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Amadeus Philippines warns travel agencies on slowdown in corporate travel

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Amadeus Philippines on Thursday said travel agencies should brace for the possibility of a slowdown in corporate travel next year once the country begins to feel the impact of the global financial crisis.

Amadeus Philippines general manager Albert Villadolid said local companies will in all likelihood trim travel expenses in 2009 as they realign their budget allocations to cope with the economic challenges.

“Travel agencies must adapt to the changing economic times. The global financial crisis will force corporations to tighten their travel expenditures. It is an industry danger sign that has to be addressed quickly,” Villadolid said.

He added: “It is now the time for travel agencies to come up with more innovative marketing campaigns, better travel packages, and install reliable and flexible technology tools to survive and prosper,” Villadolid said.

The top companies in the country have traditionally allotted a certain percentage of their annual budget for the business travel of mid-level to top management officials. They also usually provide employees with a once-a-year leisure travel as part of their incentive and benefit programs.

Villadolid said travel agencies must be able to provide their corporate clients with options that will allow for their people to still travel at an acceptable cost.

“Travel agencies can help companies manage their travel spending more efficiently. They should also help review corporate travel policies and negotiate better deals with travel suppliers,” Villadolid said.

Villadolid said Amadeus will rollout next year new tools to help travel agencies adjust their respective operations and pursue opportunities in the face of an impending economic crisis.

“We will introduce new solutions to travel agencies in 2009 to make sure they are equipped with the tools necessary to remain viable,” Villadolid said.

Villadolid said Amadeus will also deploy new information technology services for airlines, airports, cruises, hotels, entertainment, and tours industries next year.

Amadeus said that although it has seen clear signs of a slowdown in leisure travel among Filipinos in the second half of this year, corporate and overseas Filipino workers travel have remained strong for 2008.

Amadeus is currently the biggest service provider for travel related companies in the country, serving more than 2,000 travel agencies nationwide.

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