HotelOnline is thrilled to welcome Yanolja as an investor and shareholder

Yanolja Cloud Pte. Ltd., a leading South Korean travel technology unicorn backed by Softbank and today announced their investment in HotelOnline.

Endre Opdal, HotelOnline Founder and CEO: This is a game-changing moment for HotelOnline.  With our operations back in break-even after the Covid crisis, this investment puts us in a unique position to scale and expand aggressively, strengthen our position in current markets, and expand our operations into more target countries.

HotelOnline, established in 2014, is a leading e-commerce and digital marketing enabler for hotels in Africa, and a driving force in the digital transformation of the hospitality industry on the continent.  The company has helped more than 5,000 hotels in 27 African countries increase their revenue through a combination of digital marketing, distribution, and simple digitization of core operations.

Tore Hofstad, HotelOnline Chairman: We are very pleased to welcome Yanolja as a key investor in HotelOnline. We greatly appreciate this vote of confidence in our business strategy, and we look forward to scaling HotelOnline into a market leader in the hospitality industry in Africa.

Håvar Bauck, HotelOnline Founder: Today is a great day, not just for Yanolja and HotelOnline, but for the entire travel and hospitality industry in Africa.  As travel rebounds, we are in a strong position to help our hotel partners capitalize on the recovery, by attracting more local and international travelers, increasing occupancy, and getting more revenue.

Based on the synergies from the strategic partnership between the two companies, and the growing potential of the African hospitality market, Yanolja Cloud decided to invest in HotelOnline to accelerate its global solution business for spaces in Africa.

Jongyoon Kim, CEO of Yanolja Cloud “We decided this investment, considering the synergy of two companies proved from the previous partnership with HotelOnline, the African hospitality leading company. As an AI-based SaaS (Space as a service) company that offers the solutions for the spaces, we won’t stop cooperating for the digital transformation of African space(spatial) business including hospitality through marketing-leading AI and cloud technology.”

Yanolja Cloud develops various space-customized solutions for accommodation, F&B, and residences through industry-leading AI and cloud technology. With SaaS solutions that are easier to install and operate than on-premise software, Yanolja Cloud aims to lead the digitalization of spaces and global data distribution. As a top cloud-based global solution provider, Yanolja Cloud offers B2B solutions to more than 43,000 clients in more than 60 languages in 170 markets over the globe. Through its cloud ecosystem, Yanolja Cloud aims to expand its global digital transformation of spaces, such as residences beyond accommodations.

As an AI-based global SaaS (Space as a service) company, Yanolja Cloud leads the digitalization of the industry of various spaces such as accommodations, residences, leisure, and global data distribution. In particular, Yanolja Cloud is the global top cloud-based hospitality solution provider offering B2B operation solutions for approximately 43,000 clients in 170 markets in more than 60 different languages. With its Y FLUX, a fully automated hotel management solution, Yanolja Cloud plans to drive the digital transformation of hotels, leisure, and residential spaces while establishing a cloud solution ecosystem that satisfies the needs of partners, booking channels, and customers. Yanolja Cloud expands its client base by leveraging its powerful SaaS (Software as a service) model, enabling efficient installation and operation, and is developing optimized local solutions through partnership with global leaders.

Press release from Yanolja (in Korean)

Press Releases
SaveApp and HotelOnline Partner for Your Dream Holiday

SaveApp and HotelOnline today launched a strategic partnership to allow their users save towards their ultimate dream holidays. Through SaveApp’s Ukonga platform, users can now access exclusive holiday packages from Cloud9, by HotelOnline. To encourage SaveApp customers to take up the offer, HotelOnline will match the first KES 500 saved towards a holiday, with an additional KES 500.

According to Abdulaziz Mohammed Omar, CEO of SaveApp , “Ukonga platform allows our users to save their spare change towards the holiday of their choice without the prohibitive expense of a holiday treat”.

Endre Opdal, CEO of HotelOnline remarked that, “this exclusive partnership allows us to extend our holiday packages to a wider audience as more people want to travel now that they are vaccinated”.

SaveApp is an innovative Kenyan technology company aiming to disrupt the saving habit of African consumers by helping them change the way they view “spare change”. By making it easy to put small amounts aside towards greater goals through the Ukonga app, SaveApp envisions helping people realize their life goals of savings, pensions and holidays.

