Amadeus adds Sell Faster to Twitter, other blogging efforts
By Dennis Schaal
If you think social media is only for consumers, guess again.
Amadeus has embraced blogs and Twitter
to reach out to travel agents and suppliers
with marketing messages and training tips.
Amadeus has a handful of blogs, with the
latest endeavor being its Sell Faster blog at
The blog, which kicked off in March, focuses on how travel agents can take better
advantage of the hotel resources and tools
available in the Amadeus GDS.
For example, one of the latest blog posts
on Sell Faster discussed a new functionality enabling agents to “request lists of hotels offering room occupancies above the
standard one or two persons, through their
normal /RT-entry. This means that the
search results will now only display hotels
relevant to the search request.”
Other blog posts, which often come with
images, cover the availability of apartment
inventory in the Amadeus GDS, hotel loy-
alty cards, prepaid hotel rooms and budget
Guilluame Thevenot, Amadeus’ business
development manager, hotels, U.K. and
Ireland, writes many of the posts and said
the blog is in sort of a pre-beta phase — it
hasn’t even been promoted to agents yet
— with the purpose
of getting feedback
from “a small number of people.”
it remains to be
seen whether travel
agents are receptive to blogs, whether they
have time during the day to view them, and
which part of a travel agency organization
would be the most appropriate readers.
Amadeus also has a Twitter account at
Thevenot, who is based in the U.K., said the
Twitter account is attracting “more attention than the blog.”
Twitter is a two-way conversation, as
Thevenot found out when travel agent
Murray Harrold of Gerrards Cross, England, tweeted to let him know that Amadeus displayed a hotel’s location as Italy, when
it actually is in France.
Thevenot checked out the problem and
a few hours later
tweeted back: “Just
to let you know
that I have asked
the hotel provider
to correct the country field. Thanks for
spotting this mistake.”
On Twitter, Amadeus queries agents
whether they are interested in hotel reviews
in their Front Office application, and does
some marketing, informing followers that
the GDS “offers far more rates availability
and room types than [online travel agen-
The Sell Faster blog focuses
on how agents can take
advantage of the tools avail-
able in the Amadeus GDS.
cies] in general.”
The hotel-oriented Sell Faster blog and
the Twitter account are just two (it has several other blogs) of Amadeus’ forays into
social media, which Amadeus North American spokeswoman Debbie Iannaci views as
a complement to press releases and newsletters, and a tool to engage agents.
In fact, the Amadeus Training Department introduced a blog, The Voice of Amadeus e-University, at http://blog.aeuniver
sity.com in May 2008.
Recent posts ranged from how to improve an agency’s “air quality” — the environment inside the office — to software
fixes for Amadeus products.
Iannaci said Amadeus’ experiments in
social media provide an opportunity for
“dialogue and immediate responses” and
have utility for communications, marketing and help-desk functions.
Viking calls off deal to sell majority stake
Ritz-Carlton worker ‘Face of Travel’
An employee at the Ritz-Carlton, Amelia
Island (Fla.), has been selected to represent the travel industry and its front-line
workers as the “Face of Travel” in a national public relations campaign.
Paco Saldana, began
working at the property as a busboy in
1996 after emigrating from Mexico
He has progressively taken on more
responsibility in a
variety of roles and
currently serves as
the director of guest
His selection ends a process that began
in April when the U.S. Travel Association
launched the “Faces of Travel” contest
as part of the industry’s Meetings Mean
Business campaign, which was designed
to counter the backlash against corpo-
rate spending on meetings and incentive
The goal was to find an industry worker whose experiences could demonstrate
the real life story behind all the statistics
about travel and meetings and their impact on employment, community development and the economy.
Saldana was selected from among dozens of industry employees who submitted
brief videos describing why they believed
that they were the face of the industry.
(The entries are still online at www.you
As the winner, Saldana will receive
$5,000 and participate as an industry
spokesperson in U.S. Travel’s media and
other outreach efforts. Users of Twitter can follow him at www.twitter.com/
Saldana said he’s a little nervous about
making public appearances, which is a
new experience for him, but said “it’s a
great opportunity to tell a story,” adding
it will be “for a good cause.”
By Michelle Baran
Viking River Cruises said it has terminated
a deal to sell a reported majority equity
stake to Waterland Private Equity, a Dutch
a stake to Waterland. This week, several
news reports surfaced in Europe that Waterland had pulled out of the deal, claiming
the proposed transaction did not meet the
that we’ve done in
light of our current strong performance,” said
Viking’s senior vice
president of marketing.
The line had said in February that it
would have an in-
vestment deal in
place by April.
“It’s always been
our intention to get
a stronger capital
base,” Hagen told
Travel Weekly at
When asked if Vi-
king needs a capital
investment to stay
afloat, Marnell said
that “need is a rela-
“Having capital partners is always helpful, but it’s not a need,” he said. “Viking is
not currently engaged with another investor; however, a strategic partnership with
commonly aligned goals is always a consideration.”
“The deal basically took too long
to close,” he said. Viking River Cruises has called off a deal with Waterland
“On our side, there Private Equity. Pictured, the Viking Legend under construction.
was an expectation
that it was going to close a lot earlier, and it
seemed to drag on.”
In a statement, Waterland said it chose
to no longer pursue an equity deal with
In late April, British newspaper the Telegraph reported that Viking Chairman Tor-stein Hagen was in advanced talks to sell
Marnell added that Viking is currently in
a “strong position.”
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