Travelport is aiming to enhance its presence in Asia with new products and a focus on customer service, the company’s new regional head has revealed.
Speaking to Travel Daily, Travelport’s recently-appointed managing director for Asia Pacific, Patrick Andres, said the company’s priorities under his leadership would be to deepen relationships with its clients in the region and to “develop a culture of service” within the company.
“First of all, we have a very solid position in several regions. In many of these markets we have big customers so I want to solidify these relationships, develop a culture of service, and have our staff working for our customers. If we do that we will be successful,” said Andres, who joined Travelport in October last year. He added that Travelport’s Asian team would expand “as need be”.
Commenting on his first few months in the job, Andres said his first priority was to meet with customers.
“We visited each customer to have an open conversation with them,” Andres said. “I can’t stress enough how important that level of engagement is. That’s what will be the key to our success.
“Personally that’s what I want to see from our team. I believe in open communication, asking ourselves what we are doing well, what we can do better, exchanging ideas and talking things through.”
And Andres believes that this level of customer service will set Travelport apart from its competitors.
“Where we differ from our competitors is our philosophy is to give customers choice. We don’t think that every agency is the same. They have different needs and we want to create solutions that fit the needs of every one of our customers. We need to piece together the elements and work out what’s best for each of our customers. In every region we provide choice. And we view that as a major advantage,” he said.
In terms of solutions, Andres said Travelport’s main priority was “providing content and offering the ability to search it intelligently”. One new solution being launched this year is the ‘Travelport Merchandising Platform’, which will be able to handle the rapid growth of ancillary products sold by airlines.
“Generally GDSs have not been able to sell these as well as airlines have on their website,” Andres admitted. “Travelport Merchandising Platform will enable [travel agents] to take airline content and rebundle it. We are working with airlines like Air Canada, Air New Zealand and easyJet to get their latest products, but there are no restrictions. For us it’s just code. Technically an airline can send us anything, and we can sell it.”
“We continue to improve the functionality of our products. It’s all about efficiency. We need to engage with our customers and provide tools that will make people as efficient as possible,” Andres concluded.