The French Riviera is often described as a beautiful, hot, sunny, playground paradise. And so it is with its mixture of glorious beaches and gourmet restaurants. But the Cote d’Azur is also home to Sophia Antipolis – the “silicon valley of Europe” – and base to the Amadeus Marketing and Development centre, employing over 4,000 people and being the engine room for the brains of Amadeus Product Development and Innovation.
When this site was founded in the late 1980s by Amadeus (and as a nod to Air France as a founder airline of the Amadeus System) people around the world with an interest in travel technology must have thought to themselves that this can’t be a bad place to be. And right they were, as I found out when I worked there between 1999 and 2002.
Over the years since, I have been able to travel on a fairly frequent basis from our UK offices to the South of France, usually with customers in tow, and always with a sense of anticipation about what we might see. And I have never been disappointed!
I am just back from a three day trip to Sophia Antipolis, where we hosted a group of customers and showed them the future of Amadeus and of travel technology. It was great to meet and hear from people who really are driving the future, both in response to market developments and as our creativity and innovation allow.
Be it mobile technology, the power of search functionality, or the ability to call and report upon customer data through Business Intelligence, there is an enormous amount happening. There is a vibrancy and an energy that filters through and which drives customer and market behaviour right here in the UK.
If you are lucky enough to come and see us and to meet the teams on the Cote d’Azur you will learn an enormous amount about Amadeus and the industry. That journey starts right here at our new offices at Gatwick Airport. We would be thrilled to talk to you about the travel industry and our vision for the future, and to demonstrate how Amadeus is not simply a GDS – it’s a critical part of your business value chain and a business partner in it for the long run.