Amadeus, one of the world’s largest travel technology companies, is celebrating its 25th year in Turkey. The company’s top executives around the world came to Istanbul for the Amadeus Executive Summit, held exclusively for this occasion on Monday.
Speaking prior to the event held to address global trends, the future of travel, and digitalization, Eric Willems, Sales Director Online Southern Europe, Travel Channels at Amadeus IT Group, said Turkey has great potential in the field of tourism and will continue to grow.
Willems noted that Amadeus, founded 30 years ago and operating in 190 countries, has been in Turkey for 25 years and highlighted the country’s significance for the company. “When we first started, there were only three people, and we now have about 250 employees. We will continue to grow in the following period,” Willems said.
Willems underlined Turkey’s great potential in tourism, as well as the importance that the state attaches to the sector. “Turkey is a safe and stable country, and tourism traffic is increasing rapidly. Cruise arrivals in Istanbul have begun, and big congresses and meetings will start soon. From Amadeus’ perspective, 2020 would be a better year than this. We see the potential here and want to support it,” he noted.
Pointing out that there is great potential on the railways in Turkey, Willems said that they had various meetings with the Turkish State Railways (TCDD) on this issue. Explaining that they have a ready platform used by the biggest train operators in the world and that they want to see TCDD on this platform, Willems said that they anticipate that the journeys by train will increase in the future.
Champa Magesh, the executive vice president of retail in travel channels and managing director EMEA at Amadeus, pointed out that Turkey is a very important country for them, adding that the recent interest in tourism and state support in Turkey is valuable.
Magesh stressed that despite the advancement of technology, passengers in the travel industry, namely customers, demand greater interaction with real people, stressing that travelers now want more and that this should be given not only in quantity but also in quality. “This is only possible through customization and customized service. We offer global solutions,” he said.
Anna Kofoed, Senior Vice President, Retail for Northern, Eastern, Central and Southern Europe at Amadeus, also stated that passengers want customized content, not random suggestions, underlining that passengers are now digital professional consumers.
In December 2018, the company announced its plans to invest in seven Turkish startups in order to nurture the startup ecosystem in the country, which they described has a big potential for travel technologies.