One month after the end of the financial year, the Chief Executive Officer Adriano Apicella and the management team of Welcome Travel Grouptogether with Eva Adina Maria Mengoli, Area Vice President and Head of Commercial Salesforce Italy, Andrea Gattia, VP CRM Solutions Atlantic Technologies and Massimiliano Cossu, CEO of Portale Sardegna, met with sector journalists in Milan to take stock of the sales trend, development strategies, value and the digital transformation path of the Network.
Pre-final balance for the end of the 2020-2021 financial year
Welcome Travel Group is preparing to close a complex year in which, however, the Network has never stopped and, on the contrary, has worked with great determination on new structures and innovative projects as a function of the restart. Sales, concentrated in the summer period, saw the Italian seaside destination as the absolute protagonist with sales volumes never recorded before. The performance of the cruise sector was also very good which, after a cautious start to the season, then developed volumes beyond forecasts.
The closure of some agencies is worrying
As regards the volume of the Network, the year recorded over 70 new entries, highlighting, in the face of the difficulties of the period, the farsightedness and solidity of WTG’s territorial coverage strategy which, also following the merger of the Welcome Travel and Geo Travel Network, is even more targeted. With regard to outgoing points of sale, the figure stands at 5% of the total, equal to 180 agencies: of these 135 have closed their doors, a figure which, it should be emphasized, could increase if no refreshments arrive for 2021 than for retailers was much tougher than 2020. The network now stands at 2470 total agencies.
Collaborations with Salesforce and Atlantic Technologies
Welcome Travel Group has identified in the relaunch and strengthening of its digital transformation path the fundamental tool for the post-pandemic restart.
From this point of view, the collaboration started in recent months with Salesforcea cloud company based in San Francisco, global leader in Customer Relationship Management (CRM), i.e. the set of solutions that allow companies to connect to their customers using applications for digital marketing, sales force management, e- commerce and customer service.
Thanks to the adoption of Salesforce Customer 360all the Agencies of the Network will have their own Crm available free of charge by the end of the year, a fundamental tool for customer profiling and simplification of operational processes and interactions both with the sales force of the network and with the final customer first, during and after each trip.
In this process of digital transformation and organizational change within the Network, Welcome Travel Group is also supported by Atlantic Technologies, a cloud consultancy partner of Salesforce since 2005, with a consolidated experience in the Travel & Hospitality sector. Also thanks to the support of Atlantic Technologies, already 40 days after its presentation, it was possible to activate the new platform by enabling the first Agencies in this new way of doing business, inserting them in the adoption process and integrating the new solution with individual company systems.
The success of Welcome to Italy
Innovation and collaboration are also the driving force behind Welcome to Italy, the incoming project created in partnership between Welcome Travel Group and Portale Sardegna, which has obtained the patronage of Enit.
Starting from Sardinia with the development of Sardinia Local Experts, today it has been extended throughout Italy with over 100 Italy Local Experts and 16 regional managers who coordinate and oversee the Welcome to Italy Points. A few months after its launch, today Welcome to Italy, through a model that industrializes the process of creating the finished product, is able to offer 500 multi-thematic packages throughout the Peninsula, with over 2300 experiences created and inserted by Local Experts.
“The last few months have seen us concentrated on supporting the summer sales as much as possible, which allowed us to ‘breathe’ after the long ‘freediving’ of autumn / winter, at the same time we have worked on projects that will enable us to grasp the rebound that will be generated after the reopening of the main foreign destinations – he commented Adriano Apicella, CEO Welcome Travel Group -. Hence the decision to totally re-engineer the Network with the adoption of Salesforce 360 thanks to which we are redefining all internal processes, the methods of providing services to agencies and communicating with the end customer. The main objective is to accompany them in the necessary digitization process. This transformation has also helped us to study the new organization that unites in a single team the great professionals of the two Networks, a single working group at the service of the Welcome Travel, Geo and Welcome Travel Store brands. Finally, we have finalized the launch of Welcome to Italy, the incoming brand of our Group, which has achieved significant results and is ready and mature to respond to the requests of our agencies and foreign markets “.