MADRID--Travel technology giant Amadeus has kicked off a wide-ranging review of its global PR activities, in a bid to boost its international travel credentials.
The Spanish company is best known for its travel distribution system, which gives travel agencies and sales offices the ability to book with more than 425 airlines, along with car rental companies, cruise lines and hotels. Amadeus is the market leader in this sector, ahead of Travelport and Sabre.
The Holmes Report understands that Amadeus is aiming to boost awareness of its credentials beyond air travel, which include a growing IT outsourcing business that services airlines, hotels, rail and airports. In addition, the Spanish company is looking to transcend its European roots, building on its US presence to better position itself as a global business.
A detailed RFI was released to agencies yesterday calling for proposals to be submitted next week, demonstrating travel and B2B tech expertise across Amadeus’ various global markets and business areas - airline, rail and hotels. Shortlisted agencies will pitch at Amadeus’ global HQ in Madrid in February, as the company attempts to identify PR partners for the next three years.
The company currently works with numerous firms: CRT/Tanaka in the US, Bite Communications and Kwittken (UK), Cohn & Wolfe (France), Grupo Albion (Spain), BZ.comm (Germany), Action Global (central and southern Europe) and Edelman (Asia-Pacific and South America).
Agencies have been given the option of selecting whether they would like to contend for specific markets - across Europe, North America and Latin America - or for lead agency duties on Amadeus’ three business areas. In addition, there is a requirement for a financial communications agency, focusing in particular on Spain, where Amadeus is listed, and London.
It is understood that the company is seeking to trim its overall global spend on PR agencies, which one source involved in the process estimated in the high six-figure range. The source added that Amadeus is aiming to reduce the number of firms it works with, and is entertaining the possibility of consolidating its entire business with one agency.
According to another source, Amadeus is calling for a wide range of services, including strategic counsel, press office, social media and thought leadership. Exact requirements differ according to the market or business line in question. For example, Amadeus is a well-established leader in European markets; in the US, however, it is considerably less well-known.
Amadeus representatives did not return request for comment. The company reported healthy revenue and profit growth in 2010. While its IT solutions unit is growing faster, the company’s distribution business accounts for around three-quarters of its €2,683m in revenues.