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Travelport sets up in Kenya as tourism looks up

By Gardy Chacha | February 2nd 2016

A New York Stock Exchange-listed company has launched a customer service office in Nairobi as Kenya’s tourism prospects improve.

Travelport runs a platform that provides distribution, payment and other commerce solutions for the global travel and tourism industry.

The company has been present in the country as Galileo Kenya, working in partnership with national carrier Kenya Airways, but has now detached to run its own operations.

Previously, agents had to call to the firm’s Brussels office for service, an expensive affair. Moreover, communicating through Brussels meant agents had to cope with language barriers and unfamiliar accents.

Travelport’s facility in Nairobi will offer a range of services, including technical and operational assistance in both English and Swahili.

According to Rabih Saab, the firm’s president and managing director for Europe, Middle East and Africa, the new help desk is part of the firm’s plans to invest and expand in the region in light of its growth prospects.

“We began by setting up an office. This help desk is a free service to make work easier for agents and improve business in this region,” he said.

The office is expected to handle more than 18,000 calls in its first year.

The Kenya Association of Travel Agents (KATA) welcomed the opening of the help desk, saying it was a progressive move to support agents in Kenya, enabling them give their clientele greater access to universal content.

“The service will support our capacity for innovation in providing our customers and partners with the most up-to-date and highest standards of quality worldwide,” said Julie Dabaly Scott, the vice chairperson of KATA.

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