15 Travelstart Facts And Statistics To Celebrate Our 15th Year

In September 2014 we celebrate our 15th year as Travelstart. The journey began in the nether regions of Europe in 1999, in the early days of the Internet, when a former DJ and rock music promoter made a bold move by making it possible for ordinary people to plan and book their own travel arrangements online, in the process taking some of the glory away from traditional travel agents.

“No matter if you are in service, technology or retail the same business logics apply. People want to work for a company that represents something more than money. Customers want to get a good deal and be treated with respect.” – Stephan Ekbergh, Travelstart Founder

Guided by his foresight that the Web would soon be a place where people around the world would search for, and purchase goods and services online, for Stephan the Internet was the obvious answer because it was convenient, and he could help his customers save time and money.

Since 1999, Travelstart’s path has been guided by the spirit of pioneering, a path that was reenergized in 2006 in Cape Town, South Africa when Stephan escaped the cold north in favour of warmer climes at the foot of Africa.

Since setting up shop in South Africa, we’ve zigzagged our way through the continent, into Eastern Europe, and more recently the Middle East. Here are some interesting Travelstart facts and statistics that we bring to the fore in this month of celebration …

Where are we?

There are currently 10 Travelstart websites covering the world; headquarters are in Cape Town, South Africa.

Are we loved?

We like to think so. In the last year more than half a million passengers have booked flights with Travelstart.

Departure lounge at Suvarnabhumi Airport Terminal, Bangkok.

Who’s going where?

In South Africa; Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban are the most booked destinations in that order.

Domestic Flight Bookings

What about the globetrotters?

London Heathrow is the most popular international city that people fly to from South Africa.


Which part of Africa do people love visiting?

Windhoek is the most commonly booked African city outside of SA.


What’s the thinking behind the logo?

The Travelstart logo, updated in 2007, is an expression of perfection through simplicity and completeness. The circle symbol is inspired by ‘karesansui’, or Japanese Zen gardens.

The Travelstart logo is inspired by ‘karesansui’, or Japanese Zen gardens.

Are you guys crazy?!?

Several offers were made by well-known multi-national conglomerates to buy Travelstart, but Stephan declined and the company remains private.


How many people work behind the scenes?

Our South African office, located on Greenmarket Square in Cape Town, currently employs 142 people.

How are you bringing online travel to far flung corners of the world?

In some countries Travelstart uses a ‘cash on delivery’ service to deliver tickets bought online; payments are collected at the customer’s door.

Cash On Delivery

How long does your wanderlust last?

The average duration for long haul trips booked on Travelstart is 11 – 20 days. Domestic trips typically last 2 – 3 days and 4 – 10 days.

Travelstart branded towel on Cambodian beach.

Which airline is in pole position?

Mango, Kulula and SAA are the most booked domestic airlines on Travelstart. With the unique Mix and Match feature you can combine multiple airlines in one booking for cheaper domestic flights!


What about the international carriers?

SAA, Emirates and British Airways are the most booked airlines for international flights from South Africa.


Are we friends on Facebook?

According to Socialbakers, the Travelstart Facebook page is in the top 40 most popular brand pages in South Africa.

Travelstart's 15th Birthday celebrations take place in September 2014. Join us on Facebook for awesome giveaways!

Do you guys need help?

We’re self-sufficient! Call centre, tech, processing and marketing all take place under our roof.

Travelstart is an entirely self-sufficient company.

And are you helping others?

Travelstart has been a proud supporter of the School Of Hope in Athlone since 2009.

Travelstart is the sole financial supporter of the School Of Hope in Cape Town.

From humble beginnings in an old coffee roastery in Sweden to a global presence, it’s been an exciting journey for the ladies and gents at Travelstart. Find out more about us by viewing our timeline, and be sure to join us on Facebook for 15th birthday giveaways throughout September.

Our Readers Comments

  1. I am extremely disappointed in the reaction time and the lack of assistance in trying to resolve a simple query which is prohibiting me from finalizing my booking. They have had no hesitation in deducting their commission from my bank account, yet are sending me on a complete waste of time through a maize of BS.

    I have tried calling the Capetown telephone number as listed on their web page as well as the cell number as listed on their email response. They are either so busy that no call can be accepted for the last 24 hours or their cell number has been discontinued.

    Backup????? What backup!!!!!

    • Hi Gary,

      Hi there, thank you for taking the time to share your concerns. We regret to hear you have not had a great experience when booking with us & sorry to hear that you are not pleased with the service provided.

      We do apologise for the struggle in trying to reach us. Due to Covid 19 Pandemic reaching its second wave in most countries we are receiving high volumes of booking queries, with many customers trying to get assistance. For this reason we have closed our phone lines temporarily.

      When calling we do advise our lines are closed and provide options on how to reach our operations team.

      This can be found on our online contact-us page: https://www.travelstart.co.za/lp/contact-us

      We have opened up an online chat service where all our agents are able to assist more than one customer at a time quicker and efficiently.

      Our agents are available:
      Mondays – Fridays: 9am – 5pm
      Saturdays: 9am – 1pm
      Closed on Sundays and Public Holidays

      We also offer the option for our customers to reach us via our Online Contact form: https://www.travelstart.co.za/lp/contact-us Our emails are managed 7 days a week.

      I’ve done a search using your email address and located your booking which was made on Friday.

      Looking at the history of the booking I see our ticketing team were unable to process payment, an email was sent the same day advising this along with a new payment link. As no new payment was received that day they were unable to process and issue the ticket.

      We are only able to guarantee the fare until 23h59 on the same day that the booking was made. Thereafter a booking is subject to fare increases and/or cancellation from the airlines side. If we are unable to process payment the airline will cancel from their side.

      You also requested a call back via our online contact form and see one of our agents were in touch to address your concerns over the phone.

      I hope that this provides some clarity.

    • Hi Jennifer,

      Thanks for showing interest in Travelstart.

      Travelstart is one of Africa’s largest online travel booking websites offering flights, hotel bookings, car rental, vacation packages and other travel services through their online booking engine.

      I am not quite sure what you mean by “Can I be a host on Travelstart?”

      You welcome to pop us an e-mail at info@travelstart.com with your query and request and this will be forwarded to our marketing team.

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