Nigeria: Transcorp Hotels, Africa’s leading hotel brand, has announced the launch of Aura, an Airbnb-style platform, as the continent’s tourism industry prepares for the anticipated post-pandemic travel recovery.
The platform is the company’s first alternative accommodation database and will connect travelers to accommodations, restaurants and cultural experiences across Nigeria. Similar to the Nigerian real estate app Muster, Aura aims to introduce travelers to Nigerian and African culture through short-term rentals, food, and experiences.
Aura will not only use its proprietary algorithm to connect travelers to experiences, but will use an advanced AI-powered search algorithm that considers customer preferences and requirements before suggesting locations and experiences.
It will also serve as a source of income for people with unoccupied houses, hotels and restaurants who could earn money by hosting. Hosts will even be able to earn more income by hosting guests in their unoccupied homes and sharing the local culture with them.
While Aura is currently only available in Nigeria, the company has hinted at plans to expand to major cities in Africa.
Overall, Africa’s hospitality and tourism industries suffered heavy losses during the Covid-19 pandemic, losing over $50 billion in revenue. As travel restrictions ease in the coming months, companies like Airbnb and Transcorp are gearing up to take full advantage of an impending surge of interest in short-term travel.
Transcorp’s launch of Aura will contribute to its overall post-pandemic restructuring plan, allowing the company to diversify its portfolio and reduce its workforce as part of its cost management initiatives.
Dupe Olusola, Managing Director and CEO of Transcorp Hotels, said, “This is a new dawn in the hospitality industry! I’m thrilled to introduce Aura by Transcorp, the digital platform we use to connect people to great accommodations, great food and amazing experiences.