Madrid, Spain: Joan Mesquida, the Spanish General Secretary for Tourism and Domestic Trade, and Luis Maroto, President & CEO of Amadeus, a leading transaction processor and provider of technology solutions for the global travel and tourism industry, have signed a Framework Cooperation Agreement for Sustainable Tourism Development. The Agreement involves cooperation projects in the areas of technology, tourism and travel to promote social development in disadvantaged areas through Corporate Social Responsibility activities, taking advantage of Amadeus' presence in 195 countries.
Thanks to this partnership, Amadeus and the General Secretariat for Tourism will collaborate with developing countries, with both of them contributing their extensive knowledge of sustainable tourism development. Spain is the world leader in holiday tourism and its experience is well recognised and respected worldwide. Through this initiative the country aims to help the most disadvantaged regions develop an activity which has proven to be a great source of wealth creation, generation of jobs and social cohesion. Under this agreement the first activities will be developed in Haiti and Jordan.
These activities will be related to areas such as training of personnel in the sector, contribution of technology, analysis of the existing travel sector, support in planning strategies to increase the competitiveness of tourist destinations, creation and evaluation of tourism marketing policies, promotion and development of local tourism, strengthening of travel retailers and improvement of management systems in micro, small and medium-sized travel companies (MSMEs).
The first action to be carried out under the agreement will be the creation of a monitoring unit based on information provided by Amadeus regarding demand for regular air travel, allowing for a prospective analysis of the behaviour and evolution of this demand in international and regional markets, in collaboration with the Instituto de Estudios Turísticos (IET).
Joint social projects in technology and tourism
More specifically, this framework agreement embodies a comprehensive, long-term project providing an opportunity to apply the Spanish Government's extensive experience of tourism development to existing Amadeus projects. It will also allow new challenges to be mastered jointly in which the combination of technology and tourism can be used to help develop the most underprivileged social segments in the countries in which Amadeus and the General Secretariat for Tourism decide to operate.
As well as providing technology solutions, Amadeus brings to this agreement its network of more than 90 CSR project coordinators working in more than 190 countries where the country has a commercial presence. For example, Amadeus is operating technology transfer projects in Central America, the Andean countries and South Africa for hotel micro enterprises looking to progress in areas which, despite having a tourism industry, are underdeveloped, allowing these hotels to distribute their offer through Amadeus' GDS and travel agencies in line with industry standards. Currently, some 200 hotels form part of this project and the aim is that many more micro-hotels should benefit from it in the future.
Another CSR activity that Amadeus brings to this agreement is its World PC Bank, through which all computers which have been replaced (from travel agencies, operators, Amadeus itself or by other sector players) are reconditioned for use in education or technology transfer projects, like the ones mentioned above. Amadeus recently donated 40 PCs to schools in Chile affected by the earthquake and more than 100 to tourism schools in South Africa, with transport and handling provided by Iberia and Cacesa. Amadeus carries out all these projects thanks to partnerships developed with third parties, and this is precisely the idea behind the present agreement with the General Secretariat for Tourism — to join forces in order to identify and develop potential synergies.
Luis Maroto, President & CEO of Amadeus Group, said: "It is a great pleasure for us to cooperate with the General Secretariat for Tourism, as we not only share the same vision of solidarity but also believe that tourism should work in favour of all those developing regions that need to grow socially and economically. “
For Amadeus, this Framework Agreement with the General Secretariat for Tourism forms part of the network of partnerships the company has created across the world, with both public and private institutions, to promote development and social improvement in disadvantaged segments through tourism. Among these partners are the WTO Themis Foundation (part of the World Travel Organisation’s education and training area), the Regional Government of Madrid, the Spanish Agency for International Cooperation for Development (AECID), the non-profit organisation Codespa and Auralog, the multinational specialising in language training through e-learning. Likewise, Amadeus participates in the global MassiveGood initiative, created by the Millennium Foundation to raise funds through micro-donations made when booking travel, which are used for projects to combat disease. Amadeus designed the technology necessary for the MassiveGood project.