1. Please check the interview with Mr. Panayiotis Markides, Media Reporter at TTG MENA.
Please read the Press Released in TTG Mena, May 2014 related to “Diversification of Travel Services, Page 38 of this Link: http://digital.ttgmena.com/digital-book/269-may-01/flipviewerxpress.html
Please find below the interview in its entirety:
- What are your latest news and developments? (Are you targeting new markets or offering any new tours?)
The Dynamic Changes in the business environment are opening up new Opportunities as well as main Challenges throughout the world.
During this time of change, we at Intertravel Uniglobe, are continuously trying our utmost best to improve our Capabilities and Services, Diversify our Products, seek new Strategic Alliances and above all penetrate New Markets.
From a business perspective,
- We are focusing on Corporate in Lebanon. Being affiliated to UNIGLOBE, we can offer a plethora of services and top-notch technologies.
- We have to continuously introduce new services that bring value-added benefits to the corporate; and that cater to the most sophisticated demands of our savvy customers.3. .
- We believe in a Win-Win, Trustful and Transparent long-term partnerships; and hence are working on various strategies that are tailor-made to corporate (e.g. compensation & benefits to employees, cross-sell deals and the list is not exhaustive).
From a leisure point of view, we are offering new Destinations, promoting New Hotels, and concocting New Packages that combine fun, sports, adventure and discovery; and others as “meet & mingle” entitled “Intertravel Café-Crème Conversations”.
- How has the travel industry for travel agents and tour operators changed over the years, and how do you see it continuing to evolve? How have you successfully adapted to industry changes?
It is needless to say that Agents/Tour Operators are facing severe competition all over the world due to Online companies/agents, direct competition from airlines/hotels, and we are constantly confronted to a fierce, unlawful competition in Lebanon notably.
We are living in such a dynamic environment that it is becoming hard to keep up with all the Changes and Trends – and this at various levels:
1). Progressive Industry as in: Rapid Technological Change; How to Deliver (Smartphone, Tablets, etc); Social Media & the Digital World; Online Travel Agencies, to name few
2). Economic Turmoil
3). Consumer Behaviour which became fickle; and whereabouts Some, cling more to Price than Quality
4). And in Lebanon in particular, tour operators, home-based agencies are mushrooming in such an unhealthy way … that it is adding salt to injury.
We are shifting from being Customer-oriented to “CRM” to “Customer Centric”, “Specialized”, “Personalized Services”, and the “trusted advisor”. A technical jargon that reflects the Culture, CHANGE and current mentality transitions. In other terms, we must regularly invent creative solutions, services to maintain customer’s loyalty. In the advent of smartphones in particular, EVERYTHING is available in our hand ANYTIME.
For instance, in 2015, 9 of 10 Airlines are planning to sell Tickets via Mobile Phones; and price Differently airfares on Mobile versus Desktop …
Consequently, we must Adapt to Changes, Cope with Changes, BE the Change.
Please allow me to shed some light on a new challenge that can be utterly disruptive to agencies and sales, which is the surge of Global Agreements.
This trend made the agencies representing a consortium win new corporate accounts where other agents are losing battles without having a say.
3. How is MENA differentiating and promoting itself amongst international markets to become a destination of choice? How do you anticipate it will grow in popularity in the future?
Some countries in the MENA region have faced skyrocketing sales and growth; benefiting from the political mayhem in the other neighbouring countries. Stability, Security, are few words but imperative criteria that makes the economy go round and hence money flowing. As an example, Dubai perhaps entered the “22nd century” due to its Location, Safety and Internal organisation and infrastructure. Investors are pouring money, envisioning mega projects, whereas other countries are struggling to survive.
In general, MENA region is filled with various opportunities. As the adage “You need to dream big to earn big”. In other terms, if you have Means, Money, combined to Right Timing and great PR / Networking, a company can do just fine.