 0.4 percent of Nigeria’s GDP* – and this looks set to increase, alongside an increasing appetite to travel.  A recent study by Sabre, of four African countries (Nigeria, South Africa, Kenya and Egypt), found that Nigerian travellers would be willing to spend 24 percent more on travel once the pan-African passport is introduced in 2018.  Furthermore, the survey highlighted that Nigerians were already well-travelled; 35 percent of Nigerians had travelled abroad within the last two years, compared with an average of just 23 percent across the four countries surveyed.  Technology played an important role in the journey for many Nigerians; 27 percent said that having the latest technology on board (e.g. wifi and superior on board entertainment) was one of their top three deciding factors when choosing an airline.

“Travel is an important facilitator of growth in Nigeria – and technology is making it easier than ever for people to shop and book travel,” said Gabriel Olowo, CEO of Sabre Nigeria.  “When we opened Sabre Nigeria, first-generation smartphones had yet to be launched.  Just a decade later, technology has transformed travel with at least 30 percent of Nigerians* now using smartphones and travel apps.  This trend will continue to snowball, and providing our travel partners with the latest technology and expertise will be key to helping them stay ahead in this globally competitive industry.”

Guests at Sabre’s 10th anniversary event, which took place at the new Renaissance Hotel in Lagos, enjoyed presentations from Sabre on the evolution of travel in Nigeria, as well as speakers from Babcock University, the National Association of Nigeria Travel Agencies and local aviation consultancy, Spring Fountain.

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