Hitchhiker and Travelstart join forces to make travel cheaper for Egyptians

Egyptian peer-to-peer shipping start-up Hitchhiker and Africa’s leading online travel agency Travelstart have announced a strategic partnership. The partnership marks the first integration between an online travel agency and a peer-to-peer shipping start-up. The mutually beneficial collaboration will boost Egypt’s tourism industry by capitalizing on opportunities in the gig economy and helping connected travelers earn money.

Hitchhiker customers can now book flights, hotels and Travelstart’s special travel deals directly through the Hitchhiker app. Travelstart customers will have the opportunity to earn money while they travel powered by Hitchhiker’s peer-to-peer shipping app that connects cross-border shoppers with travelers who have empty space in their luggage.

“This innovative service will make it much easier for travelers to book their flight ticket and turn their trip into a money-making opportunity” says Hussein El-Terawy, CEO and co-founder of Hitchhiker.

Case studies by Hitchhiker prove that the service lowers the cost of travel and encourages Egyptian expats to take trips home while earning cash rewards from their unused luggage space. “We want to empower more people to see the world and our partnership with Hitchhiker is another move in that direction. The app is a unique and innovative take on earning money while traveling and we look forward to offering our customers even more savings,” said Mikha’il Ernest, Corporate Sales Director at Travelstart.

Hitchhiker’s service benefits inbound travelers who visit Egypt by monetizing their unused luggage space. Utilizing surplus baggage space is an innovative concept that makes the prospect of international trips more accessible for cost-burdened globetrotters. "In addition to our partnership with Travelstart, we are exploring opportunities with third parties including travel insurance and flight delay management. We want to offer our community a comprehensive and frictionless travel experience that can be managed within the Hitchhiker application,” adds Hussein.

Founded in 2017 by Telecom Engineer and frequent traveler Hussein El-Terawy, Hitchhiker is a social platform that connects shoppers who want to buy goods from all over the world with travelers who can deliver purchases at a much lower cost than commercial fulfilment providers. Today, Hitchhiker has more than 300,000 registered shoppers and travelers. Every month, travelers from more than 20 destinations sign up for the service with, USA, UAE, UK, Saudi Arabia, Germany, China, Turkey, France, Italy, Spain and Kuwait being the most active territories. Over the past 15 months travelers earned more than $1,000,000 in rewards from delivering shoppers’ orders through the Hitchhiker platform.

Travelstart was founded in Sweden in 1999 and pioneered online travel in Scandinavia with two basic principles; using technology to make travel purchases simple and offering customers the best price. In 2006, the company launched in South Africa and became a household name. Travelstart currently operates across several African countries as well as the GCC area with offices in Cape Town, Lagos, Cairo and Dubai. Travelstart has seen double-digit growth and profitability since inception and is backed by Amadeus Capital Partners and HarbourVest.