HotelOnline is a Pan-African travel technology company working with more than 6,000 hotels and accommodation providers in 27 African countries. Launched in 2015 with a vision to empower local African hotels to compete with global chains, the company helps accommodation providers digitize their operations, marketing and distribution to increase their occupancy and revenue.

Through the SaveApp partnership, HotelOnline brings dream vacations to Ukonga users, and more guests to their partner hotels.

HotelOnline launches partnership with HyperGuest


HyperGuest and HotelOnline launch cooperation. HotelOnline is a leading Pan-African revenue management group, offering a wide range of solutions for marketing, distribution and management technology for hotels.  More than 6,000 hotels in 27 African countries use HotelOnline to get more bookings. 

HyperGuest quote:

We are very proud to collaborate with HotelOnline. With over 6,000 hotels and their innovative thinking, we are looking forward to onboarding their hotels to our Marketplace and taking them to the next “b2b distribution” level, facilitating direct connection with thousands of demand generators already partners of HyperGuest. This collaboration facilitates the conversation through one organization and helps bridge the gap in working with other hospitality verticals. Additionally, thanks to our integration with HotelOnline, all communication is seamless- being able to access new partners and onboard with ease. Enzo Aita – VP International Business Development

HotelOnline quote:

We are very excited to team up with HyperGuest. Through this partnership, we are opening a new, potent distribution channel that will bring more bookings and revenue to our partner hotels. Our business model is based on a unique mix of simple cloud technology for hotels, combined with distribution, marketing, payment processing and proactive revenue management. Partnering with HyperGuest helps us widen the distribution further, so this is great news for the hotels we work with.
Håvar Bauck – Founder, HotelOnline


About HyperGuest:

HyperGuest is creating an open and barrier-free infrastructure that facilitates direct connectivity between accommodation and travel providers. HyperGuest’s technology platform empowers Accommodation and Travel Providers to deliver rooms with maximum efficiency. This open and highly scalable cloud technology layer opens new opportunities for profit and business with zero manual effort and the fastest time-to-booking. The HyperGuest API is second-to-none, built from the ground up. No archaic or legacy software. Both sides (supply and demand), are ready to buy and sell in moments. Easy to implement for Travel Providers, easy to broadcast inventory for Accommodation Providers. HyperGuest empowers hotels to reach travelers through a direct link with travel service providers. Their digital process assures excellent experience, efficient process and dramatically improves margins.

About HotelOnline:

HotelOnline is the #1 revenue partner for the hospitality sector in Africa. Founded in 2015 by Endre Opdal and Håvar Bauck, the company has grown to become a leading player in the travel and hospitality industry on the African continent. More than 6000 hotels and accommodation providers in 27 countries have increased their revenue, and improved their customer experience with HotelOnline’s innovative, technology-driven solutions. 

Is your Property Ready for Millennial Travelers in 2021?

Millennials, more than any other generation are making travel their priority, they are saving more for experiences and vacations. Bearing in mind they make the largest percentage in the world, every industry including the hospitality industry is looking for ways to accommodate them. That said, is your hotel/property ready for the Millennials travelers?

Things that Draw Millennials to a Hotel

Technologically Savvy Properties

Millennials want easy access to strong Wi-Fi, this allows them to stay connected with family and friends as it allows them to share their experiences during travel. They also carry with them variety of gadgets which are bound to drain power as they are always active on them, thus properties should have variety of charging options including in the lobbies, conference rooms and any other room they may come in contact with.    

Properties that Capitalize on Social Media

Millennials spend a lot of their time on social media feeds viewing instant videos, photos, sharing images of breathtaking views and photos of to-die-for-meals. When marketing to millennials, social media is the best channel, they are always active there and hotels should capitalize on this. To communicate on hotel deals, hotels should for example create an online platform where a community of Millennial travelers can meet virtually, exchange travel experiences, share photos, post hotel reviews and interact with the hotel.      

Experience Over luxury

It’s always the experience with Millennials, experiences create memories and give them a feel for something they have never encountered before. Local adventure should be a selling point for the Millennials, such as sites they can visit near the property, activities such as hiking, biking adventures, exploring nearby tourist sites and engaging in local culture will appeal more to them.  

