Travelport GDS has announced a multi-million dollar investment across Eastern Europe in response to the growth potential it has identified within the region. The company confirmed that Eastern Europe’s travel sales via the GDS sector are currently growing at around 20% year-on-year.
In a clear demonstration of its commitment to the region, the GDS provider is focusing on expanding its presence in key Eastern European markets including Russia, Hungary, Romania, Poland and the Czech Republic as well as entering new, emerging Eastern European markets. Central to this expansion strategy is a commitment to raise the company’s presence on the ground, with airline and technical experts, marketers and commercial teams increasing in numbers.
As part of its focus on the region, Travelport GDS is hosting its first travel distribution conference for airlines, hoteliers, operators and travel agents in the local markets. The ‘Power of Partnerships’ event takes place in Budapest, Hungary, on November 25 and 26, 2008.
“We take the view that the way forward in Eastern Europe is not to automatically try to impose the way things work in Western Europe but to work on the ground with our customers to really help them to grow their businesses,” commented Niklas Andréen, managing director for Travelport GDS, Eastern Europe. “In essence we are investing in recruiting regionally based teams who are dedicated to listening to our customers and understanding specific local market needs. We aim to prove that we think and act differently to the competition.
“We are especially interested in the changing patterns of consumer behaviour in this region and so are also investing heavily in research to examine how the industry will change.”
In a clear demonstration of its belief in the region, Travelport GDS recently announced details of its acquisition of the Malév-owned Galileo operation in the growing Hungarian travel market. Through the acquisition of its local Galileo distribution business, previously operated by Hungary’s national carrier, Malév Hungarian Airlines (Malév), coupled with a new content agreement with the airline, Travelport GDS firmly established itself as the leading supplier of GDS solutions to the Hungarian travel agency community. It is currently looking at further acquisitions and new market entry opportunities.