BusinessDay

Meet Yemi Smith, the e-travel start-up providing cheap flights, hotel bookings

Yemi Smith is the founder of TravelTank, a Nigerian start-up providing cheap and affordable travel products to Nigerians online.

From flight and hotel bookings to visas and immigration services, TravelTank aims to help every Nigerian make the best online travel purchase decision.

After conducting various customer surveys and focus groups to understand and identify the biggest challenges travellers faced, Yemi was inspired to establish TravelTank.

“Our research found two prominent snags customers faced when buying travel products online. These were a lack of access to cheap travel products and a deficiency in reliable and experienced online travel customer service,” the young entrepreneur says.

To fill this gap, he kick-started TravelTank in January 2021 with a clear mission to make online travel planning and booking, quick easy, and affordable for everyone.

Acknowledging the importance of customer service, Smith says the business has been able to quickly scale in just a few months due to the excellent travel services provided by our travel sharks.

“Through our expert travel consultants who we call the travel sharks, we have been able to create a product that personifies good customer service.”

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“What we wanted to do was to create a product that personified good customer service, so we created what we call the ‘Travel Sharks’,” he says.

According to him, the travel sharks are travel experts with sizeable experience and knowledge in the travel and tourism space.

Speaking on what TravelTank is doing differently, he says the company’s vision and mission coupled with its innovative use of travel technology distinguishes TravelTank from others in the industry.

“Customers are always ready to embrace and champion a product that brings substantial value to them. TravelTank is an innovative product that falls into this category,” the young entrepreneur states.

“We believe our value stems from our highly competitive fares, our great travel customer service and our use of unrivalled travel technology to help informed travel purchase decisions” he notes.

While TravelTank is in partnership with a multitude of airlines, affiliate partners, and Providus Bank Plc, Smith believes that the launch of the brand will open up more opportunities for collaboration in the tourism sector.

He welcomes the possibility of mutually beneficial partnerships between TravelTank and local tourism companies across Nigeria noting the company had already signed a partnership agreement with the likes of an on-demand helicopter company, Vetifly.

Evaluating Nigeria’s tourism sector, the young entrepreneur says the industry has tremendous potential that is currently underutilized.

He stresses the need for more education and enlightenment on the various sightseeing attractions across Nigeria to boost awareness of the country’s domestic tourism industry.

“At times it can be hard, but we as Nigerians need to believe in ourselves more. Our country is rich in history and culture, and together we can boost awareness of Nigeria’s domestic tourism industry,” he says.

“This will be beneficial for stakeholders in the industry not to mention it will enhance employment opportunities across the whole industry,” he adds.

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