Were you always passionate about travel?
It all started with my parents. They were both school teachers, so we could only go on vacation during school holidays. But we did travel throughout Europe. Greece in 1977 was the most memorable trip. We went for 8 weeks and had to cross the former Yugoslavia to get there. Quite an undertaking, but the love for Greece never left me.
By now, I’ve been to Greece some 40 odd times. I’ve seen everything there is to see, but I just feel at home there, so I try to go once a year. I travel a lot with my family in general too.
Is that why you started working in the travel industry?
Exactly, I worked as a host for a few years, but quickly found my way into travel IT. Some 10 years ago I made the switch to Amadeus and I’ve never looked back. I’m happy I stayed in the travel IT sector!
What do you like about your job?
It’s a quite individual role, but I’m in constant contact with my clients – that’s what I like most: building long-term relationships. I handle the entire Amadeus portfolio, from Amadeus Selling Platform Connect to custom-made solutions. I do collaborate with colleagues in other departments in order to find the best solution for our customers.
You witnessed the birth of GDS systems. What are the main differences with today?
For Amadeus? We’ve evolved into a complete IT-provider, but GDS remains our core business. The larger scope does allow us to make sure clients get the solution they need – from custom processes to additional content.
What are your clients mainly looking for from Amadeus?
In some cases, they want more content, others want to speed up their processes with automation.
The booking processes of our clients are becoming much more complex than just flights. We help them focus on what they do best: crafting and selling journeys.
How do you see the future of our industry?
Our business model will change in the next 12 to 18 months. The Amadeus Travel Platform will open up more content in a fluid environment where cooperation is stimulated. I always tell my clients: “Airlines are after your business. They want to take a link out of the food chain: you.”
E-commerce also puts pressure on traditional travel agents. What happens if your customers know more about the destination than you do? The solution is clear: travel agents need more information, more experience, more content.
How can travel agents stay ahead of their customers?
The added value of travel agents is not in booking flights from Brussels to London and back. More complicated journeys? That’s where they can really stand out! And to do that well, they need a large variety of good content.
What is your next dream trip?
I’ve seen every continent except Australia, but it’s not my dream destination. I would much rather discover the Maya culture in South America.
Who would you like to sit next to?
Anne Ruggieri, our colleague from the Customer Care team. The Customer Care team has to deal with a lot of issues all day, and that can’t be easy. I’d love to hear Anne’s take on things!
Key Account Manager