It’s easy to generalize Latin America’s customer preferences, market behaviors, and the travel industry itself, as if you could paint the entire region with the same brush. But those who live here know that the reality is somewhat different: the financial and cultural differences and the peculiarities of each country have made it a constant challenge for agencies and airlines in the region to find a business model that performs well for travelers with a handful things in common and many, many differences.
Between the dozens of markets we have here, there are substantial differences in service penetration and the preferences of customers. How corporations and travelers book their travels, the balance between online and offline travel agencies, and the search for the lowest fare versus a more personalized service make up a few of these differences. All of these things do not follow a rule in Latin America. A model that fits well for Brazil may not be good in the Mexican market. A very important service to Argentinians may well be something disposable to a Colombian.
A breakthrough for travel agencies and airlines in the region is to quickly realize what these business details are and act in advance to attack the right flank at the right time. It’s amazing the work that our partners in the region have been doing in that direction, and Amadeus Latin America is proud to be working alongside them in order to produce the knowledge needed to anticipate these market moves.
It is vital to be in touch with our customers and we are doing exactly this through the LATAM Select President’s Summit. This Amadeus customer summit, held in Berlin, brought together leaders from the top travel agencies in Latin America, amid discussions about the new challenges faced by the industry and how travel agency management will be an increasingly predominant topic in a growing and competitive environment.
We gathered more than 50 renowned agencies from the region for three days of intense debate and networking. Joost Schuring, Amadeus Vice-President for Latin America and the Caribbean, opened the event by welcoming the participants and shedding some light on the topics that would be discussed during the three days of meetings. He was followed by Decius Valmorbida, Amadeus Vice-President of Distribution Marketing, who emphasized that travel customization should not be observed from a distant vantage point by LATAM agencies, but actually transformed into a corporate policy.
We were also very happy to introduce a fresh subject for deep debate amid travel executives: human resources. We cannot imagine dealing with such a diverse market without having the right people in the organization. Experts in the area, including Sabine Hansen Peck, Amadeus Senior Vice President of Human Resources, Communications and Branding, stated that the procedures for the selection, development and retention of professionals are very important for travel agencies.
It’s more expensive for a company to hire and train a professional than to create an environment in which people want to show up to work. We strongly believe that shaping the future of travel also means providing a better service to travelers. Travel agencies can do this by retaining their talent, thus creating an advantage over competitors. It’s a vision that is spreading throughout the region, and we are proud to be part of this debate.
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