Hotels with Mobile friendly websites or Apps

Travel and experience Apps such as Cloud9 have become so popular with Millennials as they prefer to book for their travel via mobile phones. This only means that hotels and properties must be willing to accommodate them by having mobile compatible websites where they can search and get information involving the hotel, booking options and anything that involves their vacation and stay.

optimizing Your Hotel’s OTA Ranking Instantly
Secrets to optimizing Your Hotel’s OTA Ranking Instantly

Listing your hotel with an OTAs is the best thing that a property owner can do, but does it end there?

Some property owners are constantly wondering why their hotels do not rank high, reducing the number of bookings they get online.

Well, here are some few secrets to optimizing your hotel’s OTA ranking instantly

Optimize Your Content
Content optimization to rank pages applies to all types of content writing. When writing your hotel descriptions, make sure to use relevant keywords, this helps to improve relevance thus ranking higher on OTAs. Images also play a high role in attracting guests, the higher the quality of your images the more your property will be ranked better.

Confirmation of Bookings
Honesty counts too, properties that confirm all their OTAs booking rank higher. The way you manage your bookings will positively or negatively affect your hotel visibility. If you are always cancelling bookings, this will affect you negatively.

Rate Validity
Regularly updating your property rates will rank you higher, this can easily be done on channel manager. To the OTAs, this considered as being active and it will actually show positive results to your ranking.

What other tactics are you using when optimizing your hotel’s OTA? Share with us

Hotel Photography: Simple Tricks for Taking Hotel Photos

There is nothing more damaging for hotels/properties than bad photos. Images associating to your property be it on your hotel website, external distribution channel, social media channels or flyers should be professional, clear and a true presentation of your property. Remember, these images give potential guest a virtual experience of how their stay would be like if and when they booked your property. So how do you ensure you have the right images for your property?

Taking Hotel Photos That Sell

  1. Clarity

The most important thing is to make sure that all the particular rooms are neat and cleared of any furniture that is not relevant to the particular room. Make sure that the beds are well made and tidy.

  1. Lighting

Lighting is an important factor when it comes to photography, it’s no different for hotel photography. Guest want to see a room as it looks. Arrange taking the photos when there is more natural lighting so that the rooms are not dark which could give an impression of badly light rooms which guest off course don’t want.

  1. Edit

There is always a chance to improve your final images with editing, but don’t become over ambitious with the editing tools, you still want what the guest booked to look alike with the actual room they stay in.

  1. Angle

When doing room shoots, there are angles that will make the room appear bigger or smaller, off course, with hotel rooms, we want to show space. Use a wide angled lens to gain space and focus on the best feature in that room, it could be a modern work desk, a huge balcony offering a guest some captivating views.

  1. Resolution

When it comes to hotel images, the higher the pixel count the sharper the photo. The photos should at least 2000 pixels.

How to Create a Hotel Website
How to Create a Hotel Website: Build a Hotel Website that will Convert 

How to Create a Hotel Website…The world has turned digital, that’s a fact we can’t deny. Potential clients are searching online for hotels and accommodation and whatever they find online about your Property/ hotel is going to determine whether they book or not. Does your hotel have a website? If it does, are there improvements required? Check out some simple tips that will help increase conversion and direct bookings

Factors to Consider When Creating a Hotel Website

Target Market

In order to settle on the content and final look for your hotel’s website, you need to consider your target market. If you are targeting business travelers, you need to capture their attention with facilities and amenities that will make their business travel worthwhile, same as luxury travelers, whom you need to show beautiful images of your facilities. Also use a language that will appeal to each of the target market

Consider the Hotel’s Brand

Branding is key, it helps you differentiate your property from those of your competitors. When creating a website, make sure to display your logo, use the right brand color(s) and this will help in creating a last image in the mind of your clients as they will associate the colors with your property.

Use a Booking Engine/Booking Form

Give your guest a simple booking experience by having a website booking engine. This makes it possible for guest to check rates and availability of rooms for specific dates. The booking engine is usually integrated with a channel manager which automates the management of your various online distribution channels e.g., Expedia, Agoda, Airbnb, TripAdvisor, Google Hotel Ads, etc. Also, include a large “Book Now ” button as a call to action to capture user’s attention.

