Every year, trends in the travel business shift, and we discover new locations and routes. Business operations for the tourist sector will not be as usual as before, and companies need to rethink, refocus, and modify their game plan to move forward. The greatest challenge that the global tourist sector has faced so far is a pandemic.
However, the summer of 2021 is shaping up to be one of the most significant in tourist history. As we, the citizens of the planet, slowly recover from COVID-19, Also, as borders slowly but steadily open, we expect the future of tourism to resemble that of the pre-pandemic period. All of this, however, will present a fresh and exciting chance to adapt and develop. People will also be ready to pay extra to reduce their viral exposure.
Albatros Travel, a Scandinavian travel company with a global wingspan, offers one-of-a-kind and adventurous trips to some of the world’s most interesting destinations. The globe is ready to be discovered by Albatros Travel clients, from Greenland’s ice cap to Namibia’s beautiful red deserts.
Below are the highlights of the interview conducted between World’s Leaders and Albatros Travel.
What are Albatros Travel’s hotel booking/renting offerings?
We offer accommodations in two completely different “extreme nature” areas of the world, Greenland and Africa. In Greenland, we have hotel and hostel offerings in Kangerlussuaq and Ilulissat. In South Africa and Tanzania, we have the “Honeyguide” Safari camps, and in South Africa also the Zebra country lodges. What these different accommodations have in common; the focus is on nature, completely unique experiences, and sustainability.
Brief our audience about your journey as the President of Albatross International. What challenges did you have to face to get where you are today?
Well, the biggest challenges I logically had were the last two years, when travel completely stopped and we had these wonderful accommodations and local teams, but not a single customer. Compared with the challenges we faced in the last two years, looking back, all the other challenges in my career were relatively easy!
I have a background in adventure and experience travel, and since 2010 have managed expedition cruises and small ship cruise lines. Floating accommodations! When I became president of Albatros Travel international back in 2019, it was my first experience managing “fixed” accommodations. But in the end, the objective is the same; to create unique natural experiences, that give our guests wonderful, lasting memories.
Kindly brief us about the most satisfactory experience with a client. What kind of game changing services have you provided to them?
We have been offering camping on the famous Greenlandic icecap for years as an excursion/experience, but traditionally this was adventurous – not so much about comfort. With the rise of experience seeking HNWI clients, we have created a new upgraded experience, with champagne and first-class meals based on local ingredients (think halibut and fresh muskox meat). Just before the Corona-crisis, we received feedback from a family group that this was the most unforgettable experience in their lives.
How well does your organisation strategically differentiate from the competition in terms of the capabilities of its services? How clear is your organization’s strategy for this?
We clearly differentiate by building the best experiences in and around our accommodations, instead of focusing primary on “the hardware”. Luxury in our view is offering a “bush bar” with a great selection of drinks, after a fantastic afternoon of safari drives on the way back to camp. All our accommodations are three to four stars, but the experience and food are five stars plus. From a pricing point of view, we offer unbeatable “experience” for money!
What are the changes the pandemic has brought to the hotel booking and travel industry?
The most drastic change is, of course, that our revenue dropped from one day to the next to completely zero. But we are recovering now, and we actually see an increase in demand for small-scale boutique experiences in the middle of nature, away from the crowds and any over tourism.
What are the three things you would like to improve in the organisation or the sector?
- Going fully carbon neutral. This is not easy, but should be our vision to work towards.
- Cultural understanding. We attract more diverse customers from all over the world, and it is easy to have misunderstandings if we look at them from our own cultural angle.
- Promoting LGBTQ rights and diversity is important. Everyone should feel safe and welcome when travelling and visiting properties around the world.
Tell us about your vision for the company. How do you ensure a culture of integrity and innovation in the company?
We are a flat informal company, and everyone should be able to provide ideas and input. Our broad strategy is set – we would like to differentiate ourselves by providing unique experiences in and around our accommodations, and everyone should contribute towards this. We regularly have idea generation sessions with the teams, and/or check in with them personally. Lastly, it is about “walking the talk”, leading by example, promoting diversity, and valuing our differences.
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