If you believed the rumours that Santa would deliver Christmas presents via blockchain this year, you´ll be disappointed. He doesn´t even have email yet. In fact, writing to Santa is more tricky than it looks. You´ve listed your good deeds done and described your ideal presents, but where do you post the letter to?
Finns believe he lives in Lapland, Americans in Alaska, and Russians (who believe in ´Ded Maroz´, a kind of communist Santa) in Vologoda. Besides, in our Group headquarters in Spain no one even writes to Santa, instead they write to the Three Kings (Los Reyes Magos) via a post box in our local department store.
Needless to say, in non-Christian countries Christmas is not celebrated: it´s just another working day in India, Indonesia and Israel. As a company with over 200 offices and 8,500 employees around the globe offering a 24-hour a day service, we embrace such cultural differences on a daily basis. So if you´re a customer of ours, rest assured that our call centre in destination support line will be open on Christmas Day.
But is there anything that we do all have in common at this time of year? As we count down to 31st December, even if we don´t jot them down in a letter to Santa, one way or another we´re all mentally reviewing the year´s highlights.
For us at Hotelbeds Group this year has brought some rather memorable moments: Tourico Holidays and GTA have joined our Group; our platform now has over 170,000 hotels and handles peaks of up to 1.5 billion searches a day; China became our fifth biggest source market globally; airline ancillary sales continued to grow strongly, as did car rentals; and we hosted not one by two MarketHubs, Cancun and Bangkok, for our top clients.
There´s something else too that many of us have in common at this time of year: it´s a time to think about giving something back. This holiday season for every corporate Christmas gift we´d have given away, instead we´ll make a donation to Le Passage Travel Foundation – Shaping Lives. Its ‘No Child in Trash’ program supports the children of waste pickers living in New Delhi. Each donation enables a child to receive one month’s informal learning and food.
There´s also something else we have in common: thinking about what the year ahead has in store for us, our families and our work. Whilst we are very proud of our achievements, the truth is we are even more excited about the many challenges that lay ahead: our campaign to contract directly 10,000 more hotels; figuring out how to make artificial intelligence, virtual reality, and blockchain work for our partners; widening our cross-selling initiatives as part of the Tourico Holidays and GTA integration into our Group; and keeping up with the pace of Asia Pacific´s phenomenal growth.
Once again we´d like to thank all our commercial partners across the globe for the faith they place in our business. Wherever you are, whether you celebrate the holidays or not, we hope that Santa, the Three Kings, Ded Maroz or whomever you cherish brings you everything you truly deserve in 2018.