Travelstart Tanzania.

Client: Travelstart Tanzania Limited.

Industry: Travel and Online Booking.

Concept: Brand Awareness, Website Traffic and Generate leads.


Author: 78 Inc Team.

Publish Date: September 2021.


Travelstart is Africa’s leading Online travel agency. Travelstart Tanzania got in touch with 78inc to discuss the underutilization of their Online booking platform/portal.

Travelstart is based in cape town, they have offices across Africa and the Middle East where hundreds of Travelstarters are dedicated to rocking the travel world. They are a one-stop Online travel shop, providing low airfares on international and local flights, vehicle hire options, car rental and hotel reservation bookings for properties across the globe; for all sorts of clientele budgets. Travelstart facilitates all the best travel suppliers and specials offers for comparison and allowing quick, safe and easy payment. 

Travelstart has a commendable Online portal however, there was no adequate level of traffic and/or action taken on their booking portal. The possible reason for the underutilization was perceived as lack of trust in Online payments, lack of awareness amongst the community or, users may take time to adapt and learn about Online booking. 

Travelstart also highlighted a drastic drop in Online sales after numerous ex-pats left the country, the challenge now was to convince the general public to begin using Online booking since it is quicker, easier and safer to use. In this instant, Travelstart had an in-house social media manager, they also had an established website that was optimized for mobile screens, accepting all forms of payment but only in the English Language. Although the website attracted traffic of 10,000 monthly, the conversion rate was quite low. Travelstart also had several videos however, the videos were not in Swahili.

The team at 78inc took into consideration all challenges faced by the client and began strategizing a massive campaign to increase Online sales by taking advantage of collaborations with Online payment platforms like DPO, Pesapal, Selcom etc through the use of social influencers. The ideal objective was to reduce manpower of physical call and email, to cover the loss of revenue due to ex-pats leaving and looking for a group of companies with similar interests willing to partner on educational campaigns. It is important to understand the target audience for a campaign, the target market for this campaign was:

• The mid to upper-class Tanzanians.

• Expats in Tanzania.

• Tech Savvy customers.

The campaign concept focused on instant gratification and reward, at the same time highlighting secure and convenient Online ticketing solutions. The campaign launched was based around the tagline “Catch a Bug, Catch a Flight” and was in collaboration with 2 social influencers, Grace Matata (@gracematata) and Faraja Nyalandu (@farajanyalandu).

The team created 5 tier rewards, represented by 5 bugs, to have a sense of adventure and chase, the bugs were displayed for a very short period of time (3-6 seconds) on digital screens around the city and on the social platforms. Each bug had its own unique QR code. The target customer needed to capture the bugs (using camera or screenshots), which would direct them (on first capture basis) to a link to claim the related prize/ discount. The prize had a ’call to action’, to book tickets/holidays and/or related with Travelstart (directing them to the Online Portal), where they must purchase and pay Online. The discount code would remain valid for 2 weeks.

The following were the tiers put forward for the campaign;

Bug 1 – 20% off on a Local Flight (frequently displayed | a few winners/week)

Bug 2 – Tsh 120,000/- off on Domestic Travel (semi-frequent | a few winners/week)

Bug 3 – USD 300 off your next Online purchase on domestic or international travel (semi-rare | three winners every/month)

Bug 4 – Free Domestic Travel for two- All expenses paid (rare | two winners/month)

Bug 5 – Free International Travel for two- All expenses paid (rarest | one winner/month)

This massive campaign that was launched in October 2019, lasted 2 months. A total of 28 Bugs were released across three channels; Digital Bill boards, all Travelstart Social Media Channels namely Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Google. The bugs were also released on the social platforms of our Social Influencers.

Records however show little or no redeems on 2 bugs; the snail and caterpillar, the reason for this appears to be the payment part of it – despite a decent discount offering individuals still seem reluctant to complete the payment in order to claim the bug. Based on this information the team made an executive decision to prematurely release the grand ladybug in order to regenerate the ‘chase’. 78inc proposed clubbing together the unclaimed bugs in order to increase one more bee and one more ladybug which will be released on the Travelstart Instagram account toward the end of the campaign duration. 

The campaign engagement was terrific with steady increases on all platforms, we witnessed the highest levels of interaction through Google Ads and Twitter. Through the use of Twitter, we were able to ‘trend’ for a period of two days shortly after launching the campaign which aided to keep the buzz going on all social platforms.

Travelstarts Google Ads over the Internet were clicked 25,772 times and gathered a total of 5,086,570 impressions.

The Twitter account recorded 91 new followers, increasing by 950%. The account had 63 new posts in relation to the campaign and accumulated 81,800 tweet impressions in total. 1,073 viewed the account and 116 people mentioned the account in tweets. These are good figures for Twitter in Tanzania.

Instagram had an increase of 375 new followers, which accounted for a 3.8% increase surpassing 10,000 followers, leveraging it to a unique account and therefore enabling it to attach links to story posts. The account had 20 new posts in relation to the campaign and they accumulated 19,184 impressions in total. Out of these, 909 actions were taken.

The total ad budget used was $112.

The Facebook page witnessed an increase in 133 new followers, which accounted for a 24% increase. It also received 129 new likes, 1210 page views and 50 previews. The account managed to accumulate 34,722 engagements in total, which increased rates by 166%. Posts reached a total of 961,390 people, increasing reach for the page by 90%. Videos in relation to the campaign were viewed 647,041 times. Linkedin witnessed an 850% increase in followers. The page had 84 visits, out of which 30 were unique visitors. Posts on LinkedIn accumulated a total of 537 impressions and has 13 custom clicks.

Travelstart’s YouTube account witnessed an increase in 8 new subscribers, which accounted for a 400% increase. The account had 4 new videos posted and had amassed 179 cumulative views.

Travelstart was astonished by the level of creativity and dedication put in by 78inc for their brand. The campaign concept was beyond what they expected and there was an adequate increase in engagement over the social platforms as well as an increase in website traffic. Mr. Adam Tewson, affirmed that working with 78inc was ideal for Travelstart, the brand was delighted to see the results from the campaign.

We chose to work we 78 Inc, as they showed a clear understanding of the challenges we were facing in converting our website visitors into website buyers. The concept they came up with was great, as it actively engaged users directly on our website as well as through our social media channels. By connecting the campaign with well known influencers, our brand in the local market gained credibility and of course more awareness in a demographic that is tough to reach. Overall, the campaign was a big success and taught us as a company the value of choosing the correct team to run with when looking to do something new and exciting, and also that if you want to reach the market in Tanzania, then you 100% have to go with a Tanzanian company to achieve any success.

Thanks Reena, Aashiq and the team for your great service and attention to detail


Mr Adam Tewson, Travelstart

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