Hays reveals Amadeus’ determination to win back its business

Hays reveals Amadeus’ determination to win back its business

Leading travel agency chain Hays Travel has revealed how Amadeus has vowed to win back its business after its recent switch to rival GDS provider Travelport.

John Hays, founder and managing director of Hays Travel, said it had had an “excellent working relationship with Amadeus for quite a long while”.

Hays had been with Amadeus for the past nine years, but after the latest three-year deal came to an end it opted to switch having gone out to tender.

“We were really happy with Amadeus, but when we go out for tender, we look at everything, we look at the technology and the price, which is what organisations do all the time.

“Amadeus were very disappointed to lose the business. The managing director rang me to say she was going to win us back in three years’ time so the relationship is still very positive, we haven’t got anything negative to say.

“But in this case, when we went out for tender, Travelport came out on top.”

Asked what clinched the deal for Travelport, Hays said it was about the technology it offered rather than a favourable price, saying: “It suited the way we do business.”

Andrea Kendal, head of commercial at Hays, said: “From a technology point of view, there were some additional things that Travelport now offer us which was going to help us develop our business further.”

Hays is also going through an agency operating systems technology makeover by replacing Comtec’s TravelCat, described by John Hays as “1980s technology”, with three separate systems to manage both front and back-office functions.

The three new systems are Traveltek’s iSell, which takes care of day-to-day retailing, iTour, which creates tailor-made bookings for the Hays Faraway tour operation, and Microsoft Navision, which deals with back-office functions such as bank reconciliation.

The switch to the new systems should be completed by the end of the year, said Hays, adding: “It has taken us a lot longer than we would have liked to get rid of TravelCat but we’re very nearly there.”

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