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Amadeus

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How the travel industry can partner to enact social change

Tomas López Fernebrand

SVP, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary, Amadeus IT Group

At Amadeus we are committed to ensuring that we can make a valuable and lasting contribution to improving the lives of those who need our help the most. Moreover, we have a set of specific resources and capabilities that allow us to make good our promise to try and help those underdeveloped regions and communities around the world tap into global tourism and its obvious benefits.

Despite strong progress in recent years, poverty and underdevelopment remain serious, global problems. It is a fact that, even in 2011, almost three billion people around the world live on less than $2.50 a day. At the same time, some 800 million people are illiterate whilst approximately 120 million children never attend school.

At Amadeus we are committed to ensuring that we can make a valuable and lasting contribution to improving the lives of those who need our help the most. Moreover, we have a set of specific resources and capabilities that allow us to make good our promise to try and help those underdeveloped regions and communities around the world tap into global tourism and its obvious benefits.

One of those resources is the Amadeus ‘PC Bank’, a system which works by providing Amadeus-owned computers (which are no older than three years) to be re-used across the globe in community projects.  In fact, hundreds of computers are donated every year by Amadeus worldwide completely free of charge.

Recently, Amadeus joined forces with Kenya Airways, Iberia LAE and the Global Travel and Tourism Partnership (GTTP), a non-profit, multi-country educational programme designed to introduce students to career opportunities in Travel & Tourism.

As a result of this partnership initiative, 100 computers have been donated to 18 schools across eight provinces in Kenya, with the objective of supporting online education of tourism through the roll-out of the GTTP-Kenya curriculum in public secondary schools and village polytechnics across the country.

Under a framework of cooperation agreements between all companies, international air carriers Kenya Airways and Iberia LAE generously provided free air transport of the computers from Madrid, Spain to Nairobi, Kenya.

The GTTP programme is an incredibly important initiative for Kenya - students are able to become empowered to broaden their training horizons. It also opens up the prospect of a future career in a sector which is absolutely crucial for a growing Kenyan economy. Until now there has been no formal tourism curriculum taught in Kenyan schools. Instead, tourism is covered as a geography lesson, and for only one week in the final year of high school. With this Amadeus initiative, and following the support from Kenya Airways, Iberia LAE and GTTP; we can enact real and lasting change in the region whilst also positively contributing to the local economy.

Here are some photographs from the local launch event in Kenya which was hosted in order to help drive awareness of this very valuable project:

Selection of the students from the schools benefiting from this project (Olympic Secondary School Nairobi, Moi Tea Girls Kericho, Makini School Nairobi, Kyangala Machakos)
Beneficiaries, school principals and management personnel from the project
Claes Berggren, General Manager, Amadeus East Africa, James Buyekane, Head of Information Systems Operations at Kenya Airways and Joseph Okello, Director Global Travel & Tourism Partnership - Kenya.
For more information on Amadeus’ corporate responsibility projects please visit: www.amadeus.com/amadeus/travelfurther

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