Striving to excel in everything we do is at the core of who we are in Amadeus. With more than 463 million bookings processed worldwide in 2011 and 439 million Passengers Boarded 1 handled in the same period, excellence is fundamental to the way we engage with our stakeholders (customers, employees, shareholders, partners, providers, etc.) and to the way we respond to their expectations. This has shaped not only the way we provide technology solutions to our customers, but also how we invest and innovate, how we develop our people and their talent, and how we collaborate with third parties.
As a global business, understanding key market dynamics, the needs, and the technical requirements of our customers is fundamental to building and maintaining mutually beneficial long-term relationships. The importance of our local presence with 73 Amadeus Commercial Organisations (ACOs) covering 195 countries, the setting up of our regional organisation allowing us to adapt our offering to our customers and their market specificities; and the strength of the global support organisation, all these combined result in improved flexibility and higher customer satisfaction.
In 2011 we further optimised our global footprint through the implementation of transparent and responsible processes, improving our supply chain and the way we work with each other.
Through the Risk and Compliance Office we have defined global policies that help us monitor and manage the most relevant risks that could compromise the fulfilment of our mission as a leading provider of technology solutions for the travel and tourism industry.
Innovation is one of the principal drivers of the success of Amadeus. Today we enjoy an outstanding competitive positioning, with our R&D investment since 2004 totalling more than €2 billion. With 16 R&D centres around the world and a team of over 4,000 people dedicated to enhancing Amadeus' value proposition for our customers, we were recognised for the second year in a row as the 'Most Admired Technology Provider' in the 2011 Reader's Choice Awards from The Beat. Along with our partners American Express Global Business Travel and Microsoft, we were also awarded the 'Travel Team of the Year' at the 2011 Business Travel Award.
At Amadeus we are proud of our leading position and the opportunities we have to help make our community a better place. We acknowledge that, although we have a low direct environmental impact, as a leading technology provider we have the responsibility to minimise the impact of our operations whilst helping the travel industry in its efforts towards sustainability. We do so by developing technology solutions that help airlines and other industry players reduce emissions and by working with industry stakeholders to improve the environmental performance in our industry.
To achieve our social objectives, we draw resources from our business and partner with industry players to combine our technology excellence and global reach with their expertise and valuable contribution. In 2011 Amadeus formally subscribed to the UNWTO Global Code of Ethics for Tourism, a set of principles that guide the development of tourism, helping to maximise its socio-economic benefits whilst minimising its negative impact on the environment, cultural heritage and societies at a worldwide level.
Amadeus' people, our company culture, our values and behaviours are unique assets. Our robust business model coupled with continuity in leadership and employees have allowed us to continuously grow. We believe in protecting the rights and dignity of each member of our company and we stand for equal opportunity and fair treatment for all, rejecting any form of discrimination. The combination of talent and global thinking, a common multinational approach, engagement and the diversity of our teams are at the basis of our success.
As we continue to provide technology solutions to the travel and tourism industry, our mission as a corporation goes beyond simple commercial growth to ensure that we make a positive contribution to our industry and to society in general.
In these pages you will read some of the ways in which we are doing so. As we look at the future with confidence, I encourage you to discover this work and in what we do every day, how we at Amadeus make a positive difference to the travel industry, to our employees, to our shareholders and to our community.
President & CEO