If you were trying to book a hotel through Nigeria’s online hotel booking company, Hotels.ng two weeks ago, you may have been redirected to another website; Timbu.
Timbu website offers tourism services such as flights, visa, and hotels. The name Timbu is a shortening of Timbuktu, an ancient Malian city. This supposedly denotes the Africanness of the brand.
In a telephone conversation with Techpoint, Hotels.ng’s Chief Operating Officer Yemi Johnson said “No, we are not rebranding, Timbu is our global brand and international arm and the plan is to make it the biggest provider of travel information and related content; whether, visas, flights and hotels, everything,” he said.
Timbu will then go ahead to monetise these content and the resultant actions users will take from them.
On the issues of the websites redirecting, Yemi explained that Hotels.africa now redirects to Timbu as it’s now the global flagbearer. For the .ng case, he said that was a server problem.
From Bookings, Expedia to Wakanow, there are more experienced players and competition in the global field that Timbu is currently pitching its tents. Yemi says Timbu has a competitive advantage.
“Over time, we have seen a lot of established players try to explore this same model but they could not figure it out. But I believe that we can do it because we are operating successfully in and have built a successful business in the African environment. This success can be replicated in a related field.”
Because cost and margins are very low, Yemi said Hotels.ng’s technical firepower will help it build all technologies at reduced costs.