Amadeus operates at the intersection between technology and travel – our solutions facilitate the journeys of hundreds of millions of people each year. We often measure the success of our company in these huge numbers – the bookings we process each year and the Passengers Boarded using our IT systems (447 million and 564 million respectively in 2012). These translate into a healthy financial performance.
One of the factors that we believe makes Amadeus different, however, is that we also measure our success in terms that go beyond commercial performance. Amadeus operates in 195 countries worldwide and we believe that our business activities should increase value to our stakeholders only in a sustainable way, making a positive contribution to the societies in which we operate.
Our commitment to develop a socially responsible and sustainable business that will bring long-term rewards to all our stakeholders was reflected in 2012 by our maiden inclusion in the Dow Jones Sustainability Index, and our position as the leading company on the support services segment. While we recognise that we can always do more, and we will strive to do more, our employees are rightly proud of early steps and strongly support the company’s drive to improve our contribution to society.
Today’s travel and tourism industry comprises diverse and interdependent sectors representing 9% of global total GDP and employment worldwide – they have a significant impact on the communities they touch. The long-term sustainability of these industries and their communities demands collaboration amongst industry players. Amadeus’ role as a bridge between travel providers and consumers places us in a unique position from which to lead efforts to shape the future of travel. We recognise that this is also a privilege and we are resolved to use our position positively and based on the principles of transparency, fair competition and respect for the environment and the society.
Our leading position in the travel and tourism industry also means that we have to excel in the way we respond to our customers. Anticipating the needs of tomorrow’s travellers, improving the travel experience, providing leading-edge technology solutions that enable our customers’ success; all these activities drive our commitment to innovation, allowing us to achieve an outstandingly competitive position in the industry. In 2012 we continued to reinforce our sustainable competitive edge by investing 14.2% of our revenue in R&D, or €414.1 million representing an increase of 21.3% vs. 2011.
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, these efforts have been recognised in the 2012 EU Industrial R/D Investment Scorecard, which analyses the 1,000 largest European companies investing in R&D. Amadeus was once again named the largest investor in the area of travel and tourism.
We develop innovative technology solutions that bring travellers and a broad range of travel service providers together - from small, family-run bed & breakfast inns to the world’s leading airline alliances - in real time and around the globe. At the same time, our people have a deep understanding of the industry and first-hand knowledge of what a powerful role technology and information play in this sector. The combination of our highly skilled set of resources and our innovative capabilities enables us to help communities and developing regions tap into global tourism and its benefits.
And so in 2012 we initiated our Corporate Citizenship programme to develop activities to improve the living standards of the communities we work in. We are convinced that by working in partnership with all industry stakeholders and leveraging our unique attributes - our people and their talent, our technological capabilities and our expertise in the global industry - we can make a real difference and drive social change where we have a presence.
With this aim, amongst other community support projects, we signed a global partnership with UNICEF to improve the lives of children worldwide through travel. Amadeus will put its technology to work and will deploy a donation engine solution on commercial travel websites, offering travellers worldwide the possibility to crowd-source funds for UNICEF’s projects when making their online travel booking. This is just one among many community support projects, but one we are very excited about.
Although Amadeus has a relatively low direct environmental impact, as a leading technology provider with more than 10,000 employees and a global network of 73 local commercial organisations, we have the responsibility to minimise the use of natural resources, providing solutions to our customers that help them to optimise their impact while helping the travel industry in its efforts towards sustainability.
Amadeus’ people, our company culture, our values and behaviours are unique assets. In 2012, we have accelerated our efforts towards making Amadeus a place where talent, expertise and success are recognised, fostering a culture of engagement and accountability based on respect and collaboration. 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.
Our robust, sustainable business model, coupled with a stable and committed base of employees have allowed us to continue to grow. I would like to take this opportunity to pay tribute to the dedication of those employees, whose hard work, professionalism, commitment and enthusiasm have delivered our success in 2012. The combination of talent and global thinking, a common multinational approach, engagement and the diversity of the teams is crucial to our future sustainable growth.
I encourage you to discover in these pages, 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