1. You have been in the market for more than 10 years. Which was the most successful year during this period? What about the worst year? Where is 2015 situated in this range and why?
This is correct. We have been in the Romanian market for 11 years. The registered capital is entirely Romanian and the business structure is sole trader. We have developed gradually year by year, relaying only on our personal funds and not on other means of financing involving other companies or persons funds. As you can see from the bookkeeping documents, Central Travel’s has been registering a constant growth. We cannot say that we had better or worse years during our business path. Everything evolved according to the plans and the business growth was real and natural.
2. How have the demands of the corporate clients in terms of travel needs changed in 2015, compared to 2014? How have their budgets changed? In terms of profiles, have you seen any changes?
According to the figures in 2015, our corporate clients decided to allocate larger budgets to business travel services needs compared to 2014. Slowly, they decided to stop looking mostly for the cheapest services and, in this moment, they are considering more than ever the price/ performance ratio.
3. Have you seen any positive changes in terms of legislation (applying to your market) in 2015? In this respect, what developments would you like to see?
Considering the tourism legislation, I must say that this is a constant situation. Nothing has changed radically. Moreover, we can say that we are encountering many types of problems that I would rather not share now.
4. Some (large) companies are relying more and more on companies like yours in terms of satisfying the travel needs of their employees. Have you had any surprises in 2015? What about the small and medium-sized companies – have they started to diminish the ‘jack of all trades’ approach?
In 2015, we did not encounter any surprises. Our clients maintained or even increased the amount of the required business travel services. Regarding the ‘jack of all trades’ approach I must say that this is usually diminished with the growth of the company.
5. What is the size of the market in which you conduct your activity? What is your forecast for this market for 2015-2016?
The Romanian business travel market is an expanding and changing market. Hotel chains are always in search for expanding their business and city break trips are more and more in demand. We have also registered a growing trend for this kind of trips, requests coming from both our clients’ employees and other persons. In 2016, we are expecting an increase of the number of flights for some of our clients.
6. Do you remember your first client, back in 2004? Please detail.
I believe that the first love and the first client will never be forgotten. Anyway, we treat all of our clients with respect, courtesy and consideration. We help all of them to make corporate travel easier, less expensive and more efficient.
7. What is the most precious lesson you learnt during the crisis?
The most precious lesson I learnt… I believe there is actually more than one and they are all precious. Managing corporate travel can be complex. The best suppliers and the right skills will always assure the delivering of the best solutions for the unique travel needs. Our professionalism and determination was the way to ride the European crisis so far.
8. Your portfolio includes multinationals, banks, famous retailers and so on. Are the needs different from sector to sector? Please detail.
The needs are always different from client to client, not to mention from sector to sector. In order to meet all our clients’ needs we provide a range of products and services which we tailor to fit their needs. Our skills, experience and passion helped us to build strong relationships with our clients from all sectors.
9. What makes you unique in this market?
Along with the membership status, we have been partners of the Travel Solutions International for Romania since March 2015, and we also have a core servicing culture which permanently focuses on the needs of our clients. We are well aware that the technology is not enough when it comes to delivering a high quality service. It also takes talent and skills and our teams have them both. I believe that is what makes the difference in this market.