Amadeus has appointed Antoine Medawar as the new Senior Vice President for the Middle East and Africa at the end of 2018. Medawar is based in the Amadeus offices in Dubai.
In his new position at the helm of Amadeus Africa, Medawar has ambitious plans for Africa and says it will definitely not be ‘business as usual’.
Commenting on his appointment, Medawar says: “When there’s a change in leadership, it can never be business as usual. My priority will be to give our customers in Africa more attention and care and offer them more solutions adapted to their specific needs. I want to understand our customers; speak to them directly; and more than anything listen and listen generously, not just listen politely.”
The travel industry in Africa is booming and offers a lot of promise, according to Medawar. The middle class is rising; which has led to a significant increase in travellers on the continent. Especially big markets like Nigeria are expanding at a fast pace.
Amadeus has also noticed a big step forward in the usage of mobile in Africa with over 79% of travel research now done on mobile phones. This has led to a steady increase in online bookings with close to 50% of direct online bookings being made on mobile devices. These developments have resulted in an increase in demand for technology in the African travel industry.
“As the market leader in Africa, we at Amadeus strive to demonstrate our dedication to our customers by offering them both support and innovation,” says Medawar.
Exciting times are ahead as Amadeus will bring further innovation to Africa in many different forms. Medawar reveals Amadeus will continue to develop mobile solutions for the market as well as introduce a chatbot solution that will bring faster support to the travel agency customer.
Medawar says: “Amadeus will be looking at specific solutions for small and medium travel agencies. There are a great number of small and medium travel agencies in Africa. They too need full attention to remain in business and stand out. We want to offer them access to solutions that are most relevant to their business.”
A new hotel solutions platform, called Amadeus Value Hotel, is on the cards. This platform with bring both great content and attractive rates, allowing travel agencies to considerably boost their revenue.
Finally, payment solutions will be a focus for Amadeus in Africa, as payment and money transfers continue to be a major challenge on the continent. These solutions will first be rolled out in Ghana and Nigeria, followed by several other countries in Africa. “Watch this space,” says Medawar.