Travel Republic parent dnata to task Washington with Facebook and Instagram integration
Travel Republic parent dnata Travel will turn its sights on integrating Facebook and Instagram into the group’s marketing strategy when new chief executive Andy Washington starts next month.
Dnata Travel divisional senior vice president, Iain Andrew, said the group, which also owns high street retailer Travelbag, OTA Sunmaster and travel agency consortium Global Travel Group, needs to explore the possibilities of these emerging channels.
“It’s tough out there,” he said. “We know the issues of Google and so we need Andy to look at how we manage it over time by working closer with Facebook, and at how Instagram is going to have a bigger and bigger impact on travel marketing.
“We need to understand the possibilities of all these channels. We need someone to be looking at new channels, all markets and competitors constantly.”
Andrew revealed he had spent several days with Facebook last week and said he was “personally very impressed with the opportunities” it offers for the whole of the Emirates Group, the Dubai-based parent of dnata.
Washington will also be expected to contribute ideas into dnata’s wider mergers and acquisitions strategy and draw on his experiences at Expedia, lastminute.com and Thomas Cook’s e-commerce division, to “extend best practices in technology to the Middle East”.
Dnata will continue to look for acquisitions and pursue expansion into South America and Asia, but has put plans to move into Russia on ice.
Andrew said: “I’m very keen on Russia but we’ve parked our plans as there’s no knowing when people are going to start travelling again. It’s all an unknown with Putin. I am hopeful it will build up again – we are seeing some coming back at the very top end into Dubai, but not the volume we need.”