Finding and booking the best hotels when travelling was often be a difficult thing to do before. There were so many options available that you do not what to choose and how to browse through the entire list. The creation of online hotel booking sites in different countries finally eliminated the problem to an extent. People could now sit in the comfort of their homes and go through a curated list of the best hotels available.
An online hotels booking agency based in Nigeria, Hotels.ng was born in 2012. The platform was the brainchild of Mark Essien who is a resident of Akwa Ibom State, Nigeria. According to him, his site lists more than seven thousand hotels in and around twenty-one areas in Nigeria.
Mark Essien was still completing his postgraduate degree in Computer Science at the Free University of Berlin when he became keen to delve into the Nigerian digital space. After a lot of analysis, he figured out that a travel start-up had a high chance of tasting success in the emerging market that Nigeria was. After researching about popular models followed by South American and Asian hotel booking agencies, Essien launched a hotels listing platform initially. He bought a domain name and put up the list on the public site.
When he saw that the domain was drawing high traffic, Essien decided to return to Nigeria. While he was in Calabar, he continued expanding his list of hotels. He started a collaboration with a friend and together, they ventured to click pictures of and get into business agreements with hotels in Calabar. When their list was sufficiently long, they enabled the booking feature on Hotels.ng. According to Essien, the site was so popular that it started receiving reservation requests from the day of the launch.
To publicize Hotels.ng, Essien published some articles that impressed a number of people including Jason Njoku, who is the founder of Iroko TV. Njoki was looking to contribute a start-up fund (Spark.ng) to a flourishing online business as a worthy investment. Spark.ng invested $75,000 in Hotels.ng after the first round of negotiations and $150,000 again after a few months. Essien could set up a platform in Lagos with the help of this fund, and establish a loyal customer base by expanding his services.
After the company made a considerable profit in 2014, eBay founder, Pierre Omidyar and the EchoVC Pan-African fund also joined in and gave a $1.2 million start-up funding to Hotels.ng in 2015. There is a possibility of the platform expanding across Africa. Essien now works with an experienced team that has more than fifty members and has established a connection to over 7,138 hotels across 320 Nigerian cities.
Hotels.ng makes the process of booking hotel rooms online much more convenient for its users. They are always ready to provide comprehensive help in order to satisfy their clients. Apart from that, they also give hotel recommendations and reviews so that users know what they are signing up for. You can sort the list of hotels according to the region they are located in, the amenities available, budget and more. The site also provides information about the best attractions in and around a particular area.
When it comes to their clients, they settle for nothing but the best. They have expanded internationally to provide even better service. Hotels.ng now allows to book flight from the platform as well, which makes it the best multifunctional tourism site in Nigeria.