In its short history, Amadeus has enjoyed great success. During that period we have built a leadership position in our industry of which our people are justifiably proud. Our leadership was hard-earned and nobody at the company is complacent: we know it can be easily lost if we do not continue to do those things that have earned us our success. That is why Amadeus has committed itself to the purpose of shaping the future of travel and leading the industry through a combination of our technological innovation and service excellence.
The future, while full of challenges, looks promising. In a recent report commissioned by Amadeus, Oxford Economics estimated that global, overnight visitor flows will increase by 5.4% annually over the next decade, significantly higher than GDP growth estimated at 3.4%, and in line with global trade flows at 5.8%. Amadeus aims to facilitate that growth in a sustainable manner and meet those challenges by continuing to provide the products, solutions and services that our customers require to serve the needs of travellers.
With this in mind, we continue to re-invest a large portion of our revenues in Research & Development, 16.5% in 2013, making us an industry leader in terms of R&D investment. That investment is critical to responding to the needs of our existing customers while also addressing new customer groups, like airports and hotels. In 2014 we will increase our R&D investments in growth areas like hotel IT, mobile technology, airport IT, and technologies to enable seamless, multimodal travel.
As a customer-driven company, it is essential that Amadeus improves its customer intimacy, understanding their needs and ambitions, and growing with them. This means expanding our presence around the globe. By the end of 2013 we had commercial presence in around 200 countries, and had established new, specialized teams in Boston, Bangalore, Copenhagen, Dallas, Madrid, Portsmouth (New Hampshire) and Singapore.
Environmental sustainability remains a global challenge and technology can play an important role, e.g. by improving access to and efficiency of multimodal journeys, shifting traffic from private cars to public transport and rail. This is one of many areas where Amadeus is actively involved in industry and EU supported initiatives, and where we are uniquely positioned to deliver the right technology.
As a truly global corporate citizen, we engage actively with partners to make a positive impact on the societies in which we operate. In 2013 we initiated our global partnership with UNICEF, in which Amadeus technology enables micro-donations on our travel partners’ websites to UNICEF’s programmes for children around the world. Our launch travel partner was Iberia and we are currently finalising a partnership with Finnair. We are hopeful and confident that many more travel partners join this initiative in the coming months and years to make a real difference.
Please have a look at our first integrated Global Report, which was made possible by contributions from Amadeus employees around the world. With over 12,000 individuals from 117 different nationalities employed in this remarkably multicultural company, we face the future confidently, with aspirations of making a difference. This report sheds some light on why we believe we can shape a sustainable future of travel.