Travelport, the business services provider to the global travel industry, has outlined plans to significantly expand the size of its hospitality team in 2011 as part of a global drive to grow hotel bookings through its two GDS platforms, Galileo and Worldspan, and its online leisure portal, Travelport Leisure.
To be headed up by group vice president for hospitality and partner marketing, Niklas Andréen, the investment in the expanded team forms part of Travelport’s ongoing strategy to heighten its focus on the growing hospitality sector and work even more closely with hoteliers to ensure that their content is distributed as widely as possible to travel retailers across the globe.
He is also responsible for evolving the Travelport GDS channel to ensure it becomes more of a value-based marketing platform for hoteliers, delivering industry leading advertising solutions.
As part of the new team structure, Travelport has promoted Paul Adams to the role of hotel and car rental director for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) with overall responsibility for driving growth across the region. Adams joined Travelport in 2005 bringing with him a wealth of hotel industry experience gained in high profile organisations such as Utell, Pegasus Solutions and Le Meridien Hotels & Resorts.
Most recently at Travelport, he was responsible for developing close working relationships with hotel and car suppliers across the Middle East and Africa and was recently awarded with the ‘Most Supportive GDS Supplier’ award from Dubai’s Jumeirah Hotel Group. Meanwhile, Joe Lim and Keith Harrison will both continue to head up similar dedicated hospitality supplier teams in Travelport’s Asia Pacific and Americas regions respectively. Harrison recently received the HEDNA (Hotel Electronic Distribution Network) 2010 Award of Excellence for his contribution toward the advancement of hotel electronic distribution and involvement with HEDNA.
Travelport is also in the process of recruiting a newly created team of dedicated hospitality business development managers to be based in key travel markets. The role of these managers will be to work with travel agents to help them realise the potential of the hotel sector and provide on the ground training and educational support to help them quickly earn new incremental revenue.
In 2010, Travelport generated a 12.1% growth in hotel bookings through Galileo and Worldspan compared to 2009 and recent industry figures provided in the latest Pegasus View report, indicate that corporate hotel bookings made through the GDS channel, will continue to by more than 20% through the second quarter of 2011.
Andréen commented: “There is significant scope for Travelport to play a pivotal role in this area and I’m confident that by creating an industry-leading hospitality team that has the ability to work in close partnership with both hotel and car rental customers as well as travel agencies, we will be able to quickly move from being a transaction platform to a strategic value enhancing platform for travel suppliers.”