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Nigeria’s Hotels.ng lists 5,000 hotels, looks to Africa expansion

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Nigerian hospitality listings and reviews website Hotels.ng has indexed 5,000 hotels in under a year: a milestone that means it covers about 90% of the country’s hotels, according to the startup’s founder Mark Essien.

It has only taken the website six months to list the 5,000 hotels, Mark Essien told ITWeb Africa. Hotels.ng launched at the beginning of 2013.

Essien said his website deployed 110 people in the country to help achieve this goal.

Specifically, Hotels.ng went about doing this by searching for people on social networks Twitter, 2go and Facebook in particular towns and then hiring them on a contract basis to visit hotels in their areas.

The website even sent these contractors cameras to take photos of the hotels indexed, Essien said.

“For me, this milestone means that we have covered almost all major hotels in Nigeria and about 90% of the total number of hotels in Nigeria,” Essien told ITWeb Africa.

“Our closest competitor has less than 300 hotels. We have basically taken an entire industry and put it online, something nobody has attempted in these parts of Africa before,” Essien added.

And now that Hotels.ng has reached the 5,000 mark, plans to expand into other parts of Africa could be on the cards.

“With 5,000 hotels in Nigeria and a well working inventory and hotel gathering system, its time for us to expand,” Essien said.

“So yes, we absolutely are looking at other African markets. We have figured out Nigeria. We will replicate this system across Africa at rocket speed, and I believe we will be the ones opening up the markets across all the other African countries.

“African has been thrust into the internet age, and there are huge opportunities for companies that jump in now and operate at speed to build a market. That's what we are trying to do, and so far it's working out quite well,” Essien told ITWeb Africa.

In an interview Essien had with ITWeb Africa earlier this year, he said that Hotels.ng has over 60,000 hotel bookers visiting the website monthly.

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