We sat with Vasken Tokatlian, General Manager of Amadeus Central West Africa and chatted about his hopes for his region and the increasing importance of mobile in Africa. Read the full interview below.
What is your full name and what ACO are you in charge of?
My name is Vasken Tokatlian, I’m the General Manager for Amadeus Central West Africa.
Tell us about your ACO, where are you based and what countries are included in your ACO?
The Central West African ACO is a very special ACO. Currently our ACO is made up of 22 countries, in total we have 7 offices, soon to be 8 – we have an office opening up in Congo Brazza.
How would you describe your life at Amadeus in three words?
Life at Amadeus is exciting; it’s always challenging and involves lots of problem solving.
How do you see innovation in travel across the African continent?
Travel within Africa faces a vast range of challenges specifically around infrastructure. Innovation in Africa will happen and is happening specifically within the mobile realm. I expect this growth in mobile to expand exponentially with Africa at the head.
Thinking about your market, what excites you about future developments over the next 3 to 5 years?
As I’ve already mentioned one of the most exciting developments is mobile technology and it’s application in travel. Moving on from that, I think CWA will see an exponential growth of the use of self-booking tools by corporations. Travel agents in our community will also be forced to embrace technology even more to move to a more automated process when booking travel.
Which single development would or could have the most influence in your area?
Currently there is an online payment gateway for online travel purchasing which will completely change the environment in our region.
What opportunities exist to improve the ravel experience in your area?
The overall travel experience in our ACO can be somewhat frustrating. There are a lot of variables and dependencies, for example some airport experiences can be frustrating, travellers often experience flight delays, travel agents need to manage the information they send to their customers regarding these delays. Technology is an enabler for the many issues we face and I believe it can facilitate the travel experience.
If you could have one wish for your 2014 for your ACO – what would it be?
I really hope to see Amadeus in Central West Africa grow while we maintain happy, satisfied, customers. For the Amadeus Team in the region it would be great if we could implement some of our more complex solutions.