Nigerian online hotel booking startup Nitestay has launched an agents programme to offer more exposure to hotel partners and allow agents to earn commissions on bookings.
Launched in 2011, Nitestay allows travellers to search, compare and book hotels at discounted rates, and was the first of its kind at the time of launch.
The startup has since received fierce competition from the likes of Hotels.ng, but has over 4,000 hotel partners listed on its platform. In order to encourage further activity, it has now launched a certified agents programme.
Essentially, agents are able to sign up for a verified Nitestay URL, which allows them to own their own booking site through the platform and earn a commission whenever a booking is made through their URL. The startup has already signed up almost 1,000 agents, with 500 hotels having signed up to be listed through the agent programme.
Nitestay co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO) Femi Okanla said the startup hoped that eventually all of its hotel partners would sign up to the agent scheme.
“Introducing agents into our operations came after careful study of how to deal with the current downturn in the travel and hospitality industry as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. As a leading company in the hotel booking business, our team is constantly coming up with innovative ways to move our industry forward,” he said.
The impact of the scheme, Okanla said, would be felt in three main areas.
“By creating Nitestay agents we will be creating jobs for people willing to earn on commissions and support the government’s goals to create more jobs in Nigeria,” he said.
“Also, our hotel partners will benefit from this by continuing to have sales through us. What we aim to achieve is if anyone is staying in a hotel during this period, it should be at one of our hotel partners and by signing up agents we can achieve this. Thirdly this will also allow us as a travel company to reduce the effects of the pandemic on our operations and growth plans.”