How big is Amadeus in Luxembourg?
150 square meters of office space, with me as the Account Manager, Product Manager, and Office Manager all-in-one. Sometimes it gets a bit lonely, but usually I go to Brussels once a month for meetings and colleagues visit for training sessions too. I’ve been at Amadeus for 1.5 years, but I’ve been working in Luxembourg for 17 years now.
Why did you start working in Luxembourg?
There are more professional opportunities here than across the border. That’s why I’ve been crossing the border with France twice a day for some years. I tried learning Luxembourgish at first, but it was too hard. I don’t think I had room to spare for other languages besides French, English and Spanish.
What made you choose for Amadeus 1.5 years ago?
I studied tourism in France and I have plenty of experience in the travel industry: traditional agencies, hotel chains, business travel companies, even an Air Rescue Company based in Luxembourg.
Do you still have professional goals?
Of course! I’m still just as motivated as I was on my first day. There’s a lot of potential in Luxembourg since many large travel organizations have offices here. Backed by my understanding of the market – and the support from my colleagues from Belgium, the Netherlands, and France – I want to help them evolve in our Live Travel Space.
What is the essence of the Live Travel Space?
All parties involved in the entire travel process are welcome: travel suppliers, travel buyers, travel agencies, GDSs, technology companies, … They will all become part of it, learn about each other and create joint projects to grow together.
The Live Travel Space is the new space that combines the Amadeus Travel Platform technology, our people’s expertise, substantial investments and strong customer relationships.
Do you think the Live Travel Space will help travel agents overcome their challenges?
Absolutely! Business travel is already heavily investing in online solutions and technology. The new platform could help streamline that process tremendously.
Leisure travel is somewhat different. Luxembourg a conservative country, so contrary to global trends, demand for brick-and-mortar travel stores is actually growing here. And, of course, businesses are responding to that. In the last 1.5 years, 2 large travel companies opened 5 new offices here.
When Generation Y enters the market, that will change. For now, these companies are building experience centers equipped with the latest technologies. And one of them invites travelers to come back to the office to share their experiences with new prospects – interesting idea, don’t you think?
Do you travel a lot, Sébastien?
I used to, when I was a travel agent. I still try to, but at least once a year, I visit my mother in Corsica. There aren’t too many flights available, however… Such a pity because, it’s a truly a wonderful destination: white beaches, blue water, and if you walk 5 minutes, you’re up in the mountains enjoying a stunning view.
Is Corsica your favorite travel destination?
It’s up there, but my nr. 1 is Cuba. I went there some 10 years ago and it was the best trip of my life. Such a colorful destination, with a very rich history. Such sweet people, too. They’re quite poor but they love to share. In the West, there’s a lot of complaining about material goods, that’s why we should all go there at least once in our lifetimes.
Is there still a destination on your bucket list?
Quite a few, to be honest. The next one up is Canada. Just imagine renting a car and driving through that beautiful countryside from the one great city to the next. You’d need at least 3 or 4 weeks though.
Who would you like to sit next to?
Personally, I would like to talk to Bart Annaert, our Finance Analyst.