Website Speed

Nobody will spend time on a slow website, it’s not only frustrating, but it wastes a lot of time too. Invest in a fast loading website before losing your clients to your competitors.

Consider User Friendliness

Make sure your site has a simple design, incorporate a clear menu that makes navigation simple, it should allow users to easily find information on your site. Interlink of pages also helps visitors when browsing, allowing them to move from one page to another with ease.

How to Create a Hotel Website: Use Professional images

Humans are visual creatures; they are able to process visual information instantly. Therefore, travelers prefer visual images and videos, this helps them create a vision of their experience and stay at your property. Have clear photos of your property from the front, the reception, special feature like the outdoor pool, the rooms and other amenities.

Search Engine Optimization

You now have your site ready, but there is no point of investing and having a nicely done site if it can’t be found by Google. So how do you get traffic to the site? This is where Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) comes in. Ensure that the content on your pages is optimised with the right keywords to rank for related searches.

Building and designing a hotel website can be hard for hoteliers, especially if you have no know how. If you want to know how to create a hotel website, talk to us and you get to sit with our experienced developers who have specialized on designing hotel websites. They will guide you on how to build a converting hotel website.

Channel Manager
Why your Hotel needs a Channel Manager

A Channel Manager is a back-end system that distributes and synchronizes the rates and availability of a hotel across online channels, such as Online Travel Agents (OTAs), Global Distribution Systems (GDSes) and metasearches.

Why Do You Need This System?

Hotels and properties get most of their booking from third party websites also known as OTA, the likes of, Expedia, Agoda, Airbnb and TripAdvisor.

The only problem is, they are so many, so picture your staff manually updating bookings & rates across multiple channels; it is time consuming and needs a lot of time, it’s also not error proof. A channel Manager automates all these process , saving you time, cost and eliminates errors.

How Does a Channel Manager Work?

A Channel Manager is a cloudbased system, which means you don’t have to download a software to access it. The System automatically updates all other channels as soon as a booking is made, thus reducing the chances of double booking .Also, when you need to change your hotel rates, you don’t need to be at your premises and you don’t need to log in to the individual channels to make the changes, you can make the changes from the comfort of your Safari on your smartphone or tablet.

What Does Channel Manager Offer?

A Channel Manager offers different benefits, depending on the one you are using. Some come with property management and front office system complete. The system also offers quick and efficient management of available rooms and prices in multiple channels, all in one place.

As for your guests, they get greater satisfaction as a channel manager can be connected to the Property Management System meaning, there are no errors made on guest bookings, no wrong dates, no wrong rooms and such and we all know happy clients are repeat clients.

When connected with PMS, it provides you with detailed reports which includes Revenue Analysis OTA wise, monthly revenue breakdown, channel wise bookings helping you make data driven decisions.

cloud9 HotelOnline asset acquisition
HotelOnline in the Media
HotelOnline Acquisitions in Africa

Kenyan based travel-tech outfit HotelOnline has made strategic acquisition of companies across Africa, positioning itself at the helm of the industry. While many companies in the travel industry have been facing a major dip due to COVID-19, HotelOnline has diversified and acquired other entities solidifying its position in the African travel industry.

Run by two Norwegian-born Kenyans, Havar Bauck and Endre Opdal, the company has announced the acquisition of AfricaBookings – a pioneer in tech-enabled distribution of African hotels with an impressive inventory of 6000 hotels, and Cloud9 – a savvy travel and adventure app that has gained huge traction in Kenya.


HotelOnline in the Media
Zimbabwe’s AfricaBookings is HotelOnline’s Second Acquisition

Zimbabwe-based hotel-booking startup AfricaBookings is the second platform acquired by B2B company HotelOnline within a month, as the company looks to ramp up its B2B offering.

Founded in 2014, HotelOnline is a leading e-commerce and digital marketing platform for hotels that has helped more than 1,500 hotels across 18 markets in Africa and the Middle East increase their revenues.

Disrupt Africa reported earlier this week the company had acquired Kenyan leisure marketplace Cloud9xp in a share swap deal that will see the startup become a B2C channel of the Africa-focused hotel-booking platform.

That deal was completed in June, at the same time as HotelOnline was completing another share swap arrangement to acquire Africabookings, which lists thousands of lodges and hotels across various African countries, and raised seed funding back in 2015.