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In the seat next to you: Kurt Van der biesen, Sales Manager Benelux

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What is the fastest way to find out what a country is all about? Walk into a supermarket and look around. At least according to Kurt Van der biesen, Sales Manager Benelux.

Hi, Kurt! How did your job as a Sales Manager evolve throughout the years?

To make a long story short, I am responsible for a team of colleagues in Sales. Today, our team focuses mostly on business travel. It used to be mixed with leisure, you know, but separating them was a great idea – now my team is much more familiar with our own tools and with our clients, so we’re able to offer better services.

Have you always been in sales?

Sort of, my professional background is mostly sales and marketing. But now I have found my calling: letting people develop under my guidance and analysing economic opportunities for our clients. Both objectives cooperate towards one goal: building long-lasting relationships founded on win-win situations.

What makes the travel industry so special?

I’ve worked in other industries, and I can confidently say: it’s the product! When you talk about travel with almost anyone, they spontaneously start smiling. I’ve never encountered that in any other sector.

Do you smile too, when you think of travelling?

Of course! And no, it’s not really one vacation or experience that comes to mind. I’m a huge fan of experiencing local culture, anywhere. Sure, I want to see the touristic highlights, but what I love is being dragged along by locals and getting to know a country from within. Japan, South Africa, Canada… One thing, by the way, that I always do when I arrive in a new country: walk into a supermarket and just observe. It actually gives you a pretty clear picture of local culture.

Talking about pictures, do you have a favourite holiday picture?

Do you remember that photo contest on our dedicated Amadeus Selling Platform Connect contest platform that we shared on our blog? We organised something similar internally and my picture won! We were in Indonesia and I was totally taken aback by nature’s beauty. That’s still something I’m thankful for: travelling, nature, experiencing new cultures,…

Do you have any wishes for the travel industry as a whole?

The travel industry is still growing and things are changing all the time. When your surroundings change, you have to adapt. As a person, but as a company too – anticipate fundamental changes, integrate them into you solutions and grow lasting partnerships. Clear, right?