Lead­ing by ex­am­ple at Al­pha DMC

The pas­sion for travel and ad­ven­ture trans­formed into a ca­reer for Samir Ha­madeh, Gen­eral Man­ager, Al­pha Des­ti­na­tion Man­age­ment. Hav­ing joined as Re­gional Head of Sales in the MENA re­gion in 2000, Ha­madeh heads a team of committed, well-trained and creati

TravTalk - Middle East - - SPECIALFEATURE - Shehara Rizly

Cur­rently head­ing the po­si­tion of Gen­eral Man­ager of Al­pha Des­ti­na­tion Man­age­ment Ha­madeh joined in 2000 as Re­gional Head—Sales for the MENA re­gion and soon moved on to in­ter­na­tional sales where he suc­cess­fully po­si­tioned Al­pha as a mar­ket leader from Europe and de­vel­oped new source mar­kets into the des­ti­na­tion. In ad­di­tion to the daily mi­cro-man­age­ment of the com­pany, Ha­madeh is en­trusted to over­see the busi­ness on a macro level, where the long-term strat­egy and the fu­ture of the busi­ness is be­ing set. This in­cludes the de­vel­op­ment of strate­gic global part­ner­ships and iden­ti­fy­ing new op­por­tu­ni­ties as well as in­te­grat­ing ad­vanced tech­nolo­gies and in­no­va­tive ser­vice-de­liv­ery meth­ods into their oper­a­tions.

Suc­cess in a dy­namic in­dus­try

Ha­madeh shares tourism is chal­leng­ing, dy­namic, fun, ex­cit­ing and continues to be a di­verse in­dus­try where one continues to learn and dis­cover var­i­ous new cul­tures, places, peo­ple, lan­guages on a reg­u­lar ba­sis. Suc­cess in the travel in­dus­try drives on hav­ing ex­cel­lent peo­ple skills, com­mu­ni­ca­tion, team­work, ded­i­ca­tion, flex­i­bil­ity and com­mer­cial aware­ness.


He ex­plains that among no­table ac­com­plish­ments in his ca­reer is men­tor­ing putting to­gether a team of committed, well-trained, cre­ative, and highly mo­ti­vated team mem­bers. He ex­plains, “In this in­dus­try, you can’t stop run­ning. You are up against global busi­ness trends and chang­ing cus­tomer behaviour. You have to be ahead of the game and run with a clear vi­sion on what is com­ing up in the world of travel tech­nol­ogy. This is an­other achieve­ment of con­nect­ing the dots and be­ing able to surf against the tsunami of the dig­i­tal world by adapt­ing to in­no­va­tions to en­sure the com­pany is ahead of its com­peti­tors.”

Trans­for­ma­tion of travel & tourism

The in­dus­try has wit­nessed a par­a­digm shift in trends and prac­tices. Ha­madeh men­tions, “Travel has been re­shaped by the lat­est in­no­va­tions and tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ments as well as mas­sive de­vel­op­ment of fa­cil­i­ties and at­trac­tions. Dig­i­tal­i­sa­tion has rev­o­lu­tionised the en­tire value chain of the in­dus­try. Pri­ori­ti­sa­tion of tourism on na­tional agen­das by gov­ern­ments in the GCC has given it a ma­jor im­pe­tus. Ac­cel­er­at­ing growth of tourism is a mas­sive in­vest­ment in the sec­tor along with re­lax­ation of travel poli­cies and strate­gic re­gional col­lab­o­ra­tions. Dubai has emerged as the largest tourism city by mar­ket size within the re­gion. Today we have the most iconic build­ings and the best ho­tels, fab­u­lous air­ports, su­perb global con­nec­tiv­ity, ex­pand­ing low-cost car­ri­ers, out­stand­ing leisure at­trac­tions, year-long cal­en­dar of re­gional and in­ter­na­tional events and ex­cel­lent qual­ity of life.”

OTAs vs tra­di­tional agents

Al­though tech­nol­ogy plays a piv­otal role in the trade, it is clear that tra­di­tional agents will never cease to ex­ist. Ha­madeh re­it­er­ates, “In­ter­na­tional tourism is ex­pected to grow to 1.8 bil­lion peo­ple by 2030. Tech­no­log­i­cal con­nec­tiv­ity and price com­par­i­son en­gines have, no doubt, shifted pur­chas­ing power to con­sumers. How­ever, the web is a com­plex world that can be over­whelm­ing with too much in­for­ma­tion and choices. That is when one needs to be guided by travel ad­vis­ers who of­fer spe­cial ex­pe­ri­ences that con­sumers can’t eas­ily get on their own. There­fore, it is im­por­tant to start view­ing cus­tomers not as mere units, but as guests seek­ing ex­pe­ri­ences. Travel spe­cial­ists, par­tic­u­larly lux­ury travel agen­cies, are still in de­mand be­cause only hu­mans are ca­pable of mak­ing some ex­pe­ri­ences hap­pen.”

You are up against global busi­ness trends and chang­ing cus­tomer behaviour in this in­dus­try. You have to be ahead of the game and run with a clear vi­sion on de­vel­op­ments in the world of travel tech­nol­ogy

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